Sunday, March 8, 2009

Externalization and Global Voice

Edited by Lu Tang
by Lacey Curtis
Photo by Fayaz Kabli/Reuters
Kashmir Protest

The job of an international correspondent is often seen as one that covers crisis situations. Much of the time these crises are violent. Yet, an important part of it is documenting those that are not. These situations have continued because no one has reported them. Only by informing the public will they stop being ‘externalized.’ Engaging with the people in these situations and helping them to tell their individual stories to the world can end the externalization. As an international correspondent we have a global audience, or at least multi-continent audience, we have to bring these issues to that widely disseminated group of people so that the issues would not be overlooked. Then it also becomes harder for the countries in which these issues happen to hide the situations.

Can an international journalist really consider herself to be a citizen of one nation? I think that if we are attempting to cover any country then it is a mistake to tie yourself heavily to the politics of a single country. What the U.S. government does is often grounded in politics, but not in public interest, and that should not dictate my coverage of a subject. In this course I have seen further evidence that violence is a weapon most often employed by those who have, or think they have, little else. As the man in the video about the conflict in Northern India suggested-- they had started out as peaceful protesters and thinking they had gotten nowhere they became violent. By giving a voice and by pointing out the economic inequalities, these problems can be addressed and, hopefully, alleviated. Not covering them only perpetuates the cycle of violence.

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