Journalism Competition 2012
Are you an aspiring journalist interested in issues facing the developing world? This is your chance to become one of the 16 finalists taken out on an assignment to Africa and Asia to write a feature that will be published in special Guardian supplements later this year. For more details visit guardian.co.uk/journalismcompetition Entry deadline: Thursday 3 May 2012 Follow us on Twitter @Journalism_Comp or find us on Facebook under The Guardian International Development Journalism Competition
Supported by a consortium of NGOs led by Marie Stopes International, including: AMREF, Bishop Simeon Trust, CARE International UK, David Rattray Memorial Trust, Plan UK, Progressio, Save the Children and The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture Editor’s Letter
Adapting to uncertainty
Lurching through the streets of Dhaka on a narrow rickshaw seat, I thought I would be catapulted out at any time.
Then I peered through the dust around me. I saw all sorts of precious cargo balanced on passengers’ knees: sleeping infants, panes of glass, towers of egg boxes.
The driver understood his environment well, I realized, and could navigate the many hazards on the roads.
A nail-biting journey by rickshaw struck me as an analogy for how Bangladesh is navigating the impacts of climate change: with grit, ingenuity, limited technology and no safety net.
I chose not to run photos of natural disasters and floods in this issue. Devastation is already well documented on rolling 24 hour news channels, but we hear less about Bangladeshis’ resilience in the face of encroaching seas and erratic rains. I also met those people for whom the only adaptation option was migration. This brought with it the danger of cross country bordercrossings or the misery of destitution in bursting cit ies.
Adaptation to climate change charts a path between ecology, climate science and competing models of development. The latter is the subject of both our Argument and special feature this month.
Our debaters consider whether aid should be cut to countries with poor human rights records, while Andrew Bowman considers some of the downsides to Bill Gates’ brand of ‘venture philanthropy’.
Worldbeater returns this issue, taking aim at Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang: ‘ruthless kleptocrat and good family man’.
And let me end with a reminder: all subscribers are entitled to a free digital subscription, so don’t forget to activate yours at www.newint.org/logon hazel healy for the New Internationalist Co-operative www.newint.org
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COMING NEXT MONTH
For a saner society
The narrative of mental distress and illness often focuses on the individual: it is they who have a problem and they who must work on their recovery. Yet the anxieties that trigger many mental disorders often arise from the social and economic conditions people find themselves in. While the sale of psychiatric drugs rockets, no pill exists yet to treat fragmented communities or the social ravages of greed-based economies.
Next month’s New Internationalist argues the case for restoring social health as an essential part of the mental health discussion. And there’s a welcome return for popular author John F Schumaker, who explains why living in a material world is driving us to distraction.
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