- Literature Review
- War Reporting By the Book
- By Keith Gessen
- Capturing the news : three decades of reporting crisis and conflict | UTS Library
On top of this, few Congolese have access to clean water. Outbreaks of diseases, including cholera, measles and malaria, affect tens of thousands of people every year. About , refugees fled from violence in South Sudan to seek aid and shelter in neighbouring Sudan in alone. A total of 88 per cent of the refugees are women and children. But while Sudan is sought as a safe haven by people from neighbouring South Sudan, the country itself equally suffers from violence, malnutrition, lack of food and access to basic services. As a result, 2.
Almost , people remain displaced inside Burundi.
They face food shortages and a lack of basic services, such as health care, water, sanitation and food. Reports indicate that over 2. The country is experiencing rising food prices resulting from economic and agricultural decline and disruption of markets and trade. Severe weather conditions, including drought and floods, also led to an exceptionally bad harvest in More than , people are suffering from the ongoing drought, lack of food and water shortages. About 80 per cent of the population, almost 3.
Children are likely to suffer long-term consequences. If babies and their mothers do not receive the nutrients they need, their physical and cognitive development can be severely hampered. Half of all children in Eritrea are stunted and cannot achieve their full mental and physical potential, simply because they do not have enough food to develop and grow.
In addition, sexual and gender-based violence, including female genital mutilation, remains a dangerous reality for many women and girls.
The UN estimates that 18 million people — 70 per cent of the population — are food-insecure and rely on government food aid. Furthermore, two in five North Koreans are undernourished. In July , North Korea experienced the worst drought since Below-average rainfall in key areas for crop production severely disrupted planting activities and damaged the main season crops.
As a result, people urgently require food — particularly nutritious food — medical and health services, water and sanitation facilities. With so many different types of disasters and conflicts that are hardly covered in the media and discussed in this report the question remains: What can or should be done about human suffering around the world? Some of the obstacles are well known. Aid agencies need safe access to crisis-affected areas, more funding, and the space to work together. The importance of media coverage and public awareness to help mobilise funds and increase pressure on decision-makers has been proven again and again.
Still, the question on how to ensure better coverage of under-reported crises remains largely unaddressed. So what is needed? Seven equally important steps are crucial now:. While humanitarian access remains high on the agenda of most aid organisations to secure safe passage for staff and relief supplies, security and access also remain key challenges for journalists. Attacks on press freedom and violence against journalists and other media workers have increased in recent years.
According to the latest numbers in the Index on Censorship, the media is facing an unprecedented wave of hostility. The study found over 1, verified reports of violence, threats or violations throughout the EU and neighbouring countries alone. Press freedom is essential to shine a light on issues that would otherwise be forgotten. Just as it is important to respect the neutrality of aid workers, it is vital to allow reporters to cover stories with full access and safety.
Humanitarian agencies are in a unique position to facilitate media access to hard-to-reach areas. The international community also needs to hold to account those who block press freedom and put the lives of journalists at risk. Raising awareness and drawing attention to crises and disasters is vital in order to secure the funding needed to help.
War Reporting By the Book
But often increased coverage is not enough to trigger political action. Still, the crisis in Syria is entering its eighth year and the conflict in Yemen has escalated. With numerous crises competing for space in the headline news all at the same time, often only those with the largest figures or most shocking facts make it. This is why it is important to look for angles that are outside the norm.
Amid the increasing funding needs for people placed in the line of conflict or suffering from chronic crises, financial woes also pose a major threat to the news industry. Although dwindling news budgets lead to less investments in foreign coverage, particularly in the Global South, news outlets have a moral responsibility in telling stories that may be challenging to cover.
Declining revenue is often the culprit for the demise of humanitarian reporting in low-interest countries. To fight this trend, it is not only crucial for readers to support their favourite media outlet but also for aid agencies and donors to support crisis reporting. An example for this could be for aid agencies and other actors to increase offering press visits to emergency-affected areas, providing logistical support for freelance journalists, capturing raw footage for news coverage or supporting training for journalists.
Read all seven steps in the full report But daily life is moving visibly more slowly. And underneath it all, most ordinary people in this country of 79 million are in a deeply apprehensive funk. Unless uttered among trusted friends, once free-flowing diatribes about politicians dry up or turn into worried whispers.
Weeks after the coup was crushed, national television stations still broadcast feverish programming in the name of national unity. Business people say they feel paralyzed. Tourism had already been hit by an eight-month long travel ban imposed by Russia after Turkey shot down a warplane on the Syrian border in November, and the bombing of Istanbul airport in March.
Nobody in the sector has a clue what to plan for next. Keeping up appearances is a well-established art in a country that has long suffered rollercoaster swings of sentiment and boom-and-bust economic cycles. But Turks fear that many real, broad achievements of the past two decades are unraveling. While everything may turn out alright in the end, as everyone says they hope, the frightening forces now at work mean nobody knows how bad it will get before it gets better.
It is not just crippling the southeast of the country. Over the southeastern frontier with Syria, Turkish troops have in the past month been openly sucked into cross-border ground operations. But a struggle between the two broke into the open three years ago. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plausibly blames the coup attempt on Gulenists who had infiltrated the military.
To outsiders, they talked little of their religious bonds. Those close to the network could often be worldly, moderate and progressive, part of an international network of hundreds of schools and civil society charities that supported each other in business and more recently in sponsoring political figures. Now they are seen to have been behind the coup, and the government is acting to uproot what it regards as a mortal threat.
Prosecutors say that Gulenists had risen to high levels in all provinces, except perhaps for Tunceli, known as Dersim in Kurdish, with its strong Alevi, or non-Sunni community. Deep in the coastal mountains of a province like Antalya, it is has all become suddenly and scarily local. Every day, local newspapers have pictures of glum lines of policemen being led away for questioning by other policemen.
By Keith Gessen
Teachers are being removed from their jobs, and a university in a neighboring province is one of 15 across the country that has been summarily shut down. There are judges, prosecutors, even businessmen being taken away for no reason anyone can understand. It feels like anybody can denounce anyone. Our institutions may not have been great, but we knew what to expect. These are not the only certainties under attack. The once all-powerful Turkish armed forces, which have seen their mighty prerogatives cut hugely over the past decade, are now suffering the indignity of seeing civilians take aim at their large urban property holdings.
The newspapers cheered as former football star and Gulen associate Hakan Sukur — a member of parliament for AKP before falling out with the ruling party — was stripped of scores of assets including a building in Antalya. The erosion of transparency and the rule of law is indeed what is possibly most disturbing thing for most ordinary people. The move to start legal procedures against 80, suspects nationwide — in Antalya province alone, people had been arrested, detained and were on the run by Aug.
State institutions refused to offer his family its right to a normal burial. As the uncertainty spreads, nobody can miss the economic downturn. One of my village neighbors normally manages big busy hotels, but cannot find work. Those of his peers who do find jobs have to accept nominal wages or even just room and board. The British singer Sting canceled a planned concert at the opening because of the situation.
Some people in Turkey appear to think it is still business as usual. I reread the column and discovered I could not be sure whether the writer was being satirical. Many newspapers now appear to be communicating in code, but it is not clear what the key is. Originally published in the Nikkei Asian Review.
But they did kind of wake me up. Many of my acquaintances have done so too. Brussels is not a big town. My former home of Istanbul has as many people as the whole of Belgium, and it probably takes more time to drive across. My reporting job took me to warfronts, and once trapped me for ten weeks in a Sudanese town under rebel siege. Even Istanbul often felt like a spaceship hovering alongside the rest of Turkey. Now I live here, I get it.
Forty nationalities were represented among the bombing casualties. For me, in short, Europe and the Middle East overlap in Brussels, and indeed in many other European cities. I like Brussels all the more for that diversity and energy, and feel I should understand both sides. As an adopted Middle Easterner, I know the role the West, actively or negligently, has played over the past century in stoking up the mayhem that is now biting it back. The page in Dining with al-Qaeda describing the first bombing I witnessed, with my then colleague David Zenian, as a news agency reporter in Lebanon in April I guessed he was slightly jealous.
Things looked different when I actually stepped out of the train onto a midnight station platform high in the Swiss mountains. I only learned later that WEF veterans book months in advance. I scrambled up an icy road in a freezing gloom and briefly got lost in a moonscape of snow and dark wood-fronted houses. Even paying corporations struggle for more than a pair of tickets. The next morning, the weather cleared and my spirits revived. For all its complicated bunks and cupboard-sized showers down the hall, my hostel was a cosy gem. My train from Klosters to Davos turned out to be included in the room price.
The old line looped between soaring mountains and fir forests weighed down with snow. Davos from the Schatzalp funicular railway. The carriage felt like the school train to boarding school, with newbies like me warily checking out confident old-timers. Before long, the tracks skirted round a half-frozen lake: Davos could be glimpsed beyond the opposite shore. Suddenly, I had an unexpected first decision to take: does the newcomer alight immediately in Davos Dorf, or proceed to Davos Platz? I chose Davos Platz. Hours of false starts later, I found myself back at Davos Dorf station, in an icy car park front of two portacabins overflowing with reporters, support staff, caterers and drivers.
Badges, it turned out, are handed out according to a rigid caste system.
Capturing the news : three decades of reporting crisis and conflict | UTS Library
In addition to the 2, full participants, each year the WEF organisers have to cope with more than 5, hangers-on like me. Since everyone was muffled up to the gills, it felt like a ski lift queue without the breathing space afforded by skis. Ironically, opposite us was a real Swiss ski lift, nearly free of skiers because the WEF had crowded out normal holiday makers. And WEF attendees had only eyes for each other, not the smooth slopes shimmering against a blue sky high above.
After an hour more waiting, phone calls to headquarters, and messages to and fro, I won my badge. Now that it hung from my neck, people started looking at me as if I had potential. Some grandees might look on over my shoulder after they clocked my first-rung-of-the-ladder colour code, but not all of them. Davos honoured its traditional and probably illusionary reputation of grandly egalitarian etiquette surprisingly often. In Davos, even the trucks take on airs. But I could do what I was expected to do: meet people connected with my non-profit organisation, be they reporters wanting to interview our president, representatives of governments, donors actual and possible, our partners and our well-wishers.
Back offices spend weeks lining up meetings for hardened Davos-goers. My calendar began to fill up with new encounters. There was one problem, however: I had to find somewhere to meet them. For the good hotel cafes and bars, I had to have another badge to secure me access; one hotel seemed to be auctioning off places on its lobby sofas. Even inside the Congress Centre itself, participants told me that tiny rooms were available just 15 minutes at a time, with much banging on the door if you over-stayed. Thank you, Bank of America. Twinkling chat followed bright-eyed encounter, often, I suspected, with people who were just as much at a loose end as me.
I was made welcome at the Kenya night. I was invited to a Mongolian party. The minister just kept on going, sounding more and more wooden by the second. To relax, I sipped cosy drinks with a supporter in the bar of the Berghotel Schatzalp. Things began to feel like fun. I jotted down snippets ofDavosian conversation. Something in the mountain air inspired people to breath-taking metaphors:. Surprises have got to happen.
There was not much time for niceties to make an impression. No badge was needed, so I turned up at the appointed 7am to see how this indefatigable optimist would distract his audience from an increasingly cloudy outlook for his country. Twenty tables for eight were weighed down with Swiss plenty.
Two or three were half-filled.
I introduced myself at one and sat down. He had boasted of making big profits in the s with his first Turkey investment fund, and was mid-way through another, clearly less propitious cycle. One of the only potential new investors, a well-padded American at my table, got up and left. And a lady from a giant Zurich reinsurance company.
Eventually, so did the fund manager too. His entourage was surprisingly small, three ministers and a dozen flunkies; a Turkish friend on the delegation had already told me of the trouble they had getting badges. By that time,the audience of interested outsiders was, as far as I could see, basically just me.
Prime Minister Davutoglu lectures; a female member of the Turkish delegation, which included his wife Sare, listens. I had nowhere to go and stayed for the discussion, in which the panel nearly outnumbered the guest audience, although the TV cameras kept transmitting. It would be unfair, however, to present Davos as an empty echo chamber. Far more energy was consumed in a frenetic rush to see everyone and be at the most fashionable parties. Barely five of the one hundred or so people I must have met turned out to need to speak to me again, or I to them. Finally, after six days of exhausting rush, the carnival-like corporate stands started to pack up their wares.
It was Saturday afternoon. It is the size of a football pitch and smooth as glass, and it gave me one of my most exhilarating hours in the town, along with the next morning in Klosters, where I managed a couple of hours cross-country skiing past antique wooden farms and horse-drawn sleighs making their way through pristine Swiss mountain countryside.
Chapter Two: Christmas Presents pp. Chapter Four: Line of Death pp. Chapter Five: Welcome to Tripoli pp. Chapter Six: Call the Palace pp. Chapter Eight: Two Endings pp. Part II: Washington pp. Chapter Nine: Face Down in the Mud pp.
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Chapter Ten: All the Earmarks pp. Chapter Eleven: Scoop pp. Chapter Twelve: Dead Baby pp. Chapter Thirteen: Down, Down pp. Chapter Fourteen: Firewall pp. Epilogue pp. Notes pp.