Posts Tagged With: Journalism

New New journalism

Firuzeh Shokooh Valle

Firuzeh Shokooh Valle, an editor for Puerto Rico section in Global Voices, visited Reinventing the news last friday to discuss the importance of citizen journalism and how it can help  journalist report on stories from all over the world without having to leave their living rooms. She discussed covering stories in Puerto Rico with help from Puerto Rican bloggers and journalist who had been using the internet to report activities in the country. She discussed the issues that come with following citizen journalist and the problem of accuracy but also spoke about how citizen journalism has helped her to report on stories that she couldn’t physically be at. Shokooh Valle discussed the pros and cons that come with reporting with a high reliability to citizen journalist and blogs. Shokooh Valle has been able to use citizen journalism to tell the stories of people across the ocean without ever being there which is an amazing advancement in journalism.

Picture by: Kadidjha Traore

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Lately the news has been filled with either news from the earthquake in Japan or Libya. There is a lot of misconceptions with the reporting and all that is going on in the country as to why the people have been protesting and how it all began. There is even misconception of the quirky leader Qaddafi.

Due to all the revolts that began in primarily arab speaking african countries starting with Tunisia. Most of the revolts started because the people of the countries were unhappy with the way their economies were as CNN described,

In Libya, protesters rallied against, among other things, high unemployment and a delay in a government housing project, and they eventually called for democracy and an end to Moammar Gadhafi’s almost 42-year-long rule.

Following the lead of two successful revolts preceding Libya, the country was able to begin their protest, however their revolution seemed to be covered very differently in the media then the Tunisian and Egyptian protest. instead of being called protestors the people fighting against Qaddafi became rebels and were considered very violent and the death toll rose everyday because of these violent clashes that ensued in some of the most highly populated cities in the country as news networks such as CNN say,

“At the beginning of March, the Libyan military stepped up efforts to reclaim areas lost to rebels.”

This battle continues and soon right on cue the US gets involved launching missiles at the country at Qaddafi’s army and supporters. Why would the US get involved in something so far from them and a country that seems to not affect them very much? if you want to look deeper into this question just take a look at how much it takes to fill up your gas tank now a days. They are one of the biggest exporters of oil and this upheaval they’ve been having has been affecting the US greatly. however is it necessary to get involved in yet another conflict? Guess we will have just see what comes of it.

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Mapping Africa

Geographic location is a very important aspect of looking at a map of Africa. There are many countries and with each country many different cultures that come along with it. One mapping error that drives me crazy is when people don’t realize where commonly spoken about countries are located on the continent. One country that gets miss placed often is Egypt, like when Fox news tried to give a visual about the protest in Egypt and placed egypt where Iran should have been in the middle east.

Sometimes maps can be used to Show the severity of things such as in this article that describes the malaria epidemic in African countries. Maps are very effective at backing up a story with more visuals. Sometimes when maps are inaccurate they can make a situation seem worse than it actually is or scare people into believing something about a location. This site does a good job showing an accurate map of the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Most people think that the entire continent is ravaged by the disease and although it is a big problem the map shows a more accurate view then what you would see in the media some countries in Africa don’t have as big a problem with it as others.

Mapping can be a large part with telling stories and giving your audience a view of the story you may be portraying. The maps just need to be used well and very accurately in order to make sure your audience gets the full story.

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Beauty in Africa

What if women in America all strived to be as overweight as possible in hopes of attracting the right man? Countries like Mauritania have beauty ideals that the western world would find downright outrageous. With it being international women’s day/month I wanted to discuss the beauty standards of different countries in Africa. Women of Mauritania go to extreme lengths to fatten their daughters up for their future husbands. Some parents even send their daughters to fattening camp,  ran by women such as Fatematou who explains in this BBC article the diet the girls are kept on to maintain their round figures,

“I make them eat lots of dates, lots and lots of couscous and other fattening food,” Fatematou, a voluminous woman in her sixties who runs a kind of “fat farm” in the northern desert town of Atar, told BBC World Service’s The World Today program.”

For the men in Mauritania its more desirable for a woman to be larger because it represents wealth while a skinnier woman may represent poverty or not being able to eat enough. However in Mauritania this tradition is starting to be seen as a little bit old fashioned as explained in the same article,

“Young people in Mauritania today, we’re not interested in being fat as a symbol of beauty. Today to be beautiful is to be natural, just to eat normally.”

Another beauty phenomenon, at least in the western countries is skin bleaching. All though it isn’t as far fetched as fattening women for marriage it is a big thing in the area. Women will use many different kinds of dangerous chemicals all in the name of having fair skin. This beauty trend isn’t only practiced in parts of Africa but all parts of the world including the U.S. However in western African countries the number of women who turn to this practice is staggering as this article breaks it down,

“The prevalence of skin lightening reported among those interviewed in Africa shows some disturbing results. In Bamako in Mali, researchers calculated 25% prevalence, while in some studies in Dakar, Senegal, up to 52% prevalence was observed. A study in Pretoria, South Africa revealed up to 35%, while the most disturbing was a study in 2002 which showed up to 77% prevalence in Lagos, Nigeria.”

Whether women are eating large quantities of food to gain weight or using dangerous bleaching products, beauty practices are different all over the world, so who are we to judge. The only thing you can do is be comfortable in your own skin

Photo by Maindru Photo

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