Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Giving Voice to Stories from Around the World

I hope you were impressed and inspired by Frank Langfitt and the stories he shared today.
I appreciated how he began with the first line from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens:
Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.

Read more: Best First Lines of Novels 

Much was notable, and I hope EA has a video of his presentation (I hope to embed it in this post).

Read more of Frank Langfitt - for example enthralling three part series on Somali pirates.

Today, one point that resonated with me was the way in which social media played a role in ending labor camps in China. Imagine a tweet retweeted 30 million times rescuing a woman's life. But also imagine being sent to a labour camp in China for retweeting.

Meanwhile, Ellen's Oscar selfie - a team photo of Hollywood stars crashes Twitter. It makes me think that social media is a powerful tool and how we use it can say a great deal about our values and our culture.

When Frank Langfitt spoke of values and truth - in journalism and in the world - we see values such as the stripes and truth not in abstract notions or grandiose ways - or even cynical cliche.

We see the power of the pen not as an example of metonymy, but real power to change history, save lives, and make a difference in the world.

Putting themselves in harms way, journalists like Frank Langfitt offer us stories that go beyond soundbites and headlines. I confess in Twitter age and 24 hour news coverage we are inundated with headlines, yet we rarely read further - and we question the integrity of the sources.

Frank Langfitt is a journalist worth following because as Rev. Squire said today, he gives voice to others that may not have a voice and he lives the EA Stripes.

One of the questions about decline of "print" journalism - like poetry - suggests that you can't make money or make a living with words or stories.

As Frank Langfitt mentioned, investigative journalism is expensive, but there will always be a demand for news - for stories - and I'd like to think there will be a demand for journalists with integrity.

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