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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

USC Journalism Students Look at Religion, Ethnicity, and Coexistence in Israel’s Villages, Towns and Cities

by Diane Winston, special contributor

I teach at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Among my course offerings is religion coverage, an increasingly marginalized beat within a progressively problem-ridden industry.

Although religion is a key element in reporting on politics, culture, and society, cash-strapped news outlets are cutting back specialty beats to save money. Even more troublesome, legacy news jobs are fewer than ever, the news hole is shrinking, and the favored style of story telling is sensational, simplistic, and conflict-driven. Nevertheless, my goals remain the same: helping students to write clearly, think critically, and probe religion’s role in social and political trends and events.

For the last two years, I’ve pursued those goals by focusing on the fault-lines in the coverage of global religion. Using the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a starting point, I’ve asked students to find alternative frames for the conflict along with new voices to lift up and unsung stories to tell.

In 2010, students explored the nexus of religion, politics and gender in Israel and the West Bank. In 2011, the class will look at religion, ethnicity, and coexistence In Israel’s Arab villages, mixed towns and Jewish-majority cities. Students report across multimedia platforms with the goal of seeing their work in outlets ranging from the Washington Post to Global Post.

This class’ 13 graduate students represent a cross-section of races, religions, regions, and ethnicities. Some are in their 20s; others in their 30s. Many have traveled widely, but only one has visited Israel. They’re all interested in politics and international relations and see religion as an integral part of coverage.


Diane WinstonDiane Winston holds the the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. A national authority on religion and the media, her expertise includes religion, politics, and the news media as well as religion and the entertainment media. A journalist and a scholar, Winston’s current research interests are media coverage of Islam, religion and new media, and the place of religion in American identity. She writes a smart blog called the SCOOP and tweets too.

We welcome your reflections, essays, videos, or news items for possible publication on the Being Blog. Submit your entry through our First Person Outreach page.

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Weighing WikiLeaks’ “Uncomfortable Truths” and Julian Assange’s “Scientific Journalism”

by Nancy Rosenbaum, producer

WikiLeaks: Publishing the Unpublishable
Julian Assange of WikiLeaks speaks at the Hack in the Box security conference in Kuala Lumpur in 2009. (photo: Daryl Yeoh / Flickr, released under a Creative Commons 2.0 license)

WikiLeaks' founder Julie Assange published an editorial in The Australian yesterday. In "Don’t shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths" he presents WikiLeaks as a moral, journalistic enterprise whose ideological origins trace back to Assange’s Australian ancestral roots. He writes:

"I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly. They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. … These things have stayed with me. WikiLeaks was created around these core values. The idea, conceived in Australia, was to use internet technologies in new ways to report the truth."

Assange goes on to describe WikiLeaks’ approach as “scientific journalism” — meaning that anyone can read a news story and access it’s original source materials to verify its journalistic accuracy.

Assange’s view of himself as a truth-crusading underdog is not universally shared. Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs, argues that Assange’s world view is juvenile and oversimplified. Appearing last week on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, Rose, a former National Security Council official under President Clinton, opined:

"This guy is basically a crank who is an essentially old-fashioned anarchist…which is essentially an adolescent world view — that all power and all authority is bad. Well, you know what? Not all authority and power is bad. And these cables that have been revealed show actually U.S. diplomats trying to do the right thing in generally intelligent ways. So ironically it proves the opposite of what Assange actually thinks."

David Brooks echoed Rose’s perspective in his recent New York Times column, "The Fragile Community":

"Far from respecting authority, Assange seems to be an old-fashioned anarchist who believes that all ruling institutions are corrupt and public pronouncements are lies. For someone with his mind-set, the decision to expose secrets is easy… But for everyone else, it’s hard."

Brooks goes on to criticize WikiLeaks for undermining the global diplomatic conversation — that when truths are leaked, trust is compromised and relationships suffer.

Is WikiLeaks in fact a constructive vehicle for revealing “uncomfortable truths,” as Assange argues? How are or aren’t we better off as a global community now that these diplomatic cables are Internet-accessible to all? In what ways has this latest round of leaks done more good than harm or more harm than good? Or is it too early to reach a conclusion?

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Moshe Levy’s Time to Shyne, But How Does His Conversion to Orthodox Judaism Fit In?

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Shyne Studies TorahDominick Brady got it right. The photo heading The New York Times profile piece of Moses Levi (or is it Moshe Levy Ben-David?), the hip-hop star known as Shyne, is a great photo. But, when it comes to the whys and the hows of Mr. Levy’s path to Orthodox Judaism and his ongoing relationship with the faith — as the headline exploits — the article itself falls short. You’d be better served reading David Brinn’s initial piece or more recently published long-form profile in The Jerusalem Post. Or watching the video above.

Dina Kraft has tapped in to something in the American psyche though. Her article is rapidly spreading online and, as I write this post, it’s the third most emailed article on the Times website. Even several colleagues approached me Thursday wanting to talk about it and proposed posting this pull quote:

What I do get is boundaries. Definition and form. And that is what Shabbat is. You can’t just do whatever you want to do. You have to set limits for yourself…All these rules, rules, rules…But you know what you have if you don’t have rules? You end up with a bunch of pills in your stomach. When you don’t know when to say when and no one tells you no, you go off the deep.

This is one of those articles from The New York Times that is so full of promise but leaves the reader with a string of anecdotes and very little understanding. There’s mostly back story; Orthodox Judaism is used as a hook but rarely followed up on here. As I was reading it Wednesday night, I found myself wishing Kraft’s editor would’ve been more generous, and more pressing.

And I found myself feeling a bit empty. Left wanting. Wanting to hear more about the convicted felon’s path to Orthodox Judaism in prison and outside. Wanting to understand why he chose the Orthodox tradition instead of a version of Conservative or Reform Judaism. Wanting to know how the language of the yeshiva is informing his lyrics. Wanting to know more about his Ethiopian Jewish heritage. Wanting to know how he’s living differently because of his new-found faith. Wanting to know more about his current relationship with his father in Belize and his interactions with Jewish communities after being deported from the United States.

We’ll put out a request to get these and other questions answered. And, if you have any of your own, offer up a comment.

(photo: Ricki Rosen for The New York Times)

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Reporting on (In)tolerance

by Diane Winston, guest contributor

1st Amendment
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution etched on the doors going into the Mass Media building at Western Kentucky University. (photo: Alan Hudson/Flickr)

Sunday’s New York Times article on schools’ efforts to end bullying seemed an “aw shucks” case-study of the law of unintended consequences. School districts, eager to stop the kind of harassment that led to a recent spate of gay teen suicides, are teaching tolerance. Sounds good, right? But portraying homosexual relations as normal rubs religious conservatives the wrong way. “Of course we’re all against bullying,” one Montana minister told the Times. “But the Bible says very clearly that homosexuality is wrong, and Christians don’t want the schools to teach subjects that are repulsive to their values.”

That statement begs for deeper reporting, but like most mainstream news outlets, when it comes to probing conservative religion and religious belief, the Times seldom wants to go there. For example, some of the biblical passages condemning homosexual acts — most notably Leviticus 20:13 — prescribe death for the persons committing the acts. How does the minister in the Times article reconcile what the Bible “clearly says” with the imperative to protect all children, both gay and straight, from violence? And how do the First Amendment’s clauses respecting religion figure into the mix?

Teaching tolerance is not a simple matter if the takeaway is that all people deserve dignity and respect regardless of religious, racial, ethnic or sexual differences. For Times readers — most of whom, it’s safe to say, believe that pluralism and open-mindedness go hand in hand — it’s a particularly hard lesson. But tolerating difference is not the same as condoning it, which is why the Montana minister and many others want to stop schools that “promote acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle” maybe even more than they want to stop bullies.

Ultimately the problem for religious conservatives isn’t just about homosexuality; it’s about tolerating any state-sanctioned deviation from what they consider the norm. From this perspective, any constraints on religious speech in the public sphere, especially when it comes to sexual mores, is a violation of the First Amendment’s clause respecting the free exercise of religion.

But that’s not a dilemma that Times readers associate with the America of their day-to-day experience. Rather intolerance of others is someone else’s problem — it’s the French who don’t want schoolchildren wearing religious garb, it’s Saudis who won’t let Christians build churches in their country, it’s Iranians who believe in a worldwide Jewish cabal. They don’t realize that beyond their bubble of blue lies a vast sea of red where an increasing number of conservative voters see the promotion of the liberal values of “tolerance” as an effort to establish secularism as the official American civil religion.

If the absolute conflict of religious absolutes seems to increasingly define global politics, it’s also starting to define our own political culture. Americans, especially self-styled secularists, seem unaware of the religious values to which they are absolutely bound: civility, self-determination, and individualism. Despite some glaring historic exceptions (indigenous Americans, African Americans, Catholics, Jews, Asians, South Asians), our credo has been live and live — and in the twentieth century the circle seemed to grow. But times are changing and what happens when tolerance is no longer tolerated? The Times raises the question, but we need a lot more reporting on possible answers to it.


Diane WinstonDiane Winston holds the the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. A national authority on religion and the media, her expertise includes religion, politics, and the news media as well as religion and the entertainment media. A journalist and a scholar, Winston’s current research interests are media coverage of Islam, religion and new media, and the place of religion in American identity. She writes a smart blog called the SCOOP and tweets too.

We welcome your reflections, essays, videos, or news items for possible publication on the Being Blog. Submit your entry through our First Person Outreach page.

This article was reprinted with permission from the author.

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Leaving for a Promised Land, An Ex-Con’s New Life

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Exodus is a story of longing and loneliness, redemption and new horizons. Diana Ortiz, a 45-year-old woman who was incarcerated for 22 years for second-degree murder, tells the story of her conviction, rehabilitation, and the need to show others released from prison the journey can start anew.

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Unheard Cut with Nicholas Kristof: Culture Rather Than Religion

by Anne Breckbill, associate web developer

Sajida Bibi
Sajida Bibi teaches class at a shelter for abused women in Pakistan. (photo: Nicholas Kristof/The New York Times)

» download (mp3, 1:56)

"My hunch is that the violence in the Islamic world has less to do with the Qur’an or Islam than with culture, youth bulges in the population, and the marginalization of women. In Pakistan, I know a young woman whose brothers want to kill her for honor — but her family is Christian, not Muslim."

The audio clip above from Krista’s interview with Nicholas Kristof, regrettably, never made it into the final show. Here, he recounts how the story of Sajida Bibi, a Pakistani woman abused by her Christian family, serves as an example of the symbiotic relationship between culture and religion. This story reminds us, once again, to question our assumptions about faith and culture as we listen to stories different than our own. It also begs the question: how much of the dominant religious belief system, even in countries that purportedly keep church and state separate, seeps into cultural customs and cultural conformity.

Thinking about this story also made me wonder about the power of conformity. Isn’t cultural conformity itself almost a religion? Do believers in synagogues, mosques, and churches around the world do what they do primarily because of their belief systems or to conform to the social or religious cultures around them? How much of what we call consider faith expression originates from actual religious belief and how much of it originates from a desire to conform to the expressions of others that share our faith?

In fact, we live neither our religious lives nor our cultural lives in a vacuum. And as the story of the Pakistani woman illustrates, neither does anyone else.

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Transforming Journalism by Moving and Mobilizing Readers

by Krista Tippett, host

Nicholas Kristof on Journalism and CompassionI wasn’t always a fan of Nicholas Kristof’s columns in The New York Times. I’d found them at times simplistic — seeming to reduce the dramas of entire nations to individual stories of despair and/or hope. But I’ve discovered that there is an art and science to this approach. It was fascinating — and quite inspiring — to sit down and get inside his head on all of this.

Nicholas Kristof has lived on four, and reported on six, continents, including spending formative years based in China and Japan, before he took his place on the Op-Ed pages of the Times in the cathartic year of 2001. And as he tells us in the audio above, he soon realized that opining, however brilliantly, left him preaching to the choir. People who already shared his perspective would cheer him on; those who didn’t would not take in what he had to say. The true power of his editorial platform, he realized, was its capacity to bring lesser-publicized events and ideas into the light.

He is credited, most famously perhaps, for bringing the unfolding genocide in Darfur to the world’s attention. But even that “success,” which brought him a second Pulitzer Prize, left Nicholas Kristof wondering and wanting. The world’s reaction to Darfur, in his mind, did not match the tragedy at hand or the moral responsibility it should have engendered. He wanted to understand the fact — as I’ve pondered with many guests on Being across the years — that horrific images and facts are as likely to paralyze and overwhelm as to mobilize us.

And so he started reading research on brain science and the biological basis for compassion, to explore what makes the difference between moral paralysis and compassionate mobilization. We are hard-wired as humans, it seems, to respond powerfully to a single individual’s story and face. But add a second face, and that response diminishes. Add facts, and multiply that story by hundreds or millions, and empathy withers altogether.

Nicholas Kristof reframed his journalistic approach accordingly. It is fascinating to hear him talk about this, and about his own enduring worries about its manipulative connotations. He works to balance the riveting story with the big picture. An empathetic response to a single human story, he’s also learned by way of science and his own experience, can become a portal to a larger awareness. Facts and context can then begin to play a meaningful supporting role.

In the early 2000s, I felt that Nicholas Kristof was simplistic about religion too. Granted, most Western journalists were on a new kind of learning curve with regard to religion. Over the years, I have been deeply impressed by his unusual willingness to learn in public — to admit that he did not understand something, to publish his surprise and self-reversals. He’s gained a very complex and contradictory view of religion as a force in the world — capable of nurturing the worst of violence and the best of care.

He also offers a penetrating view of the self-defeating liberal-conservative/secular-religious divide on global issues as in our domestic political life. He is one of the voices waking up the world to the global scourge of sex trafficking. He believes that this will ultimately galvanize the moral consciousness of this century as slavery galvanized the 19th century. But he is watching with dismay as, for now, the two most effective activists on this issue — liberal feminists and conservative Christians — cannot agree on a shared vocabulary for describing the problem, much less join their energies.

We spend a lot of words these days on the way journalism is changing — usually with an eye to the technological and financial pressures that are changing it. Nicholas Kristof embodies deep cultural shifts that are also transforming journalism as we have known it. His journalism is a new paradigm, I think, one I’m now grateful for. I’ll call it journalism as a humanitarian art. And I look forward to seeing how it continues to evolve.

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What Does WikiLeaks Reveal About Our Inner Selves?

by Nancy Rosenbaum, associate producer

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks at Press Conference on Afghanistan War Diary LeaksJulian Assange of WikiLeaks holds a copy of The Guardian newspaper that features a report using the site’s leaked documents on the Afghanistan war. (photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

[Governments] used to be able to control what…newspapers and news organizations would do in part by informally controlling their access to information, by in essence saying, ‘If you go over the line, we’ll stop talking to you. We won’t invite you on to the press plane. We won’t give you a seat on the bus.’ And reporters behaved within certain parameters in part, because they do need that continued access. WikiLeaks doesn’t need a seat on the bus.
Micah Sifry, executive editor of TechPresident.com on FutureTense

Micah Sifry’s commentary on the unfolding WikiLeaks story on the war in Afghanistan has gotten me thinking about questions of trust and relationship-building in and beyond the realm of journalism and politics. At its worst, needing to keep our “seat on the bus,” as Sifry puts it, can result in collusion and self-censoring. Information or, put differently, necessary truths, get squelched in favor of preserving expedient relationships.

Maybe we do this with family, friends, and loved ones — keep things to ourselves to maintain a connection, a sense of belonging, or simply to get our basic needs met. But coming at it from another direction, I believe there are moral and relational benefits to interdependence. Both sides have to consider each others’ needs. Empathy is triggered. No one party can act with reckless abandon. The work of peacebuilder and conflict transformation practitioner John Paul Lederach comes to mind here.

I wonder if the truths unearthed through WikiLeaks’ release of classified documents about the war in Afghanistan will galvanize a public response. NYU Journalism professor and blogger Jay Rosen offers some sobering insight in his PressThink blog:

"We tend to think: big revelations mean big reactions. But if the story is too big and crashes too many illusions, the exact opposite occurs. My fear is that this will happen with the Afghanistan logs. Reaction will be unbearably lighter than we have a right to expect — not because the story isn’t sensational or troubling enough, but because it’s too troubling, a mess we cannot fix and therefore prefer to forget."

What do you think?

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The Plight of the “Distant Stranger”

Trent Gilliss, online editor

Many of us have read Nick Kristof’s columns over the years. And, perhaps, like me, you’ve been moved by his words, shaken by his stories, struck dumb with melancholy and grief. But, inevitably, the “plight of the ‘distant stranger’” assumes its role in feeling the events happening over there.

The HBO documentary, Reporter, will challenge you to come closer, to care, to take action as he pursues uncovering the truths behind human rights violations and personal suffering. With Kristof leading the way, the viewer bears witness alongside his two traveling companions, a med student and a teacher, to the tricky trail the journalist walks when reporting in war-torn Congo.

The film portrays some of the ethical and moral dilemmas of being a reporter in a conflict zone. When Kristof encounters a 41-year-old woman of 60 pounds lying at the edge of a village about to die, he acts. When a warlord responsible for the raping and pillaging of thousands gives thanks to the Lord, he bows his head; when that same man, General Nkunda asks him to eat with him, he dines. Few of these decisions are made without some type of deliberation — a grimace, a pause, a controlled look. But, in the end, he always writes.

Nick Kristof in CongoHe perseveres and tries to understand the underlying aspects of the people involved. And, he asks the difficult questions that have gotten other journalists killed. I’m not trying to saint him, but I now better appreciate his work as he attempts to discover a fuller aspect of all the human beings involved. He continues to tell the difficult stories of a region that gets covered during catastrophic events, and then forgotten within a blink’s time of a celebrity foible or the next breaking news event.

I hope we can interview him for the show some day in the future and hear how he wrestles with these difficult choices — and how he continues on.

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Someone in Eight Million Nancy Rosenbaum, associate producer
The New York Times recently concluded its "One in Eight Million" series. It’s a lyrical compendium of 54 audio-visual stories that shine a light on ordinary (and not so ordinary) New Yorkers — from an urban taxidermist to a "Type-A" teenager. These sound-rich features are all told in the first person and provide a window into the intimacies of people’s lived experiences across the five boroughs of New York City’s eight-million-thick metropolis.

The series’ concluding segment featuring a 57-year-old grandfather of four named Joseph Cotton took my breath away. He cares for his “grandbabies” with such love, attention, devotion, and patience in a way that’s tender but not possessive. He knows the time will come when he’ll need to let them go. He says:

"Eventually I’m gonna lose them. Eventually they’re going to get to be 15, 16 years old. They’re going to be: ‘I ain’t hanging with pop-pop. Because they’re going to have other interests, they’re going to be doing other things. I’m looking for greatness from them. So they can’t hang around me and find greatness."


I recently attended an improv workshop with a professional actor who commented that he’s known artists who are masterful at their craft but aren’t so masterful at being loving partners or caregivers. People who love well don’t necessarily get noticed or celebrated for their particular artistry; I immediately thought of Mr. Cotton when I heard this. I’m grateful to the series for noticing him.
(photos: Todd Heisler/The New York Times)
Someone in Eight Million Nancy Rosenbaum, associate producer
The New York Times recently concluded its "One in Eight Million" series. It’s a lyrical compendium of 54 audio-visual stories that shine a light on ordinary (and not so ordinary) New Yorkers — from an urban taxidermist to a "Type-A" teenager. These sound-rich features are all told in the first person and provide a window into the intimacies of people’s lived experiences across the five boroughs of New York City’s eight-million-thick metropolis.

The series’ concluding segment featuring a 57-year-old grandfather of four named Joseph Cotton took my breath away. He cares for his “grandbabies” with such love, attention, devotion, and patience in a way that’s tender but not possessive. He knows the time will come when he’ll need to let them go. He says:

"Eventually I’m gonna lose them. Eventually they’re going to get to be 15, 16 years old. They’re going to be: ‘I ain’t hanging with pop-pop. Because they’re going to have other interests, they’re going to be doing other things. I’m looking for greatness from them. So they can’t hang around me and find greatness."


I recently attended an improv workshop with a professional actor who commented that he’s known artists who are masterful at their craft but aren’t so masterful at being loving partners or caregivers. People who love well don’t necessarily get noticed or celebrated for their particular artistry; I immediately thought of Mr. Cotton when I heard this. I’m grateful to the series for noticing him.
(photos: Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

Someone in Eight Million
Nancy Rosenbaum, associate producer

The New York Times recently concluded its "One in Eight Million" series. It’s a lyrical compendium of 54 audio-visual stories that shine a light on ordinary (and not so ordinary) New Yorkers — from an urban taxidermist to a "Type-A" teenager. These sound-rich features are all told in the first person and provide a window into the intimacies of people’s lived experiences across the five boroughs of New York City’s eight-million-thick metropolis.

Joseph Cotton: One in Eight Million

The series’ concluding segment featuring a 57-year-old grandfather of four named Joseph Cotton took my breath away. He cares for his “grandbabies” with such love, attention, devotion, and patience in a way that’s tender but not possessive. He knows the time will come when he’ll need to let them go. He says:

"Eventually I’m gonna lose them. Eventually they’re going to get to be 15, 16 years old. They’re going to be: ‘I ain’t hanging with pop-pop. Because they’re going to have other interests, they’re going to be doing other things. I’m looking for greatness from them. So they can’t hang around me and find greatness."

Joseph Cotton: One in Eight Million

I recently attended an improv workshop with a professional actor who commented that he’s known artists who are masterful at their craft but aren’t so masterful at being loving partners or caregivers. People who love well don’t necessarily get noticed or celebrated for their particular artistry; I immediately thought of Mr. Cotton when I heard this. I’m grateful to the series for noticing him.

(photos: Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

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Kashmir Through the Lens of Ami Vitale
by Andy Dayton, associate web producer
News broke last Thursday that mass graves were uncovered in Indian Kashmir containing 1,500 unidentified bodies. This is sad news, but it stood out to me especially because I had just finished reading an interview with photojournalist Ami Vitale in which she discusses some of her photos of Kashmir.
The interviewer mentions that Vitale had come under criticism for photos she took of the area during conflict, that they were “too pretty.” Vitale’s response:

"There are beautiful human beings caught in the middle of something much bigger than themselves. Unless we can see the humanity that exists everywhere and allow the people to touch us in some way, then there will never be resolution. We must be forced to see ourselves in the faces of war and realize that in fact, we are all no different from each other."


I found her perspective to be refreshing, and I encourage you to read the rest of the interview. You can also catch a slideshow with more of her photos here.

(photos: Ami Vitale/Getty Images)
(via Kaeti)
Kashmir Through the Lens of Ami Vitale
by Andy Dayton, associate web producer
News broke last Thursday that mass graves were uncovered in Indian Kashmir containing 1,500 unidentified bodies. This is sad news, but it stood out to me especially because I had just finished reading an interview with photojournalist Ami Vitale in which she discusses some of her photos of Kashmir.
The interviewer mentions that Vitale had come under criticism for photos she took of the area during conflict, that they were “too pretty.” Vitale’s response:

"There are beautiful human beings caught in the middle of something much bigger than themselves. Unless we can see the humanity that exists everywhere and allow the people to touch us in some way, then there will never be resolution. We must be forced to see ourselves in the faces of war and realize that in fact, we are all no different from each other."


I found her perspective to be refreshing, and I encourage you to read the rest of the interview. You can also catch a slideshow with more of her photos here.

(photos: Ami Vitale/Getty Images)
(via Kaeti)

Kashmir Through the Lens of Ami Vitale

by Andy Dayton, associate web producer

News broke last Thursday that mass graves were uncovered in Indian Kashmir containing 1,500 unidentified bodies. This is sad news, but it stood out to me especially because I had just finished reading an interview with photojournalist Ami Vitale in which she discusses some of her photos of Kashmir.

The interviewer mentions that Vitale had come under criticism for photos she took of the area during conflict, that they were “too pretty.” Vitale’s response:

"There are beautiful human beings caught in the middle of something much bigger than themselves. Unless we can see the humanity that exists everywhere and allow the people to touch us in some way, then there will never be resolution. We must be forced to see ourselves in the faces of war and realize that in fact, we are all no different from each other."

I found her perspective to be refreshing, and I encourage you to read the rest of the interview. You can also catch a slideshow with more of her photos here.

(photos: Ami Vitale/Getty Images)

(via Kaeti)

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Yeats Reminds Me
Trent Gilliss, online editor

Today is William Butler Yeats birthday. Reading his obituary, I paused on his words about Ireland: “We are a nation of believers. We produce anti-clerics, but atheists, never.” I wanted to know what the great poet meant by that so I started digging for the source of his quote.

After falling short on a number of searches, I stumbled upon this panel discussion of leading journalists around the country discussing the historical relationship of religion and secularism. Scanning the transcript, I thought, “Boy, Krista really should have participated in this… maybe she did?” Lo and behold, a find within the transcript revealed that she was there. The date of the conference: December 2007.

Not exactly breaking news but well worth watching if you’re interested in listening to leading journalists discuss religion in public life. And, please drop me a line if you have any idea about the Yeats quote.

To end, a couple of lines from "In the Seven Woods":

I am contented, for I know that Quiet
Wanders laughing and eating her wild heart

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