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Women's rights and opportunities have improved in Afghanistan over the past 15 years after the ouster of the Taliban.

They're no longer required to wear the burqa and are again allowed to attend school and leave the house without a male relative.

But as several recent incidents have highlighted, women in the country still face high levels of violence – including honor killings, forced marriages and and imprisonment for fleeing their husbands.

On this edition of Global Journalist, our panel examines the challenges and opportunities for women in Afghanistan. In addition, a bestselling author discusses the longstanding practice of families without sons dressing and raising their daughters as boys, a phenomenon known as "bacha posh."


AP Photo

The attempted military coup against Turkey's democratically-elected government last month was plenty alarming.

But what's happened in the country since has many people worried as well. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has arrested at least 6,000 people, and at least 60,000 more have been fired or suspended from their jobs.

The government has closed radio stations, charities, universities and even medical clinics.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the massive crackdown taking place in Turkey.


AP

Republican nominee Donald Trump has commanded blanket media coverage since his run for U.S. president took off last year.

But it's not just Americans who have been glued to their screens when Trump's face appears. Government leaders and ordinary people around the world have taken notice as well.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we talk to reporters from around the world to gather the international reaction to Trump's proposals to ban Muslim immigration, cancel trade deals and consider pulling the U.S. out of NATO.


Associated Press

The road to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro games has been littered with problems. The threat of the Zika virus has seemingly every athlete and visitor worried. There have been reports of rampant crime and uninhabitable dormitories. And then there are multiple reports that say the water that will be home to sailing, rowing and other water sports is still teeming with raw sewage.

Furthermore, for the people of Rio there’s the question of whether hosting the games will be worth it. Many people of course, make money selling souvenirs, renting hotel rooms and building stadiums. But are hosting the games worth the billions of dollars governments spend putting on a show for the rest of the world?

On this edition of Global Journalist we examine the preparations for the Rio games and what Los Angeles, Rome and other cities bidding for the 2024 games can learn from Rio's challenges.


AP

For many Americans, the Islamic State was first burned in our minds as a threat back in August 2014.

That’s when the terror group released chilling video of American journalist James Foley being beheaded by a black clad man who condemns U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. Foley of course was much more than a victim of terror or a martyr for press freedom.

He was also a son, a brother, a colleague, and a friend.

On this edition of Global Journalist we’re going to talk more about the life of James Foley. We’ll also look at what his death tell us not only about him but about how news organizations operate and how the U.S. government handles hostage situations. 


A scene from the documentary 'Another Country'

  Australia's aboriginal people have struggled to preserve their own culture and identity while adapting to the changes wrought by the modern world.

It's this struggle that is the subject of "Another Country," a documentary about the community of Ramingining in Australia's remote Northern Territory. Ramingining is the hometown of narrator David Gulpilil, one of Australia's best-known indigenous actors, and serves as a microcosm for the challenges in bridging the divide between the modern world and traditional societies.

Among the problems: how are people to participate in a market economy when their culture teaches them personal possessions are to be shared?

On this special edition of Global Journalist, guest host Joshua Kranzberg explores the "interruption" of Australia's indigenous culture with "Another Country" director Molly Reynolds.

AP

El Salvador has a population of a little more than 6 million people, less than New York City. But the violence in the small Central American country is out of control. It has a murder rate 22 times higher than that of the United States.

Much of the blame lies with the country’s two main gang groups, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18. The rival groups are constantly warring with each other in turf battles, with the people of El Salvador caught in the middle.

 On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at a country that was once torn apart by a civil war in the 1980’s, and how it’s being threatened by a very different kind of war. 


AP

Under President Ilham Aliyev, the economy of Azerbaijan has expanded spectacularly. An oil boom has fueled a 10 fold increase in the size of its economy since he took power in 2003.

But under Aliyev, the country of 10 million has been one of the hardest and cruelest places in the world for journalists. According to Freedom House, Azerbaijan’s government has used spurious charges to jail journalists and human rights activists. Disseminating information that harms the “honor and dignity” of Aliyev is a criminal offense. 


Travis McMillen/RJI

    

Journalists in Turkey and South Africa both work in countries with lively and well-established media. But in both countries, long-running single-party rule has led to challenges for reporters.

On this special edition of Global Journalist, guest host Joshua Kranzberg talks about these issues and more with journalists from the two countries visiting the U.S. on fellowships from the Alfred Friendly Press Partners.  

AP Images

Fifty years ago Chinese Premier Mao Zedong ignited the Cultural Revolution, one of the strangest and most controversial periods in China's history.

The movement began out of Mao's concern the country was straying from Communist dogma. But it eventually became a purge that shut down the nation's schools and universities and led to the imprisonment and 'reeducation' of millions of people viewed as intellectual or bourgeois, including future premier Deng Xiaoping.

The revolution spurred an economic crisis and left about 1.5 million dead before it ended in the 1970s. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the Cultural Revolution and its impact on modern China.


AP

Sherpa guides and porters do much of the work of getting hikers up Everest. But despite doing an incredibly dangerous job in a lucrative industry, they receive just a small fraction of the money $300 million annually generated by Everest expeditions.

On this edition, filmmaker Jennifer Peedom talks to Global Journalist about 'Sherpa,' her documentary about tensions on Mt. Everest.

  


Travis McMillen / RJI

At first glance, media in Pakistan and the Ukraine have little in common.

But in both the South Asian nation and the former Soviet republic, independent private news outlets are relatively new and face a host of challenges both from government restrictions and outside actors. They're also among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

On this special edition of Global Journalist, we interview journalists from prominent media outlets in each country who are visiting the U.S. on fellowships from the University of Missouri-based Alfred Friendly Press Partners.


AP

It’s said that truth is often the first casualty in war. And for media in the Palestinian territories–where conflict has been the norm for more than six decades– giving the public an accurate picture of the news is a huge challenge.

In Gaza, where Hamas rules, Palestinian journalists must toe the line or face consequences. In the West Bank, governed by the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, reporters can face criminal charges for covering corruption or criticizing officials.

Meanwhile Israeli forces have become increasingly aggressive towards Palestinian journalists, sometimes placing them in indefinite "administrative detention" without trial.


AP Photo

Brazil's senate vote to begin an impeachment trial against suspended President Dilma Rousseff is a turning point in the country's democracy.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a panel of Brazil experts debate and discuss whether Rousseff's impeachment is a step out of political crisis, or a step towards a constitutional abyss.


AP

The fight against the Islamic State isn’t just taking place on the ground or in the skies of Iraq or Libya. It’s also on the internet.

The Islamic State has used apps like Twitter, WhatsApp and Telegram to recruit new jihadists, instill fear in opponents and even provoke strangers to launch lone-wolf terror attacks in the U.S. and elsewhere.

But could it also hack our electrical grid or our checking accounts?

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the new war against the Islamic State being fought on laptops and smartphones.


AP Photo

Thailand is the world's third-largest exporter of seafood, shipping shrimp, tuna and other fish to supermarket chains and pet food companies in the U.S. and Europe.

But a series of investigations by the Associated Press and other news agencies have highlighted a pervasive problem in the Thai fishing industry: the use of slave labor from people tricked or kidnapped into working at sea. 


AP Photo

Twenty years after Europe's bloodiest war since World War II, Bosnia is a country riven by ethnic divisions and poverty.

After its recent application to join the European Union, Bosnians and their leaders will have to confront their political divisions and the systemic corruption that has thwarted efforts to make it a functioning democracy.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Bosnia's halting recovery from civil war and the challenges of transforming a dysfunctional government. 


AP

In June, the United Kingdom will vote on whether it will remain part of the European Union.

For those who want out, the so-called “Brexit” would allow the U.K. to better control immigration and free it from onerous EU regulations. But opponents say it would devastate the the U.K. economy, with accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers saying it would cost the the country 142 billion dollars and almost one million jobs in the next four years.  

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the potential benefits and drawbacks of the UK leaving the EU, as well as what happens if the referendum fails.


AP

The Arab Spring toppled long-ruling autocrats across the Arab world. But with Libya in chaos, Egypt back under military rule and Syria and Yemen engulfed in war, only Tunisia has fulfilled the promise of its revolution.

With a new constitution, successful elections, and a Nobel Peace Prize for pro-democracy groups, there is much to celebrate. Yet Tunisia also faces major economic challenges and a growing threat from the Islamic State's Libya outpost.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the lone democracy to emerge from the Arab revolutions of 2011 and 2012.

AP

A little more than six years ago, Haiti was devastated by a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake, killing more than 100,000 people and causing widespread damage.

In those six years, billions of dollars of aid has flowed into the country, but many of the functions of government are still carried out by foreign-funded aid agencies.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at Haiti's slow recovery from the devastating quake and discuss whether its weak government can begin taking over the work done by international relief agencies that have led some to call Haiti "the Republic of NGOs."


Dai Kurokawa / EPA

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza's announcement in April that he would seek a third five-year term set off a year of instability in the central African nation that has left hundreds dead and forced a quarter million people from their homes.

With reports of opposition militias training refugees in camps in neighboring Rwanda and Nkurunziza's government using coded language to suggest the opposition is a Tutsi attempt to grab power, fears are rising that Burundi could descend into the ethnic bloodletting that killed 300,000 during the 1993-2005 civil war.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a discussion of the renewed instability in a region with a history of ethnic cleansing and genocide.


AP

Russia is no stranger to conflicts, but under Vladimir Putin its most enduring one may be the war over news and information. Over the past decade the Kremlin has tightened control over television and the Internet.

Outside Russia, it’s also sought to offer its own version of the news in English and other languages. This is often an anti-American narrative about conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe at odds with news from other agencies.

Online, allies of the Kremlin have reportedly hired hundreds if not thousands of so-called “trolls” to spread disinformation on social media and in the comments section of news sites.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Russia’s information offensive.


AP

For months now, the world has watched as more than a million refugees and migrants from countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have risked their lives to try and find safe haven in Europe.

But this influx has created enormous tensions in the European Union about how many newcomers to accept and which countries should take them. Governments in Sweden and Germany have each taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants–and taken criticism both from other European states and their own people.

So, who foots the bill for settling the hundreds of thousands of immigrants? And if no one, where will these people go?


AP

The conflict in Syria gets the headlines, but 2,000 miles south in Yemen a separate civil war has brought an already impoverished country to its knees.

More than 80 percent of the country's population is in need of humanitarian aid - aid many can't get because of the fighting.

As Shia rebels backed by Iran have battled the country's Saudi Arabia-backed Sunni government, al-Qaida and the Islamic State have taken advantage of the chaos to expand their influence.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the humanitarian and political crisis in Yemen and the threat posed by international extremist groups in the country.


AP

The sharp decline in oil prices over the past 18 months is good news for consumers in many countries. But in oil exporting countries in the Mideast it's leading to layoffs, higher taxes and sharp cuts in government services.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the losers from the 70 percent drop in oil prices over the past two years.


AP

 

For much of its population, Somalia is a difficult and dangerous place to live.

It’s particularly true for reporters. Practicing journalism in a failed state means facing threats from any number of militia groups.

That includes Islamist radicals from al-Shabaab as well as from armed groups loyal to Somalia’s internationally-backed government in Mogadishu. At least 59 Somali journalists have been killed since 1992-the year after the fall of dictator Siad Barre threw the country into chaos.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the state of journalism in Somalia.


AP

For more than two decades, China has moved from strength to strength. Its economic miracle has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and dramatically increased the nation's global influence.

But recently China's growth has hit a major speed bump, weakening the Communist Party's major rationale for one-party rule . Meanwhile China faces new challenges in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea. 

On this week's Global Journalist, a look at the leadership of President Xi Jinping and how China's greater place in the world has led to greater domestic and international challenges.


(RJI/Travis McMillen)

On a special edition of Global Journalist, Meredith Artley, editor in chief of CNN Digital, talks about the impact of social media on the news, competing with start-ups like BuzzFeed, and envisions a future of immersive news.

CNN Digital, the world's most viewed online news site in 2015, was recently awarded a Missouri Honor Medal for distinguished contributions to journalism.


On this special edition of Global Journalist, CBS News' White House correspondent Bill Plante examines the changes to the news business and the biggest stories of his 52-year career.

 Plante, a 2015 recipient of the Missouri Honor Medal and numerous other journalism awards, has covered every presidential campaign since 1968.  


(Travis McMillen/RJI)

Rea Hederman has twice left his mark on American journalism. In the 1970s and early 1980s he changed his family's flagship paper, The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., from a voice for segregation and racism into a Pulitzer-winning force for change in the Deep South.

Since 1984, he's been the owner and publisher of the New York Review of Books, helping it maintain its place as one of the English-speaking world's preeminent intellectual publications even as technological change has shaken the industry.

Recently awarded a Missouri Honor Medal for distinguished service to journalism, Hederman speaks on this edition of Global Journalist about his conflict with his family in Mississippi and his efforts to ensure the New York Review of Books continues to thrive.  


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