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Here is my latest article on the rise of press censorship in Ukraine since the election of President Yanukovych. It’s timely – this Sunday Ukrainians head to the polls to vote in the local council elections and international observers have noticed a clampdown on independent media and opposition leaders.
In the article and embedded videos, I interview Myroslava Gongadze, the wife of the murdered journalist Georgiy whose homicide caused an international scandal in 2000, and Ukrainian affairs expert Dr. Taras Kuzio. View the article as it originally appeared at the Pulitzer Center.
Ukrainian Journalists Face Uncertain Future
By Christina Maria Paschyn
In 2004 thousands of protesters swarmed the capital of Ukraine demanding that the country’s fraudulent presidential election be overturned. Dubbed the Orange Revolution, the movement swept pro-Western politician Viktor Yushchenko to power, whose victory brought hope to millions of democratic activists including journalist Myroslava Gongadze.
Her husband Georgiy Gongadze, an investigative reporter on government corruption, had been kidnapped in September 2000; two months later his decapitated body was found lying in a forest outside Kiev. Leaked secret recordings linked then-President Leonid Kuchma and other top officials to the homicide, who are heard discussing ways to silence the muckraking journalist. But the tapes’ authenticity was questioned, and none of the individuals on the recordings were ever brought to court.
As part of his campaign platform, Yushchenko promised to launch a legitimate investigation and finally solve the case for Gongadze and her family. Moreover, he swore to fully democratize the former Soviet nation and restore civil liberties for Ukrainian journalists who routinely suffered government harassment and censorship.
My latest article and video – view the original at the Pulitzer Center website.
On October 20, friends and colleagues of Persephone Miel gathered to remember the former senior advisor of Internews, who dedicated her life to advancing the work of journalists across the globe. Persephone passed away on June 28 after a long battle with cancer.
Before she died, Persephone said she wanted to be remembered by a fellowship that would help media professionals outside the United States report on their home countries and bring their work to a broader international audience. The Persephone Miel Fellowship will be overseen by the Pulitzer Center in partnership with Internews.
Just published my latest article for the Pulitzer Center, on a congressional briefing that addressed the need to provide water, sanitation and hygiene instruction and facilities for school children in the developing world.
It’s an important issue – two out of three schools in the developing world lack decent toilets, according to UNICEF. The World Health Organization estimates that 272 million school days are lost each year due to diarrhea and some 400 million school-aged children worldwide have worms.
Bjorn Lomborg, author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist”, has reversed his position on the ‘urgency’ of climate change. Although he always believed that global warming is real and is being caused by humans, he was critical of government spending and global policy initiatives to address this issue. His main thesis was that the human race should be more concerned with taking care of other issues, like AIDS research, malaria, poverty, etc.
Not anymore. Yahoo reports:
In a book to be published this year, Lomborg calls global warming “undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today” and calls for the world’s governments to invest tens of billions of dollars annually to fight climate change.
Lomborg’s former foes in the environmental movement are so far unimpressed by news of his conversion. Calling him a “shrewd self-promoter,” Grist.org’s Jonathan Hiskes marveled at Lomborg’s ability to “play the media” in simply “adopting a position already held by millions of sensible people.” And Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Mike Childs told the U.K. Guardian, “It appears that the self-styled skeptical environmentalist is beginning to become less skeptical as he enters middle age.”
I helped interview Lomborg for TIME.com in 2007. It was my first video shooting/editing gig at the news organization, but unfortunately the video producers never added this lowly intern’s name to the credits. Still, if you’re interested in hearing Lomborg’s previous views, watch it:
In June of this year I interviewed Fatima Tlisova, an independent journalist from the North Caucasus who has reported on human rights abuses and political/military brutality and corruption in the region. She was giving a presentation for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) on eight journalists who had been marginalized by Russian authorities through unjustified criminal prosecution, forced exile and even assassination. Included among the journalists she profiled was the late Natalia Estemirova, a prominent Chechen reporter and activist who dared to write about Chechen President (and Russian lackey) Ramzan Kadyrov’s personal torture prisons and barbaric intimidation tactics. For instance, Natalia was one of the very few journalists who documented the beheading of a local rebel, whose head was placed on a stake in the center of his village at Kadyrov’s order. For her determination to achieve social justice for her people, Natalia was assassinated. Activists and other independent journalists assert that her murder was conducted by Kremlin security officials.
Today is the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which granted women in America the right to vote. But this was no passive movement – women fought hard resorting to protests, hunger strikes and even acts of vandalism to secure their vote. They owed a lot of their success to their sisters across the pond, who inspired them through their own passionate battle for suffrage rights. Their efforts would not pay off until 1928, when all women were granted the vote in the United Kingdom (In 1918, it was just extended to women over the age of 30 if they were householders, married to a householder or if they had a university degree).
Last year, I reported on the 100th anniversary of a major women’s suffrage parade in Edinburgh. As we celebrate the wonderful achievements of America’s early feminists today, we should also honor the spirit of 20th century Scottish feminists. Moreover, we all need to realize that the battle for gender equality in Scotland is far from over.
View my story below. It appeared on the Scottish American Society website on Oct 12, 2009.
EDINBURGH – Flora Drummond was a sight to behold on the morning of October 9th, 1909.
Carrying a whip and dressed in a purple and white military uniform, the Scottish suffragette – aptly nicknamed the “General” – led hundreds of women in a march through the city of Edinburgh to demand the right to vote. Thousands of spectators looked on in wonder at the sea of flags, bagpipes and floats; many more stared in astonishment at the sight of Drummond riding her horse astride rather than sidesaddle.
Sam Gustin has written a great and easy to understand article on the Google-Verizon net neutrality plan, and what the former has to gain from it. Take a look:
And check out my video piece on what net neutrality means for journalists and start-ups, also available on my website under the print tab.
The BBC is reporting that protesters have gathered outside the Google offices in Silicon Valley to denounce the internet giant’s proposed “net neutrality” policy with Verizon. The plan would create a two-tier internet system, the higher of which would feature “premium” content and users would be charged a fee. In other words, internet providers would be able to prioritize or favor certain online content over and others, and users would be forced to shell out money to access it. Essentially, it would dismantle net neutrality and the free and open internet we all currently enjoy.
This policy change could have negative consequences for journalists and independent news organization. I spoke with David Sohn of the Center for Democracy and Technology on this issue. Check out my article and video interview with him: What Net Neutrality Means for Journalists featured on the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting website.
You can also view this story under the Print tab on my website.
Hello readers and followers!
I have some exciting news to share. I have launched a website to showcase all of my print and broadcast work.
Drum roll please…
I encourage everyone to visit my fabulous website often – that way, you’ll never miss my latest story or career development.
Some navigation tips:
- Click on the Contact tab to send me a message. Obviously, the Blog tab takes you back to this site.
- My name – the header – links to the homepage of the site, which features my resume reel.
- The Broadcast tab opens a video player where you can watch all of my broadcast work. Scroll down the playlist to pick a video.
NOTE: Always pause the video player before leaving the homepage (resume reel) or broadcast page. Otherwise, the videos may continue to play and my beautiful voice may distract you from perusing the rest of the site!
- The Print tab takes you to all my print articles. Hover the mouse cursor over the title, date, description or publication name for the full information. Use the arrows to select a story and then press GO to open the article in a new tab.
- Click the Resume tab to download a pdf version of my resume.
- Click About to learn more about this wonderful journalist!
Have fun perusing my work! Send the link to your friends and colleagues, and feel free to message me with questions or comments.