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Posts Tagged ‘foreign correspondence’

WASHINGTON, DC, 2 December 2018 — The Daily Beast Foreign Editor, Christopher Dickey, calls journalists, “the voice of humanity.” I agree.

See this review of the FREELANCERS pilot episode, screened 14 November at the Overseas Press Club of America in New York City.

See the review HERE.

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Above, panelists and attendees conduct a moment of silence for journalists killed on the job in Latin America.

By Bill Gentile

MIAMI, 21 July 2018 — Violence against journalists in Latin America is on the rise.

“Fellow journalists in several countries in the Americas continue to face violence and loss of life at the hands of opponents of a free press bent on silencing them just for doing their job,” the program announcing a panel on violence against journalists pointed out.

“Amnesty International calls Mexico the world’s deadliest country for journalists alongside Syria, and journalists in Venezuela experience death threats, harassment, and attacks.”

This year’s annual convention of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) was held in Miami. It was an extraordinary event for learning about our craft and its practitioners across the continent. The panel on violence against journalists was just one of the many events and opportunities available during the July 18–21 convention. I was fortunate to be able to attend the final two days.

Panelists at this event discussed how journalism can be a deadly endeavor for those who practice it. The panel was moderated by Rosental Calmon Alves, of the University of Texas at Austin.

In a back-and-forth with members of the panel, I pointed out that the president of the United States has called journalists “the enemy of the American people” and labeled their work as “fake news.” I noted that leaders in countries including Russia, the Philippines and Turkey had taken license from the president’s accusations, and used similar language to attack the media in their own countries. I asked if members of the panel had witnessed whether the president’s language also had infected leaders in countries across this hemisphere.

One panelist, from Venezuela, pointed out that, prior to the ascension to power of Hugo Chavez, “journalists were some of the most respected” professionals in her country. The people loved journalists and the work they did, she said. But after years of demonization by Chavez and his successor Nicolás Maduro, journalists now work under the threat of verbal and physical violence against them.

Dictators like to do their work in the dark, away from the prying eyes of journalists whose job it is to speak truth to power. And we’ve seen the result of this. Venezuela, with some of the richest deposits of oil on the planet, is a violent, failed state unable to feed her own people.

I recently helped launch American University’s (AU) student chapter of the NAHJ – the first in our nation’s capital. As a member of the School of Communication (SOC) Diversity Committee, I work alongside other faculty, staff and students to make our institution look more like our nation’s population at large. And we are making impressive progress. Of the total number of students entering American University in fall 2017, about 14 percent were Hispanic – higher than ever before.

Above, panelists and attendees conduct a moment of silence for journalists killed on the job in Latin America.

Below, Rosental Calmon Alves moderates a panel discussion.

(Photos by Bill Gentile)

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WASHINGTON, DC, 1 March 2017 – I delivered a few remarks at the inauguration of the photo exhibit, “Self Portrait of a Nation,” (Ojos Propios) at the Peruvian embassy in the nation’s capital. Standing to my left is Peruvian Ambassador to the United States, Carlos Pareja.

The exhibit focuses on images made by “citizen photojournalists” in some of the most remote and underprivileged corners of Peru. The exhibit is the result of a decade-long effort by photographer Andrés Longhi.

My two most important takeaways from the event are: (1) Technology has enabled non-professionals with access to digital cameras and the Internet to take part in the representation of their own communities, their own countries and their own realities. (2) The ability to take part in the global conversation that we call “journalism” validates and empowers the practitioners and their subjects.

(Still photos by Esther Gentile)

You can see the event here: https://www.facebook.com/EmbassyPeruInTheUSA/videos/1946719012056744/

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MEXICO CITY, 8 March 2017 — Gerardo Carrillo (L) is the founder of the Associated Press (AP) video unit in Mexico City. When I knew him while covering the conflicts raging through Central America in the 1980s, he was a freelance television cameraman. I caught up with Carrillo at a march protesting violence against women — a malady that still affects Mexican society today. In this picture, Carrillo edits the video he shot before transmitting it to the AP office in the United States. This is something that we never imagined when we first began covering the region. Technology has allowed Carrillo to become a backpack journalist.

I was in Mexico to shoot the pilot for a series of documentaries on freelance foreign correspondents. It’s about a fascinating new breed of journalists filling the vacuum left by mainstream media closing bureaus and cutting back on staff correspondents around the world. Carrillo now is a staff video journalist at the AP. He was an essential contact who guided me through my 10-day visit to Mexico.

I’m now working on the rough cut of the series, “FREELANCERS” with Bill Gentile.

I believe it is critical to tell people what real journalists really do, particularly in the face of attacks and accusations about “fake news.” Follow us on Facebook.

Photo by Matt Cipollone.

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WASHINGTON, DC, 9 October 2017 — We are delighted to announce that we are hosting award-winning photojournalist Daniella Zalcman on Sunday 22 October 2017 from 4 pm through 5:30 pm for a presentation and discussion of her work. Daniella is hosted by the American University and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP.

 

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HUAYTAPALLANA, Peru, 21 June 2017 – Peruvians gather on a ridge overlooking the glacier and lake below to celebrate the Andean New Year. In recent years the glacier has lost much of its mass, which scientists believe is the result of global climate change. The depletion of the ice means the depletion of an important source of water for the communities located below this peak, while stands at 14,000 feet above sea level.

I’m on assignment for American University’s (AU) Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS), producing a short film about religion and climate change in this South American country. Citizens of this region maintain a deep spiritual relationship with the mountain and its glacier, which are the providers of life-sustaining water.

About 71 percent of the world’s tropical glaciers are located in Peru.

As usual when I take on these assignments, I’m employing the “Backpack Journalism” model that I introduced to AU’s School of Communication (SOC) shortly after my arrival there and launched the Backpack Journalism Project. The methodology boils down to one story, one camera and one properly trained visual journalist using equipment that he/she can stuff into one backpack.

At 14,000 feet above sea level, it’s a challenge muscling around any gear at all, even the new, relatively light Sony PXW-Z150 cameras recently acquired by the SOC.

(Photo by Bill Gentile.)

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LIMA, Peru, 16 June 2017 — This morning’s view from my hotel window in the Peruvian capital where I arrived last night. I’m on assignment for American University’s (AU) Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS).

I’ll be heading for Huancayo tomorrow, and then to the glacier at Huaytapallana to make a short film on religion and climate change. As usual, I’ll employ the “backpack journalism” model that I introduced at the university years ago. This means one story, one camera, one properly trained visual storyteller.

I’ll keep you posted along the way.

(Photo by Bill Gentile.)

 

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