• Tim to the rescue: Legislating accountability

    Nick van Praag sends this piece on the exceptional work achieved by US senatorial aide Tim Rieser regarding the reciprocal release of prisoners and the thawing of relations between the United States and Cuba. Tim to the Rescue is one of my favorite children’s books. Written and illustrated by Edward Ardizzone, it tells of the courage and determination of its hero […]

    Tim to the rescue: Legislating accountability
  • Stepping over the line

    In 1979, I happened to run across Georges Bernier, the creator of the bitingly satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The motto  was “Bête et Méchant,” which translates roughly as “stupid and nasty.” It had started in 1960 as a monthly, Hara Kiri, which became a weekly, Hara Kiri Hebdo, in 1969.  It was temporarily banned on government orders in 1961 and 1966, mostly for taking pot […]

    Stepping over the line
  • Why the Swiss need to value their foreigners

    The following piece by Swiss-American journalist and author Edward Girardet was initially written for Swissinfo, a news website funded by the Swiss Foreign Ministry and the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. It was accepted and edited by Swissinfo’s English-language editors and posted on Monday, 22 December, 2014 as an Oped “Point of View”.  Within hours, however, the article pulled from the site […]

    Why the Swiss need to value their foreigners
  • Sierre Leone in the time of Ebola

    How frontline workers see the Ebola response in Sierra Leone. Nick van Praag, who is just back from this West African country, shares some random impressions.   With all due respect to Bob Geldof, people in Sierra Leone do know it’s Christmas but they’ve been told to cancel festivities anyway – along with New Year celebrations – for fear that […]

    Sierre Leone in the time of Ebola
  • Beyond the blah-blah: What now with the Sustainable Development Goals?

    The creation of a new and more realistic post-2015 agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is already happening with Geneva in the forefront. But how will the new SDGs be implemented and what can the international community do to ensure that they more effective – and different – and not just become another forum for blah-blah? Journalist and […]

    Beyond the blah-blah: What now with the Sustainable Development Goals?
  • North Korea: first steps towards change?

    Journalist Christopher Woodburn explores new directions for North Korea. Long-considered the last bastion of Stalinist socialism in the post-cold war era, the hermit kingdom—as it sometimes called—has purportedly made some ground-breaking changes which may pave the way towards long-term economic reforms. The lack of Western media coverage could be explained by the very opacity surrounding the existence of such reforms, […]

    North Korea: first steps towards change?
  • Old Friends – A 19th century photo album journey

    A 114-year-old family photograph album is discovered by chance on eBay and won – despite a last-minute collector’s challenge. The album had never been considered lost or missing because no one in the family even knew of its existence. Old Friends tells the story behind the pictures and then, with only names as a starting point, traces the lives of […]

    Old Friends – A 19th century photo album journey
  • Afghanistan – What went wrong?

    The following essay by Geneva-based journalist and author Edward Girardet was published by the Cairo Review of Global Affairs in October, 2014. Girardet is also co-editor of the 4th fully revised Essential Field Guide to Afghanistan (2014) which is available through The Essential Edge. This invaluable guide features further articles by Edward Girardet, but also various top experts on Afghanistan. The American-led […]

    Afghanistan – What went wrong?

Other News

The Essential Edge Guide to Aid Speak – Part I

The Essential Edge Guide to Aid Speak – Part I

The following is to help ordinary human beings understand the impressive but often incomprehensible-sounding terminology of the international aid community. We thank all those for their contributions and look forward to more. Accountable: Key buzzword. No UN report is complete without it. Indicates readiness to be criticised, but would prefer not to. African leader: Supposedly democratically-elected politician who has somehow […]

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Photo by Donatella Lorch

When A Stray Dog’s In Trouble, Katmandu’s Canine Rescuers Jump To It

This piece by Donatella Lorch, a former New York Times reporter now living in Katmandu, was first published by NPR. See link: The phone calls start in early morning. They are strikingly similar. “There is an injured dog on the street. Can you take care of it?” Ram Nagarkoti, the 31-year-old ambulance driver at the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KAT […]

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IRIN’s new challenge – independent humanitarian reporting

IRIN’s new challenge – independent humanitarian reporting

Swiss journalist Daniel Wermus writes on the establishment of IRIN, a former UN humanitarian news agency, in Geneva as a new – and independent – media organization. Life and death – can there be an even more crucial topic ? Nevertheless, disaster fatigue is severely undermining international news coverage. Ebola, ISIS, Ukraine, Syria, Central Africa, South Sudan, Libya, Gaza and a […]

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Steven Sotloff

Modern assassins, murder and social media

Steven Sotloff’s murder and decapitation is a tragedy in itself, but it also marks a turning point both for journalism and the communications strategy for the world’s most murderous insurgencies. Terrorists these days are spending so much effort on video production techniques that some analysts suspect that both Steven Sotloff and Jim Foley may have been murdered at the same time, […]

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What ever happened to real foreign reporting?

What ever happened to real foreign reporting?

The brutal murder in the name of Islam of American reporter James Foley by a British Jihadist outlines – once again – the extreme dangers journalists, many of them freelance, now face when trying to cover the world’s conflicts and humanitarian crisis zones. But the broader remains: who is going to provide the credible reporting we all need about what’s […]

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Info constructive: la révolution danoise (Constructive information: the Danish revolution)

Info constructive: la révolution danoise (Constructive information: the Danish revolution)

Essential Edge French-language editor Daniel Wermus explores the role of media in Denmark with regard an interesting experiment relating to society.  Geneva Les médias libres sont-ils là pour dénoncer… ou aider la société? Le concept «info constructive» lancé depuis deux ans par la Radio-TV publique danoise (DR) veut répondre à ce défi, sans rose bonbon ni autosatisfaction aveugle. Montrer les disfonctionnements, mais […]

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Source: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1263319/thumbs/o-CARBON-EMISSIONS-facebook.jpg

The carbon tax you are already paying

This piece is contributed by Mark Schapiro, an international writer specialising in environmental issues. He is currently working on his new book titled CARBON SHOCK. On the heels of the hottest spring in memory, and its accompaniment—drought—came the first-ever comprehensive assessment, from theRisky Business troika of Steyer-Paulson-Bloomberg, of the hundreds of millions of dollars that climate change is likely to cost […]

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People yearning to have a say

Time to focus on the people behind the numbers

This piece is contributed by Nick van Praag, a humanitarian specialist and director of Keystone’s Ground Truth programme. A slew of statistics released this week by UNHCR points to a rising tide of human misery as the number of refugees and displaced people continues its upward trajectory. But, as Jeff Crisp of Refugees International points out, the latest numbers beg as many questions as […]

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Writer Thomas Goltz (left_ with Shervardnaze seated.

The Silver Fox Remembered

With the death of former Soviet Foreign Minister and Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze earlier this month, journalist and writer Thomas Goltz remembers.  Livingston, Montana — Eduard Shevardnadze and I bonded during the siege and fall of the eastern Black Sea city of Sukhumi in September, 1993, and maybe because various Russian radio stations had declared us both missing and presumed […]

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Rebranding the Millennium Development Goals

by Priyash Bista Geneva – The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were supposed to create benchmarks for the developed world’s commitment to eliminating global poverty. The target date for completion is next year, and despite the fact that the U.N. still refers to the effort as “a milestone in global and national development efforts,” the record of the MDGs is spotty […]

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