Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A champion for children everywhere

New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer prize winner Nicholas Kristof is a phenomenon.

If you look up the term "genuine journalist with impeccable integrity" you'll find "Nicholas Kristof." His compassion and care for the human condition is, IMO, unparalleled.

And if you're a very lucky university student, you can enter a contest that allows the winner to take part in covering significant, meaningful stories alongside him - in Africa or other parts of the world.

See how he thinks, how he works, how he researches, how he interacts with people from every cultural, political, racial, religious and social background - and perhaps most of all, how he puts all this information together and writes what he has investigated for millions of readers.

Kristof believes in helping young people discover what being a real journalist is all about - the honorable profession it is when it's executed correctly. Pure journalism is not just a job, it's a calling; a calling for which hundreds of journalists and photojournalists give their lives around the world every year.

Journalism is not just about discerning the truth among the lies and deception, of finding that truth when people go to extreme and lethal lengths to hide it, then having the guts to tell it. It's about giving a voice to the voiceless.

Few voices are ignored more than the world's exploited and abused children, whose cries are heard only by their pillows in the bleak of night.

A few of the many significant and world-changing subjects he has covered internationally and extensively is child sex and work slavery. Kiddie sweatshops. Kiddie porn. Kiddie prostitution.

And the innocent children, women and men slaughtered in Dafur.

Kristof uncovered the lies and deception perpetrated by the Bush-Cheney administration nearly at the getgo of the bloody debacle in Iraq.

He and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, also a New York Times journalist, were the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China's Tienanmen Square democracy movement in 1990.

He won a second Pulitzer last year for what Prize jurors referred to as, "his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world."

His popular blog is here, but you must have a low-cost Times Select access subscription to the New York Times online (about $4.00/US per month) in order to access it.

Kristof has won many other journalism awards, but I have the feeling that his most important reward is reaching and informing us - his readers - with the truth.

Sadly, the truth we don't always want to hear.

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