NEW CHAPTER BEGINS

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Yearwood opens the 65th annual  IPI World Congress in Doha, Qatar.

I left the Miami Herald a week ago after 13 great years as the newspaper’s World Editor. The story appeared in Richard Prince’s Journal-isms, which I’m sharing below.

Yearwood Leaves Miami Herald After 13 Years

John Yearwood, who as world editor of the Miami Herald became increasingly active in international press freedom issues as executive board chair of the Vienna-based International Press Institute, ended 13 years at the Herald on Wednesday.

“I’ve voluntarily left the Miami Herald after a terrific 13-year run,” Yearwood said in an electronic response to those emailing him at the Herald.
Aminda “Mindy” Marqués  Gonzalez, Herald executive editor and vice president, messaged Journal-isms Thursday, “We have not named a replacement yet.”

Yearwood posted a photo of himself on his Twitter account Wednesday with Patrick Talamantes, president and CEO of the McClatchy Co., the Herald’s corporate parent.

“Great way to spend my last day with #McClatchy. Terrific meeting at HQ with @ptalamantes, president & CEO. #grtguy,” Yearwood wrote. McClatchy’s corporate headquarters are in Sacramento, Calif. Yearwood was in Silicon Valley for a conference of Rights Con Silicon Valley 2016, which calls itself “the world’s leading conference convened on the future of the internet.”

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Yearwood with Pat Talamantes, president and CEO of McClatchy. They met at company headquarters in Sacramento on Yearwood’s last day with McClatchy. After the meeting, Talamantes tweeted: “Nice to see you John. Thanks for all your great work. Have a productive week at #RightsCon2016 in SF. #pressfreedom”

Yearwood, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, has been the Herald’s world editor since 2003. He had been national/international editor and assistant city editor for government and politics at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and spent 10 years at the Dallas Morning News, where he reported from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

“I’m incredibly fortunate and blessed to have been able to do everything I wanted at the Herald — far more than I ever thought possible when I arrived 13 years ago,” Yearwood emailed Journal-isms on Thursday.

“It’s been a great run that includes coordinating the landmark Afro-Latin American series, coverage of the Great Quake in Haiti and dramatic changes in Cuba, rescuing a staffer detained in Venezuela and initiating Herald scholarships to honor its first African-American reporter. Along the way, I helped galvanize Miami after the quake to save Ayikodans, Haiti’s brilliant modern dance company, a cultural institution.

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Haitian modern dance company Ayikodans has performed to sold-out audiences in Miami since 2010’s devastating earthquake. Yearwood led a community effort to save the company.

“I was honored on my last day to spend some time with Pat Talamantes, McClatchy’s president and CEO, in a great discussion of some of the issues confronting the company and industry.

“I plan to take the next month to complete some significant global travel commitments then decide with my family whether to accept a position in journalism or go in a different direction.

“Whatever I decide to do, however, I intend to continue my strong commitment to a free press and free expression. I’m incredibly proud of our work at the International Press Institute, where we just wrapped up our 65th World Congress in Doha, Qatar, and are considering meeting in the U.S. next year.”

“It’s been a great run that includes leading the landmark Afro-Latin American series, coverage of the Great Quake in Haiti and dramatic changes in Cuba, and initiating Herald scholarships to honor its first African-American reporter. Along the day, I helped galvanize Miami after the quake to save Ayikodans, Haiti’s brilliant modern dance company, a cultural institution.

According to Yearwood’s bio, “his department has won multiple awards under his leadership, including two McClatchy Company President’s Awards and the Arthur Ross Award for best coverage of Latin America.  . . .”

Yearwood has been treasurer of the National Association of Black Journalists and a board member of Unity: Journalists of Color, Inc.

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Yearwood with Miami Herald World Desk staffers Mimi Whitefield, Jacqueline Charles and Andres Oppenheimer after receiving the COSMOS 2016 Distinguished Citizen Award.

In 2013, the French-American Foundation asked him whether his “foreign origins, and thus a personal connection to multiple cultures, enriched your ability to report on global issues and questions pertaining to immigration?”

Yearwood replied, “Absolutely. I could not do my job as effectively if I didn’t have a personal connection to the many cultures we cover. For example, I coordinated coverage of a breakthrough series several years ago about Afro-Latin Americans. Although it’s been four years, we still get requests to republish it or for me to speak about the series.

“In fact, the Library of Congress called last fall to ask if I would make a presentation to them about the series. A lesson plan was even developed from it for high school students. Our goal was to increase the visibility of Africans in Latin America.

“In the end, the series ended up being more complex that even I envisioned. It added tons of knowledge to what we knew about blacks in the Americas. It was a huge undertaking but, again, it’s something that we probably would not have done had I not had that regional cultural sensitivity.” [Added March 31]

 

TOP TEN DESTINATIONS OF 2015

This is one year I wish I was picking 15 cities instead of 10. The decision was excruciating. A couple cities that had been on the list throughout the decision process dropped off right at the end. For those of you who know how much I love London – and I had four terrific visits there in 2015 – probably won’t believe that London fell off. Ditto for Boston, a new city that surprised me with its beauty and wide array of activities. I’m headed back to Boston in a few weeks so there’s hope for it hitting the 2016 list. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

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In 2015, I traveled about 160,000 miles and visited dozens of cities around the world. Some were breathtaking, others were easily forgettable. What follows is the list of cities where I enjoyed superior experiences. (2014 list here.)

A quick word about Miami. Some of you have asked why isn’t Miami listed. Miami’s issue is that I live in the city and the Top Destinations focuses on cities I’ve visited. The fact that I chose to live in the city speaks volumes.

Now, the World Dispatch Top 10 Destinations of 2015. Let me know yours or what you think of my list.

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Two women at the market in Accra, Ghana. Accra returned to my Top 10 list for the second consecutive year.

10. Accra, Ghana. Accra is one of two cities making a return to the Top 10 list in 2015. There’s nothing more spectacular than watching a procession of traditional rulers enter a room. Their garments were stunning when I first saw the procession two years ago and it remained so last year. Ghanaians are among the friendliest and kindest people I’ve ever encountered. A unique experience was attending a reception, including dancing, near the base of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial. My visit was marred a bit by a major storm that claimed more than 150 lives when a gas station where residents had sought shelter exploded.

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The Great Wall of China

9. Beijing, China. I must have heard a million times that anyone who visits Beijing should expect to see some of the world’s most spectacular sites but experience some of the worst pollution on the planet. Only half of that proved true for me. The sites I saw were indeed breathtaking — the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, among many others. But I lucked out in the pollution front. There was so little of it when I was there that I went jogging and even joined a group of seniors doing Tai Chi at a nearby park. That said, I still walked with my mask and enough allergy medicine to serve a small army. It was my first visit to mainland China and my lasting impressions will remain the food – from Peking duck to a variety of fish dishes – to the amazing sites.

8. Dusseldorf, Germany. It was my third visit to Dusseldorf in the past several years. The visits have been to attend my friend Kiki Kuhnert’s Dolphin Night Gala. In 2015, Dolphin Night celebrated its 20th anniversary. This visit, however, gave me a chance to explore the city a bit.

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Dusseldorf. A favorite activity is jogging along the Rhine.

After I landed at 7 a.m, the hotel told me my room was not ready. The concierge suggested I do a walking tour of the old town and the nearby shopping district, which I did. I had planned to go running along the Rhine, but the walk hit the spot. One thing I missed: the Christmas markets. They opened a week after I left.

7. Marrakesh, Morocco. This is Marrakesh’s second appearance on my Top 10 list. What elevated it over others in 2015 was the range of dining experiences I enjoyed. I stayed at the Four Seasons, which has terrific dining options. But one of my dinners was at a hotel I’ve wanted to visit for years – La Mamounia, one of the best-regarded hotels in the world. In fact, the readers of Conde Nast Traveler named it the World’s Best Hotel. Just a visit to its gardens – more like a 20-acre park – where trees hang low with fruit makes the trip worth it. I was lucky times two on this visit. Not only did the German Marshall Fund have great locations for its Atlantic Dialogues sessions, so did the African Leadership Network a day or so later. I was fortunate to attend both.

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La Jolla, California, on a beautiful afternoon

6. La Jolla, Calif. En route to a series of meetings in Asia in the spring, I stopped in La Jolla for a family vacation. I did not know much about the town, which made every twist and turn a pleasant surprise. Both La Jolla Cove and La Jolla Shores were great places to swim and snorkel. And if you love to watch and marvel at sea lions, La Jolla Cove is the place to be. At the end of the day, there was nothing more peaceful than sitting at one of the restaurants overlooking the Cove to watch the sunset. Can’t wait to return.

5. Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. I flew to Salvador for two days of R&R ahead of a few meetings in Sao Paulo. I could not be happier that I did. I found the city considerably larger than I expected. Yet, it was easy to get around or just relax by the ocean. I arrived after dark. When I awoke and looked out the window, the view was breathtaking. The boardwalk below had started to buzz with locals for the usual Sunday beach lime and the Atlantic looked stunning.

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View out my window in Salvador, Brazil

The city has a fascinating history, one I wish I had sufficient time to explore. And the food! You could find a little of everything but the seafood was spectacular.

4. New York, NY. What do I say about New York? I’ve visited the city for years but often left quickly; I found it overwhelming. In recent years, I’ve visited for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly and other events, such as the Clinton Global Initiative. I often walked from one event to another. And as I did so, I found myself growing to love the city. I made four trips to NY in 2015; some were way too brief. One of my last was to speak at the United Nations as part of a discussion on hate speech. I’ve been to the city so many times and seen so many of the sites that New York is becoming for me like London; just being in the city gives me a charge. No sightseeing necessary.

3. Nairobi, Kenya.  I had been to Nairobi several times but the last visit was a decade ago. I was eager on this visit to see how things had changed. It becomes apparent quickly that migration from internal conflicts in Somalia and elsewhere was changing the makeup of the city. Still, there was a dynamism in Nairobi, which I also found on my first visit almost 30 years ago. Nairobi quickly sucks you in, whether shopping at the city market, an upscale mall or buying fried chicken on the side of the road. A wonderful thing about being in Nairobi is that it’s relatively easy to get to the national parks for a safari.

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Giraffes try to prove who’s boss at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya.

On this visit, I drove out to Lake Nakuru National Park, home to the famous pink flamingoes and other wildlife. I went to see flamingoes but was captivated by the lake itself. As someone who’s always looking ahead to what I’m doing or where I’m going next, it was intoxicating to sit there and appreciate the beauty of the moment.

2. Yangon, Myanmar. I looked forward to visiting Yangon more than any place I had been in years. Perhaps not since my first visit to Kenya three decades ago had I researched a city as much as I did Yangon, from watching YouTube videos to reading the daily AP report. I was very fascinated by this country, which was opening up after decades of military rule. Once there, Yangon did not disappoint. The room at my hotel faced the Shwedagon Pagoda. The first time I saw its stunning gold dome, I couldn’t turn away – particularly after seeing it so many times in videos and pictures.

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Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar. Impressive from my window a few miles away. Even more so up close.

Walking around Shwedagon a few days later, I was surprised to find that it was even more beautiful up close. Interestingly, it was easier to get into Myanmar than many countries I visited in 2015 thanks to a simplified online visa process. In fact, the immigration officer wanted to know if I had trouble getting the visa. None at all, I responded.

1. Vienna, Austria. I’ve been to Vienna many times because it’s the home base of the International Press Institute, an organization that I chair. My visit last fall, however, was something special. The extraordinarily bumpy flight into the airport confirmed that it had been storming. Looking out the window, I jokingly tweeted that low visibility made it impossible to tell whether the hills were alive with the sound of music. It apparently had been raining for a week. There was not a cloud in the sky the following morning as I left the hotel for my meeting . As we met, I looked out the window on a day that became more beautiful by the hour. After the meeting, I decided to walk the half-hour to my hotel toting a heavy briefcase of agenda and other briefing material. As I walked, this beautiful city came alive in ways I hadn’t seen before. I lingered to watch children skateboarding in the park and tourists snapping pictures in front of the Karlsplatz Fountain.

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Fireworks over Vienna, perhaps celebrating being named World Dispatch Top Destination of 2015.

At dinner, I passed on dining at the more than 500-year-old Griechenbeisl, which welcomed me the year before, for a bit newer eatery. The Do & Co, across from the famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral, was perfect for the food and view of the plaza below. Do & Co says there’s no place more beautiful to relish life. I can’t disagree. Vienna saved the best treat for last. Moments before the aircraft’s doors closed on departure, the legendary Julie Andrews boarded. And she sat just a couple rows ahead of me. I resisted the urge to ask whether she thought the hills were still alive with the sound of music.

TOP 10 VISITED CITIES OF 2014

On the road in 2014. Thousands of miles and dozens of cities.

On the road in 2014. Thousands of miles and dozens of cities.

Friends often ask what’s my favorite city. It’s usually difficult to name just one. Each city has a flavor all its own and I like each for different reasons. In 2014, I visited almost 50 cities in the U.S. and abroad, traveling more than 140,000 miles. So what were my favorite stops along the way? This was a very difficult exercise (some cities I thought would make the list, didn’t), but I’ve settled on 10 to come up with the World Dispatch Top 10 Visited Cities of 2014. First, a caveat: This is not a list of the 10 best cities in the world; it’s the Top 10 of the ones I visited. Hope you find your favorites here. What’s your Top 10? Leave a message in the comments and follow World Dispatch if you like what you read. Happy trails.

A young boy feeds pigeons at one of the main squares in Bogota.

A young boy feeds pigeons at one of the main squares in Bogota.

10. BOGOTA I had stopped briefly in Bogota in 2013 en route to Cartagena, a city that would have made the list had I visited in 2014. I looked forward to returning to Bogota and was glad I did. Thanks to Jim Wyss, chief of the Miami Herald’s Andean Bureau, the visit surpassed my expectations. Whether touring the Botero Museum, haggling over prices at the flea market, dining at one of its fantastic new restaurants or hanging out in the Candelaria, Bogota’s Latin American flavor made it a must-list.

9. TORONTO I’ve been to Toronto each of the past four years but the city remains fresh. Always something new to discover or an interesting person to meet. Both occurred on my trip last year, including my visit to Casa Loma. Looking forward to returning to both. I visited Montreal for the second time last year and thought it would make the list but Toronto had just that much more, which elevated it over Montreal.

Marrakesh. Old world meets new. Camels grazing at the side of the road.

Marrakesh. Old world meets new. Camels grazing at the side of the road.

8. MARRAKESH After visiting many cities in Morocco, I finally made it to Marrakesh. And it did not disappoint. It’s the old world meeting the new. I still can’t get the images of camels at the side of the road out of my head. I initially thought this fascinating city would make my top 5 but the competition was stiff.

7. LOS ANGELES I live in Miami where downtown is not as vibrant as it can be. So it was refreshing to visit Los Angeles and see so many people walking about downtown. (A protest happening while I was there no doubt contributed to the pedestrian traffic.) Visiting LA can be intoxicating, especially with such close proximity to the playground of the stars. Also, for someone who lives where it’s flat, the mountains were a real treat.

London. Didn't crack the top 5 but still beautiful -- day or night.

London. Didn’t crack the top 5 but still beautiful — day or night.

6. LONDON It pains me not to have London crack the top 5. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love London. I went to school there and have lots of friends there, even some who claim me as family. I visited five times in 2014 but it had lots of competition from other cities.

5. HONG KONG It was great being back in Hong Kong. The scenery is spectacular and the food, even more so. Wandering through the tiny alleys, you never know what you might happen upon – a major anti-government protest or a night market.

4. ISTANBUL What can I say? Istanbul continues to be a city of intrigue after all these years. I would look out my hotel window onto Taksim Square at all hours of the night and see thousands of people walking about. In Istanbul, it seems, there’s no time for sleeping. Makes sense because there’s so much to see and do there.

Traditional ruler arrives for a meeting in Accra accompanied by courtiers.

Traditional ruler arrives for a meeting in Accra accompanied by courtiers.

3. ACCRA My second visit, even stayed at the same hotel (though now under new management). In Accra, the Africa of my high school and college text books came alive on this visit. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked out the hotel window to see a traditional ruler arriving for a meeting draped in gold and wearing an intricately woven Kente robe. A courtier held a large umbrella over his head. The scene repeated itself as other leaders arrived. Glad I wasn’t dreaming. Great history. Great culture. Great people.

2. GENEVA My first visit. The weather was a bit cold but perfect. Strolling along Lake Geneva, wandering through art shops in the Old Town, stopping for coffee at an outside shop and sipping it beneath a warm blanket on the square helped to make my stay exceptional.

The beauty that is Cape Town. Table Mountain in the backgroud.

The beauty that is Cape Town. Table Mountain in the backgroud.

1. CAPE TOWN My second visit to Cape Town but no less mesmerizing than the first. It’s a city that continues to burst with possibilities. And it seems to have it all: incredible beauty, friendly people and great food. Stroll along the waterfront, take the cableway to Table Mountain, tour one of the myriad wineries or go dancing in one of its hip nightclubs and you’ll see why this enchanting city scored as the World Dispatch Top Visited City of 2014.

Crashing the Grand Théâtre de Genève



theatreHow do you crash one of the great theatres of Europe? Here’s how I did it on my recent visit to Switzerland. I was in Geneva in November to attend a press freedom meeting of the International Press Institute, on whose board I sit. When the meeting ended a bit early, I emailed Armando Gonzalez, a soloist with the Geneva Ballet. Armando is a graduate of New World School of the Arts in Miami. I met him earlier this year after the Peter London Global Dance Company invited him to choreograph a piece in honor of my friend Victoria London. He suggested that I look him up if I’m ever in Geneva. He responded to my email, saying that he was about to go on stage in the season’s final production of Casse-Noisette, described as an enchanting fairy tale full of exuberant joy and lyric tenderness. One catch: I had to be at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in a half-hour.

NO TIME TO SPARE

theatre2Fifteen minutes had passed before I saw the email. What to do? Go out for drinks with friends or hustle to the theatre. I grabbed a cab and rushed to the theatre. The show had already started. I asked to purchase a ticket. Not possible, I was told. It had been sold out for weeks. (Armando later said he had planned to take me through the staff entrance.) An usher suggested that I wait for intermission and maybe Armando would answer an email telling him that I was in the lobby. As I waited, I checked out the beautiful lobby, where the production was being shown on a large screen.

Intermission. And no response.

When the bell rang to signal the show was about to resume, the theatre manager walked over to apologize. “Not a single seat is available,” he said.

As we talked, a woman waited patiently to the side with her two kids. I thanked the manager and began to leave. Just then, the woman handed him three tickets. Her children were sleepy, she said, and she was taking them home.

 ‘LUCKY DAY’

Grand Théâtre de Genève.

The manager handed me one of the tickets. “It’s your lucky day!” he said.

An usher came running and asked me to follow her. Up the stairs we ran. My benefactor had great seats: First balcony and slightly to the right of the stage. I sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the show. It’s great having Lady Luck as your dance partner!

FROM MARRAKECH TO TORONTO, BEHIND SCENES OF LATEST TRAVELS

When I travel, I enjoy giving you a behind-the-scenes look at experiences that help make the trip memorable. What follows are snapshots from my current dash from Marrakech to London to Toronto to Washington, D.C. to Miami.

LATE IRON LEAVES ME STEAMED

Giving the prologue at the Atlantic Dialogues in Marrakech.

Giving the prologue at the Atlantic Dialogues in Marrakech.

I arrived in Marakech on Thursday to attend the Atlantic Dialogues. I was honored to be asked to do the prologue, the opening speech that sets the stage for the discussions to follow. The night before the opening, I asked the hotel for an iron. None came. Fine, I thought, I would use steam the shower to unwrinkle my shirt. It worked. An hour before the speech, I heard a knock on my door. I opened it to find that housekeeping had finally sent the iron. I didn’t really need it but thought what the heck, I should run it over my shirt to give it a crisp look. I untangled the cord and began ironing, my mind mostly on the speech. I felt a sting on my thigh and quickly pulled the iron away. Yep, I had accidentally burned myself. Sometimes, I thought, best to leave well enough alone, as my mom used to say. As I gave the prologue, I could still feel a slight pain in my thigh. Probably explains why some in the audience said later that I was on fire.

CATCHING UP WITH FRIENDS IN MARRAKECH

Karim, left, and Hassan, right. We enjoyed a delicious meal and great conversation in Marrakech.

Karim, left, and Hassan, right. We enjoyed a delicious meal and great conversation in Marrakech.

One of the great delights of travel is visiting with friends around the world. In Marrakech, I had the great pleasure of catching up with my friend Karim. We met on my first visit to Morocco more than five years ago. His family is connected to the family of another good friend, Madhu Metha. At Madhu’s request, Karim showed me around Casablanca. He was a great host and guide. The best part of the visit was dining at Rick’s Cafe, which made me feel for a moment that I was part of a different time. Sam was even at the piano.

I emailed Karim when I arrived in Marrakech to see if he planned to be here for the weekend. I was surprise when he said yes; he had a wedding to attend. We met up a day after the wedding and his brother Hassan joined us. It was great catching up over dinner at the Pacha Complex, a massive compound of restaurants and clubs that he co-owns in Marrakech. Over great wine and food (I had the rabbit) we talked about everything, from Middle East politics to the Florida gubernatorial elections. After dinner, we popped into a few of his other restaurants and the Pacha nightclub. His Churrascaria Marius Brazilian restaurant was incredible: people clapping, dancing on tables. It was quite a show. Dining there next time I’m in Marrakech. I returned to my hotel just in time to get an extra hour of sleep because clocks were being turned back an hour. (See next post).

MARRAKECH HOTEL AND TIME MANAGEMENT

I had problems sleeping most nights. My first morning, I got up in the night and wondered the time, having forgotten to set by watch. I dialed the front desk. “7 minutes to 5,” came the voice on the other end. “7 to 5?” I asked, a bit puzzled. The TV was showing a different time, although I didn’t quite trust it. “Are you sure?” I pressed. He responded with 6:55, which matched what I was seeing on the TV. Of course, that’s far different from 4:53 – although I could have used the extra couple hours of sleep.

 CONNECTING SIR ISAAC NEWTON, FAREED ZAKARIA AND BLOOMBERG’S DAN DOCTOROFF

Sir Isaac Newton. Lived across the street from my hotel in London.

Sir Isaac Newton. Lived across the street from my hotel in London.

Sometimes you see something that makes your jaw drop. That happened Monday morning as I sat for breakfast at the Radisson Blu Edwardian at Leicester Square in London. As I bit into one of the most delicious omelets I’ve ever had, I looked across the street at what a new library building. A historic marker was etched into the side: “SIR ISAAC NEWTON LIVED IN A HOUSE ON THIS SITE. 1710-1727” Wow! I thought. That night, I was to interview Fareed Zakaria and Bloomberg CEO Daniel Doctoroff at the Toronto Global Forum as part of the Executive Club dinner. I had just read on the flight to London (where I spend the night en route Toronto from Marrakech) that Fareed was listed among the 100 great thinkers of our time. I thought I should refer to this somehow in the introducing both men – I’m a big fan of both – to help begin and

Historic marker to Sir Isaac Newton on library in Leicester Square, London.

Historic marker to Sir Isaac Newton on library in Leicester Square, London.

frame the discussion that was to follow. I told the story of spotting the sign and referred to Fareed and Dan as great thinkers of our time. Dan demurred. But after our discussion, I don’t think anyone in the room disagreed with my characterization. They were outstanding. We traveled the world, touching on issues from Brazil to Obama to the Middle East to the European economic crisis to the attack in Ottawa to 911 to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Wish we had more time: wanted to get to Russia and quantitative easing. Next time.

PUSHING FOR PRESS FREEDOM IN THE CARIBBEAN

johnpressfreedomI was recently in Trinidad to  participate in a series of workshops on media self-regulation and election coverage. It was a great experience and I believe progress was made in efforts to advance press freedom in the Caribbean and in deepening election reporting. One of the local newspapers, the Trinidad Guardian, sat down with me for a report on my visit.  Journalist Reshma Ragoonath did a good job of capturing our conversation and my various presentations over the two-day session. Here’s some of her report:

IPI vice-chair to T&T journalists: Push for more press freedom

By Reshma Ragoonath
Published: Sunday, October 12, 2014
Miami Herald world editor and vice-chair of the International Press Institute John Yearwood. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES

International Press Institute (IPI) vice-chair and award-winning Trinidad-born journalist John Yearwood says while this country’s press freedom remains “very much alive,” local journalists must continue to push for more freedom to practice their profession. Yearwood, also chairman of the IPI North America committee and world editor at the Miami Herald, in an interview with the Sunday Guardian on Thursday, said Government’s repeal of criminal defamation was a positive step, but journalists must take charge of their enshrined right to freedom of the press.
“That (repeal) gives you a sense that although the Government does not always listen, it does on some things in helping to advance the cause of press freedom.  “But as with everything else, journalists need to continue to push and push for more freedom, and I think that is really, really important. “It is good to see that the Government is involved in helping that, but journalists need not to stop, they need to keep pushing for it,” Yearwood contended.

Yearwood, who is orignally from Point Fortin, but is now based in Miami, was in T&T last week for the Association of Caribbean Mediaworkers (ACM) and T&T Publishers and Broadcasters (TTPBA) media workshop on covering elections, at Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s. He said more was needed to be done to protect journalists who are threatened and subjected to abuse and intimidation. This, he said, is really unfortunate. “The intimidation of some journalists, that needs to stop.” He hastened to add, that for the most part, the conditions journalists operate under in T&T “is much, much better than in many places around the world.” He said the workshop, which featured sessions on understanding the elections process, reporting on election surveys, democracy and journalistic excellence in the Caribbean and media self-regulation, was a good initiative by the ACM and TTPBA.

For the rest of Reshma’s report, go here.

IPI ‘EXTREMELY CONCERNED’ ABOUT ATTACKS ON JOURNALISTS IN FERGUSON, MISSOURI

CNN report after journalists were arrested in Ferguson, Mo.

CNN report after journalists were arrested in Ferguson, Mo.

INTERNATIONAL PRESS INSTITUTE

NORTH AMERICAN COMMITTEE

For Immediate Release

MIAMI, Aug. 18, 2014 — While Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has replaced local “militarized” police officers with the State Police and National Guard, the North American Committee of the International Press Institute calls on law enforcement entities in Ferguson, Missouri to, in the future, abide by the U.S. Constitution and not impede the work of journalists covering the aftermath of the tragic death of Michael Brown. Journalists have reported being harassed, tear-gassed, shot with rubber bullets and even jailed while on assignment in Ferguson.

“We are extremely concerned that police in Ferguson trampled on the First Amendment in their zeal to bring the situation there under control,” said John Yearwood, chairman of IPI’s North American Committee. “We call on all law enforcement agencies operating there to respect the rights of journalists to report on conditions in Ferguson and to do so without intimidating the media.

“To see journalists in America treated with disdain and disrespect and threatened with bodily harm – much like the journalists we work so hard to protect around the world — is horrific and unacceptable.”

The North American Committee is one of 20 International Press Institute national committees. IPI is a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists. It is dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of press freedom, the protection of freedom of opinion and expression, the promotion of the free flow of news and information, and the improvement of the practices of journalism.

For more information, contact John Yearwood,jyearwood@miamiherald.com, or 305-376-3467.