Muddy Notebook

February 8, 2008

The blogging begins

Filed under: Uncategorized — carolynthewriter @ 10:56 pm

I have been meaning to start a blog on humanitarian issues for years – literally. I can check one New Year’s resolution off my list now. The blogosphere is the perfect place to write on humanitarian situations, solutions and people these days. Unfortunately, newspapers are decreasingly interested in sending its own reporters and photographers to cover overseas events. I know – I’m a writer with the Philadelphia Inquirer, though I currently am doing a copyediting stint. The Inquirer actually has been terrific in allowing me to use up hundreds of inches of precious newspaper space to write on the war in northern Uganda. I also wrote for the Editorial Board on Darfur, Myanmar and other developing world issues. Newspapers always will, once in a while, cover these issues. But I want to act on my belief that these issues need constant attention – and that readers are more interested in them than most people think.

I presume I’ll be writing a bio for my blog, but let me just tell you a bit about myself. I’ve mainly been a newspaper journalist since graduating from Ohio State University in 1982. I was a Peace Corps dropout (early terminee is the technical term, which seems a bit over-dramatic to me). I’ve laced my newspaper career with stories done overseas on refugees and war zones, and outside of journalism in humanitarian work. I did human rights work in Cambodia, was a consultant to UNICEF in Rwanda, where I helped institute a child-rights monitoring program involving mayors, and was a refugee camp manager during the Kosovo crisis for the International Rescue Committee. I was, in fact, the longest-serving refugee camp manager during the Kosovo crisis – now that’s a claim for the resume.

Okay, not.

I’m a believer in the power of the published word to educate, motivate and entertain, and think college and high school studentsare increasingly interested in doing good works for horrendous situations overseas. I salute them, and hope to profile them as well periodically¬†on this blog. I also encourage any activists to write in and join the discussion. My final comment in what I know is a long post, is to explain Muddy Notebook. That’s how my notebooks look when I’ve done reporting overseas. I’ve also estalbished a Web site, muddynotebook.com, where I eventually hope to move this blog. So, without even checking my spelling, I will hit the “save” button and join the world of blogging. Thanks for having me.

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