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Ice Cream is the great Mediator

April 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Qatar is a country of 1.6 million people, and over 1 million of these people are migrant workers. During my trip I visited a migrant worker camp where we got to hear their stories, which you know all too well. Here is how the Migrant Worker Story goes:

  1. Worker in developing nation recruited by some company for great overseas job, promised quick riches
  2. Worker agrees to deal, signs contract, and travels overseas,
  3. Worker’s passport is taken when company boss picks him up at the airport
  4. Worker is charged $5k for his flight,
  5. Of the $400 a month he makes $200 of it goes back to the company for rent and food,
  6. Worker is stuck with no passport or funds.

For all the junk they have had to endure they were kind people looking for a voice, so they were attracted to our group so that they could share their individual stories. I wanted to have fun with these guys so I started my own ice cream social. We gave away 50 ice cream bars in ten seconds. It was Amazing! See the pictures below.

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Global Faith Forum Panel

April 13, 2011 Leave a comment

I was involved with this back in November, but the video is now live. You need to go here to watch them all.

Nadia the Pakistani

April 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Pakistani  native Nadia Zaffer  has done everything you can do in a newsroom including being the first female anchor at her news station in Pakistan. You can see some of her professional work here:

She has totally shattered my perception of what I thought a Pakistan woman would be like. The interview when the camera was off was far different than when it is on, but you can see her personality more towards the end of the video:

Barber’s Take on the News

April 7, 2011 Leave a comment

This was too interesting a responce to leave it in the comments section. Lindsay Barber  is a real life American Broadcaster who blogs here: http://dontbreakthenews.wordpress.com/

Ben,

I love this discussion. I have been reading about the fall of great journalism in the United States lately and two of the books I’ve read speak in great detail about the failure to really report foreign news. In comparison to our friends across the Atlantic Americans are woefully ignorant to the culture, geography and current events of other countries.

Speaking specifically about broadcast journalism in the U.S., after big corporations bought the TV networks they became more concerned with the bottom line than with responsible reportage. After the birth of “60 Minutes,” those networks realized that there was a possibility to make great profits off of news shows.

The networks then turned to infotainment and sensationalism in an effort to up ratings and garner more advertisers. In an effort to increase these profits even more, they closed news bureaus in other countries. Even CNN is a victim of this.

Now almost all foreign news we get in the U.S. is video taken from services like the AP, or a specific country’s state TV. All of the information for each network is coming from the same place, and we have no idea how much of it is legitimate or how much of it is spun. The networks have gone down to a London bureau, but all they really do there is repackage video and information received from these questionable news services.

Even when a reporter is able to get a story these days, the network executives usually say “that’s boring, the American public isn’t interested in that,” and so the stories won’t make air. In one of the books I’m reading, the journalist says he feels there is a very good chance the events of 9-11 could have been prevented if American journalists had done their jobs.

If you’re interested, these books are:

“News Flash: Journalism, Infotainment, and the Bottom-Line Business of Broadcast News” by Bonnie Anderson, a vet reporter for CNN and NBC, and “Bad News: The Decline of Reporting, The Business of News, and the Danger to us All,” by Tom Fenton, a vet reporter for CBS.

Travel for a Palestinian

April 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Ahmed is brilliant. He is from Gaza in Palestine. Meeting him here in Doha has made me think differently about the freedom I have to go wherever I want to whenever I want to. There is one point of departure in all of Gaza, and it is a struggle to be able to travel anywhere as a Palestinian.

 

A Different Perspective on Al Jazeera

April 6, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m at a Terana conference funded by the United Nations and sponsored by Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar. I’m having a blast getting to meet young professionals from all over the world eager to build bridges of communication. I wanted to share the following interview I conducted with two Egyptians, a Jordanian, and an Arab Evangelical Christian Israeli regarding their perception of Al Jazeera, the primary Mid-East news source. In a region of undemocratic governments which control all media this station has become the most unbiased source not directly controlled by any specific government.

Interview With Baylor University MBAs

March 30, 2011 1 comment

Colleen and Naseem are brilliant MBA students at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. We conducted this interview at Common Grounds, just about the hippest place in all of Waco.