Saturday, March 18, 2006

A collection of interesting items

Here's a few items, not necessarily related.

ITEM 1 -- It looks like Canada has accepted Clara Hughes' Olympic challenge. You'll recall that after she won a gold medal in the 5,000 Metre long-track skating event, Clara Hughes pledged $10,000 of her own money to a charity called Right to Play. Well, as of today, Canadians have pledged more than $307,000. What a tribute in response to a selfless gesture. Kind of makes you proud, doesn't it?

ITEM 2 -- Have you ever wandered through a cemetary, just for the quiet beauty of it? I like to, from time to time. When I was a reporter back in Saskatchewan, I often visited cemetaries in small towns, where you could see the history of the community revealed in the stone markers. So A dream lies buried here, a wonderful article from the March 17 edition of the Globe and Mail's Facts and Arguments page, is one of the nicest pieces I've seen on the beauty of cemetaries and well worth the read. (I'm not sure how long it will be up on the site.)

ITEM 3 -- I was talking with a former reporter colleague yesterday and it brought back lots of memories of life as a reporter. But compared to this series of articles from (Part 1 and Part 2) on the bleak life for reporters in Baghdad covering the Iraq war, my time covering politics in Saskatchewan was a walk in the park. Iraq is a mess, and this excellent series makes clear just how desperate things have become.

ITEM 4 -- In a similar vein, I tracked down Christopher Allbritton's fascinating blog, Back to Iraq 3.0. Allbritton now lives in Iraq, after making news back in March, 2003, when he raised enough money from readers of his blog to go to Iraq to cover the war. He's now living in Iraq, working for Time magazine. He's earned a reputation from people who seem to know as a determined and honest journalist, who delivers a view of Iraq that you don't see as often as you used to.

Together the two items above make me appreciate just how difficult life has become for journalists trying to do their job in Iraq. Their world is a dangerous grey area, where nothing is quite what it seems and disaster can strike at any time. They deserve our respect, no matter what we think of the war itself.

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