Ethan Casey is a Seattle-based international journalist, frequent public speaker, and author of Alive and Well in Pakistan: A Human Journey in a Dangerous Time (2004).

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The News: Making media matter

I skipped posting last week, but didn't skip writing my column. Last week's column was an excerpt from the talk I gave at the Bellevue Library in Bellevue, Washington, USA, titled "The Price Pakistanis Have Paid". It (the excerpt) is online as last week's column, here.

"Why is tourism so important? One might argue that developing countries from Thailand to Nepal to Jamaica have been ravaged by tourism, and that Pakistan should count its blessings for having been spared its depredations. But in Pakistan's case a bit of Disneyfication might have been a small price to pay, in lieu of the isolation and stigma its people have suffered."

This week's column is about a remarkable conference I had the privilege to attend May 17-21 on Cortes Island, British Columbia, Canada, called "Media That Matters". It's online here.

"Despite the two countries' long border, few Americans make such connections or learn about such work in Canada, unless we actively seek it out. Matt Thompson, a Canadian writer, producer and online strategist, articulated to me another valuable aspect of the cross-border dimension. 'One of the reasons it's important that the conferences are in Canada is that Canadians understand Americans better than anyone else,' he said. 'And the reason for that is necessity. I think that's something unique that Canada can offer: rendering America more intelligible to the world.'"

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