Verify before you Tweet. Talk to primary sources. Pick up the phone.
Listen more than you broadcast.
Identify the people you are re-posting. Always ask, “Who made this post?” Try and get as much information as you can about that source.
Always cite your sources, no matter what platform you are using. (Including any images, video, quotes, or facts that you post.)
Try not to use images without the permission of the artist. Be nice to photographers.
Don’t jump to conclusions about who a person is. Do your research and make sure you aren’t slandering an innocent person with a similar name or mistaken identity.
Interact, ask a lot of questions to engage your networks. Use hashtags that already exist, to help your question get more attention from people already discussing the topic. Respond to questions and comments quickly. Engage in conversation. Show that you are listening, in a useful way. This will increase your audience.
Don’t scrape videos from the original content creator.
Be a specialist. Have a beat. Become a resource for a particular topic that you are passionate about.
The Future of Journalism and Media in Israel/Palestine
I promised myself that here in Italy, I wouldn’t write about Israel. It’s too sensitive, and I am prone to being sentimental. It’s an explosive combination.
And yet when I sit to write, my mind floats back to the Holy Land. All around me, my fellow festival volunteers discuss “The Israel-Palestine Issue.” That land is saturated with journalists: The conflict has become a “media war.”
It is only here in Perugia that I’ve realized that “the conflict” and my career face similar challenges.
We feel, Israelis, Palestinians and young journalists alike, that our futures depend on the image of ourselves we craft for a global audience.
Traditional news organizations offer more than support and resources; they also offer protection, a shield between the audience and the reporter. Mistakes and controversies are absorbed by the institution, so journalists are free to seek truth.
Journalism is shifting from institutions to individuals buzzing around the web. Alone, we must earn the trust of distant viewers and we are expected to produce the work that whole groups often fail to achieve: dynamic, reliable news. Journalists are expected to research, write, fact-check, record, produce, publish and promote our work, for a pittance, while adhering to the same professional standards that entire staffs and networks uphold.
This new market makes journalists financially and professionally vulnerable. We become the product, rather than our work. Am I ready to offer myself in exchange for the privilege of sharing stories?
There is nothing more painful than reading one’s own writing a year later. The typos have grown obvious and maddening in your absence. Once brilliant sentences now seem long and sleepy. You crave to reach with a pencil, into the internet, and tweak that word or this comma. Reading your own past mistakes is always cringe-inducing.
I once wrote an Op-Ed about the importance of teaching Chicano literature, and other diverse narratives, in American public schools. It ended with a statement that promoting literacy is a great way to combat violence. Looking back, my argument feels pasted together and aimless, scrambling towards the end. Luckily, a Harvard professor came along and wrote the same idea with more data and fancy phrases. Steven Pinker’s book about the history and biology of violence claims literacy is one of the greatest peacemaking forces in human history.
So in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month 2013, I’d like to acknowledge the bad-ass literary warrior Librotraficante.
“The interwoven stories of legal battles reveal how art influences international law, politics, and both collective and intimate memories. They raise concerns about the elitism that surrounds contemporary art and the voyeurism of media coverage. And they wrestle with the question: What is justice?
“What is the meaning of cultural property when patrimony is an arm of genocide,” O’Conner writes. “What is the value of a painting that has come to evoke the theft of six million lives?”—Leigh Cuen reviews The Lady in Gold, Anne-Marie O’Connor’s book about the legacy of Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (via therumpus)
Givatayim’s legendary eggplant-maker, Oved Daniel, recently opened up a new restaurant in Tel Aviv. Sabich has its roots in Israel’s Iraqi community. It is a traditional Baghdadi breakfast dish, consisting of fried eggplant, Arabic salad, parsley, fresh onion and a baked or boiled egg. Sabich emerged as a national sensation in the 1960’s…
Ani Idrus (Journalist from West Sumatra, founder of numerous educational institutions for children, and co-founder of Waspada daily newspaper in 1947.)
Grace Mera Molisa (Poet and activist, the first woman from the traditional island nation of Vanuatu to earn a university degree, creator of Vanuatu’s National Arts Festival. Sometimes called the one of the three “foremothers of Pasifika poetry,” Molisa’s first book of poetry, Blackstone, was published in 1983.)
Favorite Quotes From Palestinian Poet, Mahmoud Darwish
“Things acquire new meanings at sunset. Memories wake and call, like a signal of death at sunset, like the beat of a song not sung to anyone…March is a month of storms and lust. Spring looks on, like a thought between two people, between a long winter and a long summer. I remember nothing but allegory.” – Ode by an Ancient Arab Poet
“I am the Adam of two Edens, I lost them twice. So expel me slowly, And kill me quickly, Beneath my olive tree…” – I Have Behind The Sky A Sky
“The days have taught you not to trust happiness because it hurts when it deceives.” – A River Dies of Thirst [journals]
A U.N. resolution passed over 10 years ago requires women’s involvement in conflict resolutions. But that has little bearing on the Israel-Palestine conflict, where women are far from the power roles on either side…
World Literature Today : I Review Neuman’s Newest Novel, Traveler of the Century
Andrés Neuman’s Traveler of the Century reflects Latin America’s “total novel,” brutally examining all aspects of society through diverse yet overlapping themes. It contemplates a myriad of subjects: investigating contemporary politics through the lens of history, the nature of belonging, memory, citizenship, aesthetics, language, love, dreams, time, and the performance of propriety, to name a few…
Fawzia Koofi, Afghanistan’s first female parliamentary speaker, is currently a leading candidate for the country’s 2014 presidential elections. Her recently published memoir “The Favored Daughter,” is reaching a global audience. It has now been sold in 20 different countries and published in English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Polish. As much as “The Favored Daughter” is a political memoir it is also a story about relationships between women, mothers, daughters, and strangers.
“This is what I live for,” Koofi writes, “and what I know I will die for.”
Edible Adventures in San Francisco, from The Bold Italic
My father used to tell me stories about nights he spent in the mountains, living off the land and eating insects. As a child, I would reply to those tales by wrinkling my nose and exclaiming, “Ewww!” The desire to eat wild things seemed so distant from my urban California life. Little did I know that when I moved to nearby San Francisco, I’d be seeking out exotic proteins from innovative chefs…
The latest novel by Spanish writer Carloz Ruiz Zafón opens on a cold winter’s day in Barcelona. Business is abysmal at Sempre & Sons bookshop. The Sempre family’s loquacious friend, Fermín Romero de Torres, offers to parade in his underwear by the bookstore window to incite “strong literary emotions” from females passing by. Thus begins Zafón’s venture into The Prisoner of Heaven, the third part of his multimillion-selling literary series.
Zafron’s previous samplings, The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game, are neither prequels nor sequels to this third installment. Zafón has created a labyrinth of stories, free from chronology, with intertwining characters, locations, themes, and storylines. All three novels revolve around an occult library beneath the streets of Barcelona, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The novels are gothic, stylized, romantic tales driven by passion for the written word.
The protagonist of The Angel’s Game is a journalist-turned-novelist who sells his soul for the love of writing. The Prisoner of Heaven continues that theme of the publishing industry’s shadowy deviance, adding to it the criticism of Spanish literary circles. The Shadow of the Wind chronicles the adventures of a young reader, Daniel, the son of Sempre & Sons bookshop owner. The Prisoner of Heaven subsequently unfolds layers of Daniel’s story. But it also explores Fermín’s dark past as a Catalonian intelligence agent, imprisoned in the Montjuic Castle for espionage.
Like all of Zafón’s stories, this one draws symbolism and parallels from a classic work of literature. The Prisoner of Heaven’s is The Count of Monte Cristo. In this third installment Fermín meets David Martín, the protagonist of The Angel’s Game, while in prison. They use the classic tale by Dumas as code. Together the two literature lovers, Fermín and David, plan an escape. In the Montjuic Castle we find how all of the characters’ of Zafón’s stories are connected through a single villain, Valls.
Valls is an aspiring writer, without talent or modesty, who rose to power through marriage, murder, and connections during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. With a sadistic ego, Valls begins his political ascent as director of the prison in Montjuic Castle. The Prisoner of Heavenis Zafón’s most blatantly political and historical work so far, but it is all still couched securely in fiction by the familiar, dramatic exaggeration in Zafón’s prose.
Acid Violence in Bangladesh, Author Tracks Acid Crime
"I held on to the skin and flesh thinking the doctors would be able to reattach it,” Bina Akhter described how a group of men attacked Akhter with acid when she was fourteen years old.
The typical image of acid attack victims in Bangladesh is the common description of a women victim who is someone who has denied a man by rejecting his advances. But in reality acid attacks effect both genders. It also affects many children. Many victims and survivors like Akhter also have had no previous conflict with their attackers.
Akhter’s attack was intended to terrorize her family into obedience when a gang of men, with local political connections, broke into her house to abduct her cousin.
“The acid was dripping into my mouth. I could taste it,” Akhter said.
Rumpus Review: The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories
In his recent blend of fiction, essays, and literary genealogy,The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories, South African writer Ivan Vladislavic delves into the dazzling enigmas of unwritten work. He draws from his personal notebooks over the past two decades and uses writer’s block, the writer’s ultimate pestilence, as a source for inspiration. This book is short, sweet and thought provoking, a morsel of prose that weaves around itself like a jazz melody on its way to nowhere, contemplating the craft.
Migrant Rape Furor in Israel & Women Helping Women
Photo by Alex Levac
The Hagar and Miriam Project has helped over 400 African migrant women in Israel since 2007. It has always operated on a shoe string, but the aftermath of an anti-immigrant backlash to cases of rape in Tel Aviv has brought fundraising to a standstill…read more from my article published by Women’s eNews.
When I lived in East Jerusalem, so many moons ago, I had a flatmate named Iftach. He was a philosopher, a poet, a pianist, a composer and lyricist, an impish Casanova and a janitor.
He showed me his first English experiment, writing in a foreign tongue. It rocked my world. The crisp, bare elegance of his words astounded me. This encounter inspired me to play in the language of Luis Cernuda and Octavio Paz.
I dared to make mistakes. Or at least, for the first time I acknowledged their inevitability but refused to let that stop me. I still stumble through Spanish like a person walking in shoes several sizes too big. But with the help of friends, mentors and a dictionary, I’ve managed to create poems that feel whole in my mouth.
I ran into Iftach when I returned to Jerusalem. I asked him for that poem. He wrote it down for me. He told me sharing a poem fulfills it.
And now I have the pleasure of fulfilling it with you.
"I want to meet your ghosts
To caress their troubled wisps.
I want to pour wine into their thin-legged glasses.
Israeli Opera Festival 2012 featured five performances of the classic opera, Carmen, June 7 to 11 at Masada. “We wanted to perform opera in the desert, not just to have an opera performance at a desert location,” said the Israeli Opera’s Artistic Director, Michael Ajzenstadt.
“There is no stage. There is sand and rock beneath the mountain. The set is an extension of the surrounding habitat. In three weeks we will deconstruct the set and leave no trace.”
Ajzenstadt said the entire crew, including 10 international soloists, many of whom had never been to Israel before, was affected by the symbolism and significance of the location’s natural beauty. They stood in awe for almost an hour before rehearsals began.
(Murals by Laura Campos: Father Richard’s mural, above; “No one is illegal,” below. All images courtesy of the artists.)
San Francisco’s murals are what first endeared me to this city. wandered its alleys for five years and still only seen a fraction of the street’s evolving colors. The city is home to three Diego Riviera murals. Despite urban myth, none of them are in Coit Tower.
In the 1970’s, the Mission’s own Las Mujeras Muralistas [the women muralists] pioneered the “life affirming” tradition of mural art, aka, work which celebrates human life through depictions of family, community, etc. They put San Francisco on the map a the international hot spot for public art.
I recently set out to meet San Franciscans who are contributing new murals to the city’s landscape, to learn from them about the forms and functions of S.F.’s mural folklore.
[Father of the bride, original photo from her family album]
Last week I had the pleasure of swapping memories with a grandmother in the Old North. She is a sabra, the 5th generation of her family to live in the Holy Land. I asked her what it was like when the Jews were expelled from Jerusalem, the city of her youth, and her husband waged war to defend the newborn state. She told me about a wedding gift she received the night before the war.
I used the Hebrew words from her tale to build a poem in English.