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A better media is possible

Not so long ago, reporters ‘becoming the story’ was taboo, journalists writing about the media, a navel gaze too far. Leave that to the academics.

But, like it or not, today’s chaotic and unpredictable media landscape is a news story in its own right. And one that contains several key elements of drama – including existential threat. If you include social media platforms – now the most common means by which people access news – hardly a day goes by without a novel twist or dire warning, thanks to their activities.

So, for this month’s Big Story we set aside the old taboos and tackle the topic head on, taking an emphatically solutions-oriented approach.

Which can also be said of Divyanshu Ganatra, a clinically blind outdoors enthusiast, who is featured in the Making Waves section. He has started an adventure-sports, not-for-profit organization for those experiencing disability-related stigma in India. While this edition’s Country Profile takes us to Costa Rica, where we catch up with the unexpected election victory of President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, who beat a socially conservative, evangelical Christian opponent, tipped to win after whipping up popular sentiment against gay marriage. All of which reminds us that even in these most gloomy of times, you never quite know what might happen next. It might even be something good.


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Included in this issue

And Finally: Steve McCurry

Famous for his portrait of the green-eyed ‘Afghan Girl’, photographer Steve McCurry speaks to Graeme Green about Afghanistan,...

Mixed Media: Music

Remain in Light by Angélique Kidjo; Voice of Resistance by Rim Banna.

Costa Rica: Country Profile

Gustavo Fuchs takes a look at this country, nicknamed the ‘Central American Switzerland’.

Why you can teach funny

Comedy is an art form. Kate Smurthwaite explains.

Q&A with Zaina Erhaim

Anton Mukhamedov speaks with the Syrian reporter about the challenges of being a female journalist and the need to document...

Letter from Marabá: Democracy in prison

Dan Baron Cohen writes from Cabelo Seco, where news of former president Lula’s sentencing has stirred waves of anxiety and...

The selfish giants

Laura Basu on how media ownership is getting more concentrated – and what to do about it.

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies…

Vanessa Baird writes on the strange mutations of ‘fake news’.

Making waves – meet Divyanshu Ganatra

Blind outdoors enthusiast, Divyanshu Ganatra, on the importance of inclusion through adventure sports in India. Profile by...

Malware for humans

Wars in cyberspace are wars on our minds. JJ Patrick on the murky underworld of big data, social media, espionage and the...

Mixed Media: Film

The Ciambra directed and written by Jonas Carpignano;In the Fade directed and co-written by Fatih Akin.

A freight train that originated in Duisburg, Germany arrives in Dazhou, China.

One belt, one road

Wayne Ellwood looks at the scale of China’s ’Belt and Road’ juggernaut and its economic and political ramifications.

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