Third World Democracy and Media

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When I was a kid I wanted to be a cricketer or an astronaut. An unusually high backlift contributed to the demise of my juvenile cricketing career. (I still harbor hopes of being a part-time astronaut). I withdrew to a life of reading. A sense of the wider world gradually imprinted itself upon me. In my adolescence I turned, I now realize, an idealist. Perhaps that explains my trying to start an unmanned Honesty Cafe (I lost my investment ) and actually trying to sell my angsty, somewhat dubious poetry (with surprising success). My activist chops were built protesting student stipend-cuts. I visited Sri Lanka on an internship after the brutal civil war, trying to understand what suffering and resilience meant. There, I taught Tamil refugee children English, while imbibing the drama of their lives. It transformed me, that experience, in more ways than one. I campaigned for sexual rights in a red light district, before being beaten by pimps. I've petitioned the Indian govt for information about money spent on employment generation and fought it in court over the right to start a street newspaper run by the homeless. I've written about climate change, nuclear submarines and the art of making succulent goat curry(among other things). I helped start an online student magazine, where I loved creating exciting media apps, and an orphanage in the lower Himalayas, where I love to go trekking. When I'm not trying to change the world, I'm writing genre-bending anti-novels. 2. I believe in the power of stories. I believe in their power to inform, critique and engage. My interest in a Graduate Journalism Degree stems from a desire to master storytelling, to be able to produce great narratives that disentangle the complex, tortuo... ... middle of paper ... ...pering over the wide chasms among the 'people' and their conflicting aspirations. Not surprisingly, when what followed the Revolutions in Egypt and Libya was not peace and stability but utter chaos, Western journalists found themselves flailing at the impossibility of constructing a simple story in the midst of a confounding situation. One did not expect them to predict the anarchy and turmoil of Post Gaddafi Libya (or the murder of the American Ambassador) but did expect them to arrive at a sufficiently nuanced understanding before cheering Western military adventures in the Maghreb. To be sure, these failings and others do not nullify the existing body of excellent, unbiased contextual reporting by Western journalists, some of it done at great personal peril, nonetheless they can be ignored only at the cost of future policy blunders and humanitarian crises.

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