ctrp349 Lessons Not Learned in Afghanistan

by bicyclemark 7 Comments
ctrp349 Lessons Not Learned in Afghanistan

Girl with one roller-blade

Over the last 4 years working in Afghanistan, Bette Dam has learned a few things. During her time embedded with the Dutch military in Uruzgan she learned that this was no way to do journalism. Researching and observing the behavior of the other international forces she learned of the counter-productive posturing and refusal to learn from the past.  Moreover, as a journalist, she has learned the challenges of getting people in the west to pay attention and think critically about reports coming from Afghanistan.

As the kites flew high overhead one fine afternoon in Kabul, we sat down to discuss this and more.

Read her work.
Follow her on twitter.

ctrp343 The Haitian Recovery

by bicyclemark 1 Comment

Laura Stek went to Haiti to focus on the work of a famous photographer. But going to Haiti quickly became about more than the person taking photographs, as she observed and experienced what is and isn’t going on in terms of the Haitian post earthquake recovery.

Laura’s audio as part of the NOS Haiti file

Outside Port au Prince, Haiti, Photo by Talea Miller, PBS NewsHour

Spike in Airline Prices

by bicyclemark 0 Comments

The last night of February 2010 has me looking forward and asking the difficult questions about just what I’m going to focus on, push myself to do that is new and innovative, and where I will take this here journalistic project as the year matures. What topic in what corner of the world do I feel needs better coverage, more explaining, and increased understanding on the international scale? What can I do? What is within my power, as a reporter with connections or in terms of making new contacts- to get more information to present to you reading this.

Naturally for the sake of learning and first hand reporting, I want to do more than bring you information from the comfort of my always interesting Amsterdam life… I want to travel.  Nevermind wanting, when you’ve got family and a life in 2 other countries besides the one you dwell in, travelling isn’t a luxury it is a necessity somewhere behind food, shelter, and clothing on the life-list of what is needed.  But while I’d normally be looking at flights to Portugal for the spring or summer to visit my family and take care of my responsibilities there, this year presents a bigger challenge than ever in the last 8+ years. While I’d like to fly off to New York to visit family and speak at The Next Hope this July, again looking at the options, it is looking increasingly unlikely.

Whether it is for good reasons or not, airlines across the board are raising their prices. With flights within Europe and crossing the Atlantic (that I know of) costing double what they did last year.  And combined with a general decrease in my already extra-modest income this year, even flying at normal rates would have posed a budgetary challenge for this alternative voice in the media wilderness.

All this to say, suddenly the road ahead looks foggier than I had expected.  And while ironically I’ll soon announce several exciting journeys to new corners of the globe, those will be funded by third parties. Because the truth is the combination of my intercontinental life choices, journalistic goals, and an economy that sees little monetary value in what I (or anyone these days) do.. makes for a very difficult road ahead.

What’s the plan then? I’m working on it…

Testimony on the State of the Media

by bicyclemark 2 Comments

In a recent post you might remember me pointing to the words of The Wire creator and former Baltimore journalist David Simon as he was interviewed on Bill Moyer’s program.? You might also remember that I’m a huge, let’s be honest, FAN, of Simon as I find the Wire to be one imperfect and completely accurate mirror of how our society and our world functions.

So it might come as a surprise and certainly ironic when I tell you I hated David Simon’s testimony before US Congress during the recent session on the state of the media industry. Hmm, saying I hated it is kind of silly, the basic fact is that based on Simon’s words before congress, I don’t agree and would argue some of his statements/facts.

I actually plan to develop my response further, possibly putting it out as a video entry, but for now I wanted to begin to break-down what problem I have with Simon’s words and to properly lay out my own responses.