Monthly Archives: October 2016

Vancouver writer Janie Chang to read

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Vancouver writer Janie Chang to read

Fiction

Janie Chang’s first novel, Three Souls (2013), was chosen as finalist for the Ethel Wilson Prize for Fiction, a notable achievement since fiction writing is her second career. Born in Taiwan, Janie is one of the increasing number of writers bringing new and rich cultural dimensions to Canadian literature.

Three Souls is set in China at the time of war between the Nationalist government and the Communists, and when the Japanese were invading the country. It was also a time when women were beginning to sense that they had rights and did not have to submit to male authority. The book reflects these issues as Leiyin, the protagonist, attempts to assert herself amidst this treacherous mixture of love and politics.

Already dead at the beginning of the book, Leiyin reviews her life accompanied by three souls who offer conflicting comments on the choices she has made and, after her death, on her efforts to atone for her mistakes. The presence of these souls reduces the drama of the story, but directs our attention to the underlying themes of forgiveness and the need to accept our own human limitation and that of others. Ironically it is the dead who assert our humanity in all its greatness and weakness.

Janie Chang’s second book, Dragon Springs Road, will appear in January 2017. She will be reading from both books at the Arts Centre in Sechelt, on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. All are welcome. Admission is by donation.

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Rolling Stone Writer Admits Mistakes In Reporting Of Rape Story

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Rolling Stone Writer Admits Mistakes In Reporting Of Rape Story

Reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely testified in a libel trial that she put too much faith in an alleged rape victim whose story was discredited. “It was a mistake to rely on someone whose intent was to deceive me.”

Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely admitted Thursday that the magazine never sought to verify whether the ringleader described in its explosive article “A Rape on Campus” was a real person.

Erdely returned to the stand to answer questions before a jury from Libby Locke, the lawyer representing the University of Virginia administrator Nicole Eramo, who is suing the reporter and Rolling Stone for defamation over her portrayal in the November 2014 story. The story focused on the alleged sexual assault of a woman named Jackie, though subsequent media reports and a police investigation debunked many of the claims made in Rolling Stone’s pages.

Locke’s questions Thursday morning focused on Erdely’s interactions with Jackie, and whether or not the reporter spoke with Jay, the man Jackie accused of orchestrating the reported gang rape. Emails, text messages, and reporting notes showed that Erdely repeatedly pressed Jackie for Jay’s last name and explained that she would have to contact him for comment. However, Erdely eventually agreed not to contact Jay, to keep Jackie involved in the article.

Erdely also testified that she heard different versions of Jackie’s story throughout her reporting but did not think this was an issue. “Yes, the details had changed over time as she came to terms with her rape,” Erdely said on the stand, but she did not press Jackie about those inconsistencies. “It had never concerned me that these details were inconsistent because this is the way trauma victims behave.”

Locke further probed into whether Erdely spoke with, or knew the names of, the three pseudonymous friends she described as having callous responses to Jackie’s alleged attack. Those three friends became instrumental in subsequent reporting by the Washington Post and others that discredited the Rolling Stone article.

Erdley testified that after the article published, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner instructed her to detail how she failed in the reporting process. Erdely wrote the “mea culpa,” as Locke called it, in December 2014, but it was never published. Erdely spoke with those three friends who Jackie said would not speak with her — Ryan Duffin, Alex Stock, and Kathryn Hendley. Hendley informed Erdely that she no longer spoke to Jackie because Jackie had started a rumor that Hendley contracted syphilis. Erdely began to sob as she conceded this point.

In this “mea culpa,” Erdely wrote that she wondered why she had hung the account of this alleged gang rape on someone as emotionally unstable as Jackie. The judge interjected at this point and pressed Erdely to answer whether she still felt that way.

“It wasn’t a mistake to rely on someone who was so emotionally fragile,” Erdely responded, choking back tears again. “It was a mistake to rely on someone whose intent was to deceive me.”

“It is clear that she firmly believed in the credibility of Jackie, as did UVA and Dean Eramo, when the article was published,” Rolling Stone said in a statement. “We made journalistic mistakes with respect to Jackie’s story and we have learned from them, but these mistakes do not support Dean Eramo’s lawsuit.”

The lawsuit does not focus on whether Erdely got the story about Jackie’s assault wrong, but rather whether the magazine defamed Eramo in writing about the university’s response.

Erdely became more defensive in the afternoon.

Decline of journalism in Canada: Part 1 of 2

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Decline of journalism in Canada: Part 1 of 2

Somalia releases 3 Al-Jazeera journalists

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Thursday, October 20, 2016
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia’s government has released three Al-Jazeera journalists Thursday, two days after they were arrested along with their driver by security forces, the network confirmed.Hamza Mohamed, a Somali-British journalist for Al-Jazeera’s English service, and members of his crew were arrested upon their return from areas held by the Islamic extremists of al-Shabab. Mohamed had been in Somalia for a week on a reporting assignment, Al-Jazeera said in a statement.The National Union of Somali Journalists welcomed the release of the journalists who were arrested near Somalia’s capital Tuesday.The government earlier arrested and released another journalist, Abdi Aden Guled, the editor of Xog-Ogaal, one of Mogadishu’s oldest daily newspapers. Guled was arrested on Sunday and released Wednesday and his newspaper was also closed during that period.

Threats and intimidations against journalists often increase during the elections in Somalia, which is rated as one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media workers, according to media groups. Journalists are targeted by both Islamic extremists and the government, say rights groups.Last month, gunmen shot dead Abdiaziz Mohamed Ali Haji, who was on his way home from work as a reporter for Shabelle radio, a radio station in Mogadishu. He was the second journalist killed in Somalia this year.Three journalists were killed in Somalia in 2015, including one in a bombing claimed by al-Shabab extremists.The Committee to Protect Journalists said 59 journalists have been killed in Somalia since 1992, shortly after this Horn of Africa nation plunged into chaos.

Texas Police called to check out ‘suspicious-looking’ guys “ethnic minority journalists

Police called to check out ‘suspicious-looking’ ethnic minority journalists

One black journalist and one of Indian descent were simply reporting a story near a school in Plano, Texas

 

Police were called to investigate a report of “suspicious-looking” people near a school – and were met by two journalists, both of ethnic minorities.

Two staffers for NBC5 were reporting a story near a school in Plano, Texas, when they were approached by police due to a report of an “Hispanic-looking woman and black man with suspicious white truck and camera”.

Reporter Homa Bash is of Indian descent and photographer C J Johnson is black.

Ms Bash, who joined the company from Cleveland last month, tweeted about the incident and it was re-tweeted more than 63,000 times and liked more than 125,000 times.

It struck a nerve in a country that is grappling with racial tensions.

One user replied: “If you see something and you’re a racist, say something racist.”

The police officer who responded to the call, Laurie Hunter, recognised the journalists were not a threat, said Plano police spokesman David Tilley.

When you get the cops called because a ‘Hispanic-looking woman & black man with a suspicious white truck & camera’ are near a school 😂

 

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