A “Grand Bargain” dreamed up by a federal judge and funded by a covey of foundations has helped to rescue the city of Detroit from bankruptcy and $18 billion in debts. Now comes the hard part: rebuilding the public’s trust in government and the schools, repairing frayed relations among various racial and other groups, and wooing new residents, businesses and investors. That means changing people’s perceptions about Detroit, making people believe that it is the place to be, rather than to flee. How journalists portray Detroit as it emerges from bankruptcy will have a big impact on the public’s perceptions, not just locally, but nationally as well.
While daily newspapers across the country battle for their lives, a scrappy little ethnic newspaper in San Francisco's Japantown is discovering new ways to survive. It is the Nichi Bei Weekly, and it's become my poster child for the special role that ethnic news media can play in their communities.
A farmer’s experiment using stuffed toy tigers to frighten away menacing monkeys may prove to be the inspiration that will spark a reinvention of journalism in Bhutan, the remote Himalayan kingdom known for its daring goal to achieve Gross National Happiness (GNH). That’s the hope that sums up my recent trip to Bhutan, where I worked with some of the country’s leading newspaper, television and radio journalists.