All posts tagged: columbia university

Etem Erol, 1955-2016

The last message I had from Etem hoca was just a few days before he passed away. I had a night layover in Istanbul on my way to Odessa for two months and I asked if he wanted to join some friends for dinner, so naturally I invited Etem, as I had not been back to the city I called home for two years in over a year. He wrote to say he regretted he could not make it that he was leaving early that same morning for Bulgaria with his brother. It was in Bulgaria, I came to learn just a few nights ago from a classmate and fellow student in his Elementary Turkish I class so many years ago, that he had a heart attack and died in his brother’s arms. He was so young, 60, and with so much life and so much still to give. I write this with tears streaming down my face and it’s been more than a day now since I heard this really excruciatingly painful news. It …

Columbia Journalism School Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma 2014 Ochberg Fellowship

I have been named a 2014 Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma Ochberg Fellow along with some other pretty seriously accomplished journalists. It means, among other things, that I will be in New York for a week or so in January. It also means I will get advice and gain wisdom from some of the foremost experts on trauma as it impacts journalists. In the past, I attended two events co-sponsored by the Dart Center, a workshop on veterans at the Carter Center in Atlanta and a journalism and trauma workshop in Istanbul that I photographed as well. The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, along with the Rory Peck Trust, have proven to be the gold standard in resources for journalists covering traumatic issues. I am indebted to them and the work they do.

National Geographic Young Explorers Bio and Q+A

Explorers Bio Amanda Rivkin Photographer Young Explorers Grants, Expeditions Council Grant Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois Current City: Baku, Azerbaijan What did you want to be when you were growing up? When I was very small, maybe seven years old, I told my godmother I wanted to be a crane, and when she asked what kind of crane, I said an operating crane like on a construction site. As a teenager, I thought I would be a writer, which is what led me to go to the college I eventually went to, Sarah Lawrence College, although I waited until the last possible moment of my senior year to take a writing class, because the curriculum itself was designed for writers, with no exams and independent research projects to complement the work in every course. This is what led me to journalism school, where I discovered by wonderful accident my true passion, photography. How did you get started in your field of work? I was studying print journalism at Columbia University when I enrolled in a short course …

China Blocking Gmail; Reprint of Foreign Policy Article on Google in China “Raging Against the Machine”

China is blocking Gmail in China right now in an effort to stymie internet activism against the regime (given that it is an information war, seems most appropriate to link to the Voice of America story). Last year for Foreign Policy I wrote about the experiences Xu Zhiyong, a public interest lawyer and member of the Beijing City Council representing the Haidan district, a voice of dissent who has sought to work within the system to advance the causes of human rights and civil liberties. He was arrested in August of 2009 and held incommunicado for nearly a month in Beijing. A day following the arrival of former American Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Xu Zhiyong and two other activists were released. Below is my article for Foreign Policy published under the title “Raging Against the Machine” on January 19, 2010 (free subscription required for access on Foreign Policy’s website): Xu Zhiyong was watching the 2004 Democratic convention in a shared common area at a Columbia University dormitory when we first met. After just a few words, …

Today on Verve Photo: Amanda Rivkin in Azerbaijan

Amanda Rivkin Verve Photo: The New Breed of Documentary Photographers December 13, 2010 Amanda Rivkin (b.1984, USA) is currently based in Brooklyn while completing a master’s degree in security studies: terrorism and sub-state violence at the Georgetown University Graduate School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C. Previously based in her hometown, Chicago, where she travels frequently, her work has appeared on the front pages of Le Monde, The New York Times, and The Washington Post and Courrier Japan, The Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and The London Sunday Times Magazine. She received a Young Explorers Grant from the Expeditions Council of the National Geographic Society to travel to Azerbaijan, Georgia, and eastern Turkey for a project, “Exploring the Evolving Oil Economy: the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline,” in 2010. She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Sarah Lawrence College. About the Photograph: “This photo was taken on a beach in the Bibi Heybat section of southern Baku, Azerbaijan on the 4th of July, 2010, the same day Hillary Clinton visited the oil …

New America Foundation Wednesday December 8, 2010: International Broadcasting and Public Media, Mission and Innovation in the Digital Environment

International Broadcasting and Public Media Mission and Innovation in the Digital Environment Wednesday, December 8, 2010 1:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. The New America Foundation 1899 L St. NW, Suite 400 Washington, D.C. 20036 RSVP In an increasingly digital media landscape, people across the globe are relating to their news outlets in new ways. The missions of media producers are changing, as technological innovations reshape news networks into communities. The assumption is that U.S. public media institutions and international broadcasters are also transforming themselves to serve the emerging public interests in media. How should these institutions be changing to meet the needs of audiences that expect to engage in news and information, not just passively receive it? And even amid the current explosion of information, it is clear that there are information gaps. Is foreign coverage one of them? The event will begin with a conversation between Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University and Susan Glasser, Editor-in-Chief of Foreign Policy. Please join us as we explore these issues with an eye to the future of …

Cablegate: The Leak Goes On, Unplugged

Today in WikiLeaks some newspapers are having a bit of fun with news of Assange’s doomsday cache of encrypted files he has promised to release if anything happens to him or his organization. As far as threat assessments go, it is hard to know what to make of this when sanitized and scrubbed of sensationalism and held up against the success and stumbles of the revolution, or lack thereof, Mr. Assange has started so far. Nothing he has done has proven an existential threat to the U.S. government but then again the U.S. government has failed to escalate retaliation beyond Interpol’s fugitive list and public, widely reported pressure on the Swiss government not to accept and provide shelter for Mr. Assange. Another day, another day the world turns… 3:25PM EST“Assange to Meet with British Police, Lawyer Says,” The New York Times No way to just call up Julian’s daddy now and get him to apologize: “Hundreds of WikiLeaks Mirror Sites Appear,” The New York Times “Cyber Guerrillas Can Help U.S.” New America Foundation Evgeny Morozov …

Cablegate Continued: The System Is Watching and Other Sordid Tales From the Day’s Affairs of State

Accessing the WikiLeaks site has gotten difficult, if not impossible now despite mirror sites and domain names registered at last check in France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. However, those that visit the site undoubtedly receive a malware infection pretty fast. Similar tactics took down The Guardian’s website yesterday when it attempted to host a live, online chat with WikiLeaks founder, Interpol fugitive, and known loon, Julian Assange. I hate to ask an obvious question of Mr. Assange, but how does he expect a nation-state, a superpower notably to react? If he gets away with it, so can anyone and the United States of America cannot have that. Joking aside, there is a serious, massive question of what to do with Mr. Assange, how to prosecute him, all the while keeping in mind he may have made himself into a willing martyr of the data revolution and that the U.S. arsenal includes everything from drones to nuclear weapons, neither of which will be used in this case given the strategic predicament. To date, there has been …

The New York Times Lens Blog Turning Point Series: Ayman Oghanna on Alex Webb

Changed by a Car Bomb in Baghdad By KERRI MACDONALD AND AMANDA RIVKIN September 1, 2010, 12:00 pm Ayman Oghanna, 25, a multimedia journalist, was born and raised in London. He studied at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and is currently based in Iraq. His conversation with Amanda Rivkin has been edited and condensed for clarity. Q.How was this picture taken? How has it changed the way you work? A.I took this photo after a suicide car bomb exploded across the street from where I was staying in Baghdad. Technically or aesthetically, it wasn’t taken with any special approach or concept. I just went out and tried to capture reality. I included it, however, because it marks an important moment. It sealed my commitment to this medium. At that point I had been in Baghdad for a few months on my own as a freelancer. It can be a miserable place. I had grown increasingly frustrated with working there. It’s a difficult country to operate in, especially freelance, and the news interest isn’t there …