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I hope you will find this an honest and useful resource about media, values and democracy. The Blog is where I expand on my HUMORus Twitter feed.  Most of this is about the evolution of news in digital, mobile, horizontal etc. formats; press freedom; the role of journalism in a democracy; the importance of ethics; what is good journalism; life in Hungary today, and other stuff I am thinking about. Longer published reports and analysis are under Reports and Monographs. Published  articles from my legacy media past may be available through an internet search, although some may remain pre-digital in dusty newspaper archives.

Some Links are offered to point you to other sites about journalism quality, controversies, ethics and technology, as well as some excellent news sites, nonpartisan USA political sites, and other related resources.

Click here to write to me. In my next life, I will have time to deal with an interactive site. For now I will try to read your email message and respond to it. I look forward to your ideas and links, and, with your permission, may blog about them to this site. Thanks for visiting...

Ellen Hume

"The Road to Freedom"

Ana Contreras Fernandez (left, with scarf) grew up in a Roma family in Barcelona, living the traditional market sellers’ way of life. 

Today Ana has a different career: organizing Roma women so that her own seven-year-old daughter, and all other Gitanas growing up in Spain, can have a more promising future. She is president of Drom Kotar Mestipen, “The Road to Freedom,” a Roma women’s organization founded in 1999 whose work might offer some useful lessons for other impoverished and marginalized people.

More Drama in Hungary (Holocaust Report Part III)

Walking home today from an Easter Monday walk in Budapest, we unexpectedly came upon an artist, Tibor Szilagyi, trying to challenge the government's "Germany Made Us Do It" statue project in Freedom Square. Tibor wanted to protest the government's planned statue, which aims to absolve Hungarians from any Holocaust guilt.

All They Stand to Gain is Their Souls

 

Today officially marks the 70th anniversary of the Hungarian holocaust. A few Hungarian government officials will put flowers by the Danube, where hundreds of Jews were tied together and ordered to take off their shoes. Only the first and last in the line were shot, but the rest, who were lashed to them, died by drowning as they were all pushed into the river. That way the Hungarian Arrow Cross government could save bullets.

Assigning Blame, 70 Years After

Hungary is struggling with how to remember the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust —when 560,000 Jewish and Roma Hungarians were assembled, robbed, tortured, and executed, most in an unprecedentedly fast four-month blitz at the end of the war.

Havel's spirit "we must carry"

Hundreds of us gathered last Sunday night in Prague, to conjure the spirit of Vaclav Havel at the first Forum 2000 conference in 16 years that he wouldn't attend himself. Olda Czerny, who faithfully served in Havel's cabinet and ran these conferences, also died last year. We were feeling sad about all this when Jan Urban, the journalist who taught us how hard it is to "teach old cats to bark," introduced a video of Havel onstage, carrying a guitar.

The Gerbaud conversation: finding nutrition in news?

If everyone is now a journalist, thanks to mobile media tools, how can consumers create a nutritious news diet for themselves? How can they sort out what reality is captured and what is constructed and therefore presumably less authentic?

Why I live in Budapest

Central European University http://www.ceu.hu is a unique place, a gem. It is fragile. What happens here is extremely difficult to do.  CEU takes people from damaged countries and helps them work for a better world. It encourages critical thinking, and seeks an honest engagement with history. It has no dominant nationality; students and faculty are drawn from over 100 countries.  They embrace change, but work to channel it in positive directions...

Women Who "Work"

OK, I understand how Hilary Rosen feels about women and work, and also why Ann Romney is stirring the sympathy vote: "Democrat Says Ann Romney “Has Never Worked A Day In Her Life” http://politi.co/HBPadI  If truth be told, I got into the same fix myself years ago, when I went back to my high school to give a talk, and said that I couldn't be "just a housewife, raising kids, baking cupcakes and tending my garden" when the world was in flames with the civil rights, anti-war and other movements. There was an audible gasp.

Corporate Culture Vultures

March 26, 2012

Budapest

Maybe I have been looking too closely at the 2012 Republican campaign for president. This is what I woke up thinking about today:

Do the facts matter?

So how far should real journalists go in saying that someone is “misstating” the facts, i.e. lying? This was raised recently by the NYTimes ombudsman. http://t.co/rn2GLZrx ...Everyone came down on the poor fellow to say DUH, of course, that’s what real journalists are supposed to do!  But it’s not so simple. Most politics is entirely faith-based. Why else would someone listen to those blow-hards on radio and tv, who lie day after day to paint a scary world full of conspiracies?