19 July 2010

The power of journalism

Last week Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, head of the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons was one of two officials on a first-ever United Nations panel discussion about how the news media is exposing and explaining modern slavery and human trafficking -- and how to do it better.
"...Who picked the cotton in my shirt today? Who picked the beans in my coffee today? Where did the tantalum, and the coaltan and the gold that allows that cell phone to operate at low heat... where did it come from? It probably came from the Eastern Congo. And it probably came from someone that was enslaved to mining. You can't say that it is. And its the not being able to say that it is or it isn't is one of the problem. Its not enough anymore to simply say, "that guys a trafficker and we're going to catch him." The questions need to be asked, "do we start changing the way businesses look at their supply chain." How do we start changing how men view women, instead of as commodities that they can rent for sex. The things that drive demand..."
"So how do we look at a slavery free world? Slavery free as far as what I'm doing and what I need to do to stop it."
Will the power of journalism be something I use to heal, or to hook an audience? That goes without saying.

Since chosen by President Obama to lead our nation in the fight against modern day slavery, I've contemplated whether or not this was the right man for the job. I silently questioned his motives and his intentions and even his ability. Over time CdeBaca has earned my ear and my respect. The video below may give you some explanation as to why.

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The Power of Journalism