We chose to report from Achham because it is a place still bathed, toweled and wrapped in tradition— every action colored by a deep and abiding belief in something. A spoonful of rice offered to the fire while cooking.
Here in the crisp Nepali mountain air, ten hours by jeep from the nearest airstrip, it is festival season. Here, to reach anywhere worth reaching you must walk. And anyone who can walk walked to a place called Dauthegada on Wednesday— emerging onto an open hill terraced for planting, the green carpeting of first shoots garlanded as if for Christmas by thousands of spectating women in red festival saris.
But this holiday is in honor of goddess Barba Devi. In what is part bullfight with a dash of county fair, male cattle are chased across the steps and hacked at by men brandishing sticks, knives and strong buzzes under a full moon. Sticky orange donuts, peanuts, apples. Couples elope on this day as the meat is consecrated and distributed to the poor. The heads are carried triumphantly home.
— Allison Shelley
Ed. Note: Allison and Allyn Gaestel are reporting from Nepal with a Pulitzer Center grant. Photos by Allison Shelley. Nepal, 2012.
“We now live in an Orwellian world where public servants informing the public about government behavior or wrongdoing must practice the tradecraft of drug dealers and spies if he or she wishes to talk to the press.”
To learn how to be a modern day Mark Felt (the guy who leaked Watergate info to Woodward and Bernstein) read the full article at Wired.com
“When you’re out in the field reporting for long stretches, often at great risk, there are times when you wonder who if anyone is listening. At best, the feedback is virtual — on blogs and in emails. Sharing our work directly with students is a shot in the arm: it reminds us that there’s still an…
“The jail cell is about 10-feet long and 4-feet wide. There is a bunk bed, a cold water faucet, and a squat toilet. The high walls are painted a deep psychedelic green and the floor is a mixture of red boards and bathroom tiles. At the far end of the cell there is a window with two sets of iron…
“As far as he’s is concerned, there’s no conflict of interest in working as a reporter and taking matters into his own hands to help his fellow Burmese. Like them, Kyaw Thaung [pictured above] crossed the border in search of greater freedom to practice his craft. Over the years he did other jobs to make money, but his conscience would not allow him to ignore the human rights violations going on in the hundreds of factories around him. ‘I’m a journalist and I’ve seen too much suffering,’ he says. ‘It’s impossible for me to sit and wait. I want to attack the problem personally.’”
From Pulitzer Center grantee Jason Motlagh’s Untold Story on journalist Kyaw Thaung and his work to liberate and assist Burmese migrant workers enslaved and abused in the Thai shrimp industry. Read the whole story and let us know your thoughts about the activism-journalism mix.
Image by Jason Motlagh. Thailand, 2012.
Don’t miss the National Day on Writing, celebrated over two days this year: Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20. We’re promoting international journalism — join us by submitting your #WhatIWrite to us via email or Twitter. Instructions are here.
This video was made in 2010 to celebrate the 7th anniversary of The Ridenhour Prizes. It highlights the last seven years of the awards process and provides a short history of Ron Ridenhour’s career and the inspiration behind the establishment of the prizes.
Afghans, however, haven’t forgotten just whom the U.S. put in place to govern them — exactly the men they feared and hated most in exactly the place where few Afghans wanted them to be. Early on, between 2002 and 2004, 90% of Afghans surveyed nationwide told the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission that such men should not be allowed to hold public office; 76% wanted them tried as war criminals.