Posts By Claude Adams

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From Cuba, the voice of a brave blogger

While dissident journalists are silenced or jailed, Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez has a lot to say to those in the West who still entertain the fantasy that Cuba and Castroism are models of social organization.
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Violent Sex as a Cure for PTSD? One Reporter’s Bizarre Story

When reporter Mac McClelland went to Haiti on assignment for Mother Jones magazine, she met a woman who told a harrowing story of gang rape. That experience, and what happened to the woman subsequently, had a powerful effect on McClelland. “I was undone,” she writes. What McClelland did to deal with her PTSD is a hair-raising story in itself–strange but true, and not for the faint of heart.
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Content-farming, and what it means for journalism.

“The content farms have taken journalism hackwork to a whole new level.” A highly critical look at factory journalism: online companies like Associated Media and Demand Media that generate enormous quantities of content masquerading as news. Writer Virigina Heffernan of the New York Times also reports on what Google is doing to counteract this phenomenon.
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The Forgotten Hostage

By  •  News

She called herself a journalist; her critics called her a propagandist. She was vilified as a nutcase, a drunk, a fraud, a Taliban-lover, even a traitor. Nevertheless, Beverley Giesbrecht did something few Canadians dared to do–to venture into Pakistan’s tribal regions with a video camera, looking for the “truth” about the jihadist insurgency. And she died under the most wretched circumstances. Her story, by freelancer Claude Adams.
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War in the Mind: A Review

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Judy Jackson’s new documentary on war-related trauma, War in the Mind, will be aired on TVO next month. The Salt Spring Island filmmaker, who’s had her own experience with PTSD, looks at a unique UBC program for Canadian soldiers who served in Afghanistan, and returned with serious trauma issues. A review by Claude Adams.
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Mellissa Fung and Post-traumatic Growth

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Nearly three years after she made headlines as a Taliban kidnap victim in Afghanistan, Mellissa Fung is tired of talking about her 28-day nightmare and anxious to get back to doing what she likes best: overseas reporting. But the CBC is keeping her close to home. That may be a mistake, speculates an expert on “positive psychology,” because her ordeal may have made her a better reporter. See Charlie Smith‘s story in the Georgia Straight.
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The Japan Disaster: Journalists piling on

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Japan is a heart-breaking human story, and the images from the disaster zones have been extraordinary. But is this story really better served by having thousands of foreign journalists on the scene, journalists who are themselves at risk of psychological trauma, radiation poisoning or worse? Claude Adams has a first-person perspective on how, and why we cover disasters.
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Forget the Canadian angle; give me the news.

Last night (Feb. 24) after a tumultuous day in Libya, all three Canadian networks — CBC, CTV and Global — decided that the important story of the day was NOT an African people’s brave and bloody struggle for freedom, but rather how that revolution is inconveniencing Canadians. CTV led with higher gasoline prices at the pump: CBC and Global opened their shows with reports from Rome, about how difficult it was for Canadians to leave Libya. Claude Adams reports.
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The Pornography Trap

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“Trauma stories require the writer to consider the reader, listener, or viewer as a partner in the creation of ethical journalism.” How not to write about rape, an article by freelance reporter Jina Moore, 2009 Ochberg Fellow of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s Dart Center on Journalism and Trauma.

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Working for nothing: The social media scam

When was the last time an online media site, like the Huffington Post,  told you they couldn’t pay you for the content you were offering them but, hey, they were giving you a platform to “build an audience around your personal brand” so you should be grateful? News flash, says David Carr in this column in the NY Times. They’re building value on your free labor.
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