Most people work to live. But here in Veracruz it seems the journalists are working to die.
—  Félix Márquez, a photojournalist covering violence against journalists in Mexico. On Friday, photojournalist Rubén Espinosa, human rights activist Nadia Vera and three others were killed in Mexico City. Find out more at
Cultural Appropriation: The New Trend
White people do not get to pick and choose what parts of our culture they "appreciate" and then consume it. We are people, not a buffet. Nobody should steal a cultural symbol while abusing the very people behind its genesis. So dear non-desis, my bindi is not for sale.

My bindi should not be a source of discrimination for me. My bindi should not be target practice. My bindi is mine to define. My bindi is mine.


Although minorities (including black, Hispanic, Asian American, Native American and multiracial populations) make up over a third of the U.S. adult population (35%), they make up only 22% of the local television news workforce, according to a study by the Radio Television Digital News Association. The figure is even lower for newspapers, where only 13% of newsroom employees are minorities, according to an annual survey of newsroom employment by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE). These figures have changed little over the past two decades.

In the news industry, diversity is lowest at smaller outlets


“Look how close this mine site is to the river and our farms”

For 20 minutes we bump along a rutted dirt road hard against a hillside on our left and the narrow Tambo River over the edge on our right. The road is barely wider than the Nissan BT-50 in which we are riding. But Helar Valencia, mayor of the village of Cocachacra, wants me to see something with my own eyes: the proposed site of the open-pit copper mine called Tia Maria. And just how close it is to the Tambo River and the adjacent farm valley. The site itself is vast and barren, sitting in the swale of a ring of rising hills. Mexico-based Southern Copper Co., plans to bet $1.4 billion that billions more in copper can be extracted from the deep open pits over an 18-year span. The process of mining, even when done carefully, as Southern Copper pledges, typically has enormous environmental impacts on the land, water and nearby plant life. The Tambo Valley has sustained thousands of farm families for 200 years. Mayor Valencia believes, like so many farmers, that Southern cannot be trusted, the Tambo River will be killed by the toxic waste of copper mining, and that farming and farm jobs will die along with it.

“Look how close this mine site is to the river and our farms,” Valencia says, swinging his arm first to point toward Tia Maria than 180 degrees to the right to the farm valley. I calculate the distance at about 500 yards. “When they start digging, they will go as deep as 500 feet. It will pollute our ground water.  You can feel the wind now. It blows from the mine to the valley. Dust from mining will settle on our crops. When they start bringing out copper, it will destroy everything.”

Back in his office at City Hall, a wooden crucifix sits on the corner of his desk; two posters of themVirgin Mary are on his walls. Valencia says he has not heard about the new papal encyclical on climate change and Pope Francis’ call to become more sustainable and less rapacious when mining. A practicing Catholic, Valencia says he will find it and read it. Meanwhile, he speaks as if he already knows its core message: “We have to think more morally about the environment, not just economically.”

Image and caption by Justin Catanoso. Peru, 2015.

#CopperMining #PopeFrancis #PapalEncyclical #Extraction #TiaMaria

#Arequipa #Peru #SouthernCopper #Copper #TamboValley

Ten Prompts to Help You Break in Your Journal.

It can be difficult to get over that initial feeling of “this journal is so clean and new I don’t want to write in it”. These prompts are designed to help you break in your new journal so that it feels like a part of you and not a part of the store you bought it from.

1) Use paper and tape to make tabs to mark sections. Ex: class notes, written journal entries, quotes, etc.

2) Glue different ribbons along the sides of some of the pages so that they can be seen when the book is shut.

3) Paint a few two-page spreads with solid colours so that when you find things to Glue into your journal, they will have a nice background ready for them.

4) Write your name, address, and phone number on the inside cover in case the book is lost. Underneath, record the description of the journal you were using before, so that they can be read chronologically.

5) Paint the edges of the notebook, I like to paint them gold.

6) Bend the cover and spine to loosen them, open the book far enough that the covers touch.

7) Cut a few things out of newspaper that represent the day you started the book. This helps put your thoughts and experiences in context. Ex: Your horoscope, newest scientific findings, an article that mentions current government leaders.

8) Add pockets to the front and back of the book. This can be done using envelops, paper bags, or cardstock.

9) Draw a picture of yourself in your favourite outfit, with an expression that matched your general mood. List what you are wearing in the picture and how you are feeling. This helps to provide context for who you were when the journal was created.

10) Make a page to document the stationary you will be using throughout the journal. Include samples of your favourite pens, pencils, paints, and papers.
Refugee Crisis on the Beach in Greece
The foreign correspondent Suzanne Daley reports on the scene in Lesbos, Greece, where thousands of migrants have washed up on shores popular with vacationing tourists.
By Suzanne Daley

Refugee camps are always sad, desperate places. I saw a lot of them when I was covering southern Africa for four years. But most were in desolate, poor places, not vacation islands like Lesbos, Greece, where thousands of refugees have been arriving in small inflatable boats, as upscale tourists do their best to unwind.

The strangest part about covering this story was the constant juxtaposition of the European good life and the misery of people who, fleeing war and violence, now found themselves sitting among piles of garbage as they waited for their papers to be processed.

My Greek colleague, Nikolas Leontopoulos, and I would meet with officials in the town of Mytilene, passing tourists who were busy picking out their favorite suntan lotion, and then an hour later we were in the back hills, where families had not eaten and the stench of clogged toilets was overwhelming.

At one point, we went to visit a good-hearted hotel owner who, driving along on a scorching hot day, came across a group of refugees walking the 30 miles to the processing station. She picked them up only to find herself arrested for “aiding smugglers.”


This is How Press Photos Were Transmitted Back in the 1970s

In our world of digital photography and high speed Internet, photojournalists can quickly and easily send large numbers of high-res photos to the other side of the globe. Things weren’t always so convenient.

The video above shows what a photo transmitter looked like back in the 1970s. What you see is a United Press International UPI Model 16-S, which scanned photos and then transmitted them using a telephone line.

(Continue Reading)

Newspaper Vendor and Cart in Camp - VA, November 1863

Lawrence A. Gobright sat, alone, in his office. Having filed his dispatch for the Associated Press earlier that day, Gobright snatched the afternoon paper and began hastily reading the columns. As the first Washington D.C. correspondent for the Associated Press, Gobright worked late into the day. At a time when war plagued the nation, Gobright worried little about finding stories with his access to the White House and President Abraham Lincoln.

But this April evening was quiet. The president and his wife, along with some guests, were off on the town enjoying a play. According to Gobright’s memoirs, he read only a meager amount of the paper when hurried footsteps grew louder toward his office. A man approached his office and hastily informed Gobright that Lincoln had been shot. Gobright did not believe the claim, but the man asked for Gobright to follow him, who claimed to have seen the assassination. Gobright followed.

Lincoln’s assassination launched a firestorm of news reports. The desperation for those in the newsroom for the quickest and most accurate information loomed high. Unaware to journalists at the time, the news storm created by an assassination of a president came at a turning point for reporting the news. The technological advances of the American Civil War did not benefit only the military, but also those who reported the combat action. The telegraph and the creation of joint news organizations, like the Associated Press, helped usher in a new era of quicker and more accurate news.

Keep reading

Latin America’s first pope derides our “throw-away” culture while offering a stern prescription for global environmental protection. Will those who revere him in his native region follow his lead?

It was a warm and sunny Friday in winter in the city of Arequipa, which sits in the Andes at an oxygen-poor 8,000 feet. My fixer and I were trolling. Randomly, we introduced ourselves to Peruvians relaxing in Plaza de Armes, the Spanish-influened city center. Were they aware of the six-year protest going on an hour west in the farm-rich Tambo Valley?  Did they know that farmers were fighting to a standstill a $1.4 billion copper mine proposal? Had they heard about Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and its call to moderate extraction of the earth’s limited resources?  

Of all those we spoke to, two young women, communication sciences majors at the nearby National University of St. Augustine, proved the most knowledgeable and insightful.

“There are strikes and protests all the time because of Tia Maria (the proposed copper mine), and they will continue until the government takes the side of the people, not the company,” said Patricia Pilco 22, sitting next to her friend in the shade of the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa, facing the plaza.

“There was a protest here (in Arequipa) two weeks ago and we marched in solidarity with those opposing Tia Maria. We learn the issues in our classes, and we want to show our support. But we were so disappointed to see the military attacking the protesters and then declaring a state of emergency in Cocachacra (the village near the proposed mine). There are curfews and martial law. We feel very bad about this as Peruvians.”

Pilco’s friend Angie Guevara, 20, also a communication sciences major, had a broader view of the issues at stake in Peru, a nation’s whose Amazon jungles are considered the most biodiverse on earth. As a Catholic, she lauded Pope Francis’ call for greater care for the planet. “I have been to our coast; it’s not far from here. I have lived in the Amazon, in Madre di Dios. I love these places and know how lucky we are to have them,” Guevara said. “By all means, what the pope says is true – we have to protect our environment or we won’t have it.

“In the jungle, so many people are careless. They kill and eat the monkeys. I have seen huge pieces of land cleared of all the trees. I asked the people why, and they tell me: ‘Don’t worry, it will grow back.’ It bothers me a lot that our people don’t care more about the Amazon.

“Yes, I believe the Catholic Church should be more involved in the environment. The priests and bishops have influence. People listen to them. They should include these messages in their Sunday sermons as a way to educate and inspire people to do more for the environment, and less to destroy it.”

Image and caption by Justin Catanoso. Peru, 2015.

Project forthcoming.

Reddit became a web destination and a traffic powerhouse by virtue of the clicking, viewing, and typing habits of a relatively narrow subsection of Internet users. Seventy-four percent of Reddit users are men, the highest of any social networking website. Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube all come much closer to gender parity. Describing Reddit without making reference to its gender asymmetry is akin to reporting on Pinterest, which is 72 percent female, without noting that the site caters to women.

And, indeed, when The New York Times reviewed Pinterest in 2012, they rightly referred to it as “female-oriented,” but when the CEO of a 74 percent male social network resigns after facing intense criticism from its users—much of it laced with misogyny—they somehow forget to label Reddit, in turn, as “male-oriented.” Reddit too often passes in the media as unmarked and neutral territory while sites like Pinterest get pigeonholed as girly.

So let’s be realistic.

He’s going to make you angry and jealous, and you’re going to feel so much pain that you just want to run away from everything. You’ll want to say goodbye and slam doors, but please stay. Scream and fight and cry until you’re in his arms again.

When he talks to pretty girls, a part of you will always turn a hideous green. She may be pretty, but you’re the one he dreams of every night.

His mom will sometimes smile at you.
Always smile at her.

He isn’t going to always pay for dinner, please bring your own money. He may be handsome and charming, but he isn’t paid for being attractive.

He’s going to forget your birthday. But he’ll remember the day he first kissed you.

On his bad days he’s going to want to be alone, and you’re going to get frustrated. Stay with him, but don’t say anything. Listen to his favorite songs no matter how much you hate some of them.

Let him compliment you, okay? If he likes your face without makeup, hug him. If he says you look freaking sexy with bold red lipstick, stain his lips with yours. Compliment him too. Tell him his hair is cute that day and play with it. Tell him his voice gives you goosebumps. Just tell him, and he’ll tell you.

To tell you the truth, it’s going to be hard, but he’s going to be worth it.

—  7 truths from a realist in love