Ticker: Kim Jong Il, Sri Lanka concentration camps, Mexican drug trade, Iraq withdrawal, cyber warfare


Global for menews ticker

Today’s Freelance Story Ticker

Good morning, bloggers.

We have a slew of story possibilities for our ticker today. All of these are stories submitted by our freelancers – as the drill goes, if enough interest surfaces, we can roll out the story. If not, the stories will pass on and fade out.

A lot of stories simply go unreported, simply because there is no funding for them. GFM seeks to change that by using a crowdsourcing model to fund hardworking reporters – in other words, we need you.

It’s all about connecting you, the readers and viewers, to the reporter behind the news desk. Sometimes mainstream media simply miss other stories in the world that arise. Our goal is to bring them to you, and to support our freelancers that work hard to research and produce them. No middle man or coroporate interest involved. It’s news that goes straight to your inbox – it’s you from then on who chooses how to distribute it.

Read more about our mission here, or visit our main website.

For today, here is our story ticker, courtesy of Kit of the Global for me team. Click on the links below to read the full story pitch or view each correspondent’s Global Radio News profile.

What happens after Kim Jong Il’s Death? by Jason Strother

N. KOREA – News leaked via a South Korean newspaper that Kim Jong-Il has pancreatic cancer has been greeted by many with suspicion, despite recent speculation about his health due to recent photographs showing him looking frail. Read on.

Sri Lankan concentration camps by Florence Muchori

SRI LANKA: At the Manik Farm in Sri Lanka, displaced Tamils from the recent civil war are being detained- 1,400 people are dying every week. The Sri Lankan government is calling them “welfare villages”. The Sri Lankan government has asked the Red Cross to scale down their operation. The government claims to have the situation under control. Is this really the case? Read on.

Mexico: the affects of the drug trade by Ioan Grillo

MEXICO – Mexican gangs have left eight dead, tortured bodies by a motorway. At the same spot last week they left four. Since President Calderon came to power in December 2006 over 12,300 people have died in drug related violence. Is this a futile war? Whilst the US has pleged £860 million to battle the cartels, this is but a drop in the ocean- the Mexican drug trade is worth £25 billion per year. Read on.

How is Iraq coping alone? by Neil Arun

IRBIL, IRAQ – As US troops recently withdrew from Iraqi cities, citizens celebrated. A national holiday was declared. However there has been an upsurge in violence by those who wish to derail the transition. As the regular news outlets become numb to the daily violence in the middle east, and Iraq slides down their agenda we wonder… Will Iraqi forces be able to cope? With hindsight how do the Iraqi people feel about the withdrawal? Read on.

Cyber warfare: US, S. Korea versus N. Korea? by Nancy Youssef

N. KOREA – US and South Korean governmental websites were recently attacked by a virus known as Mydoom. It wreaked havoc, taking some websites out of action for days. Blame initially was laid at the door of North Korea. Could it really have been them? Investigations have shown that in fact a server in Britain was orchestrating the attacks. But was this just a smokescreen? Read on.

If any of these stories caught your attention, piqued your curiosity or inspired another story idea, don’t hesitate to tell us or pass the word along. We rely on word-of-mouth, not corporate advertising. It’s telling the story and supporting freelancers – in the crowdsourced way. An experiment in journalism, and one that we use for them and you.



–GFM Team

E-mail your story ideas to  

View our story ticker on our main website.

Join today’s discussion on Twitter. @GFMEditor

Sound your voice…
Let yourself be heard in the comment box below. Liked a story? See something we missed? Don’t hesitate to let us know. We’re listening.

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Global for French just got a little more colorful


Global for meen français…

Photo gallery for Global for French

Afternoon again, bloggers!

Busy day for the GFM Team, but we have one more thing to share with you today.

We updated our Global for French blog page with photos from South Kensington, the French area of London. Take a look.

A little preview, click the image to head to the Global for French blog page.

Until next time, au revoir.

Sincères salutations,

Catherine & Kim

–GFM Team

E-mail your story ideas to  

Tweet your thoughts on Twitter. @GFMEditor

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Sound your voice on climate change issues!


Global for menews bits

On [Earth Journalism Awards].

G’morning, bloggers!

Once again, we’re flagging down all journalists (professional, amateur and citizen alike) and the environmental-savvy to step up and sound out on climate change issues.

We received more information from our partner on the upcoming Earth Journalism Awards.

So here’s a little more info about the competition…

Professional journalists and citizen journalists from around the world are invited to apply to the Earth Journalism Awards through the EJA website (http://awards.earthjournalism.org) where they will be able to upload their climate change reports in any media until September 7 2009.

Internews’ Earth Journalism Awards encourages high-quality local climate change coverage leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, December 8-18 2009 in Copenhagen (COP15). An independent international jury will select the Earth Journalism Award winners, who will be invited to participate in training, as well as given expert and logistics support so that they can accurately and efficiently report on the negotiations at the COP15.

The follow awards are available:

  • Negotiation Award
  • Human Voices Award
  • Climate Change and Energy Award
  • Adaptation Award
  • Forests Award
  • Climate Change and Nature Award
  • Regional Award
  • Global Public Award
  • MTV Positive Change Award

Partners and sponsors of the Earth Journalism Awards include the COP15 host country, the Government of Denmark; MTV International; The World Bank; the Italian Ministry of Environment and the Protection of Territory and Sea; the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation; the Edgerton Family Foundation; the Global Campaign for Climate Action; Flip Video Spotlight; and the Global Forum for Media Development.

Spread the fire through all channels. (Figuratively speaking, of course.) This is a great opportunity for journalists from all walks of life to participate.

In addition, Global for me will be hosting online climate change debates up until the Sept. 7 deadline. Speak out and let your voice be heard, and we’ll connect you with one of our journalists.

It’s all about connecting people like you to the reporters behind the news desk. No middle man or corporation involved.

Think on it. Let us know. E-mail us, comment on our blog or join us on Twitter with @GFMEditor.

Spread the word. The Earth Journalism Awards are coming.



–GFM Team

E-mail your story ideas to  

Join our discussions on Twitter. @GFMEditor

List o’ Links:

• Our first post about our partnership with the Earth Journalism Awards.

• The list of our journalists on the Global Radio News website.

Click for more information as well as competition rules from the EJA website.

Create an account at the EJA website to upload your work. All submissions are valid if produced after Dec. 15, 2008.

Earth Journalism Awards

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We’ve partnered up! GFM and Internews shake hands for upcoming Earth Journalism Awards


Global for menews bits

On [Earth Journalism Awards].

Calling all science, professional, amateur, citizen and journalist supporters alike!

Listen up! Global for me has partnered up with Internews.

Big deal, why does that matter? You may ask.

It’s big. We’re now in the midst of a huge competition for journalists from of all walks of life. The topic? Earth.

The Earth Journalism Awards is challenging journalists to report on climate change issues – ranging from extremely local to overwhelmingly global. The limits are pretty much limitless at this point in time. But really, don’t let us bore you, EJA lays it all out very nicely on their website.

(If you’re already interested in such a competition, skip ahead to EJA’s rules. If you already have something finished as of after Dec. 15, 2008 hurry up and create an account to submit your work! You lose nothing from just losing. You get nothing from not trying at all.)

But here’s the thing: GFM wants to take a different approach with this. Earth journalism is literally a bountiful topic, with endless story possibilities. Let’s discuss what you’re interested in, what you want to know about climate change or climate action.

…Is it a specific region of the world, such a shrinking ice at the North Pole?

…Or is it local farm communities, coping with new weather patterns?

…Are you more interested in affected coastal towns, or arguing politicians?

…Are you interested in the nitty gritty details of Earth’s climate, and whether climate change is manmade at all?

Remember, GFM’s ultimate goal is to connect readers to the reporters behind the news desk. No corporate interest or middle man. Just journalism – good ol’ freelance journalism.

As you can see, EJA’s topic is a daunting one. So many angles are possible. So GFM is pushing for news readers, bloggers and journalists alike to pitch the story ideas onto the table, bang them out and submit them into the competition.

Spread the word. The Earth Journalism Awards are coming.



–GFM Team

E-mail your story ideas to  

P.S. – expect an Earth Journalism blog page with climate discussions very soon.

Earth Journalism Awards

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“At the tip of the surge” – another video from Helmand, Afghanistan


Global for me videoupdate

for [Stories from Helmand]

Morning, bloggers!

Freelancer Jerome Starkey continues to upload videos from Helmand, Afghanistan to his YouTube Channel.

Here’s a second video of his work in an area hard-hit by the war in Afghanistan, “At the tip of the surge.”

Thank you, Jerome.

Jerome is the first British journalist to report from this region without the military in over a year. It’s freelance reporting about the locals’ points of view: their opinion of foreign troops, the military surge and how war has affected their lives.

We’re not sure what else is in store from Jerome. Keep close watch on his channel to see what else he may upload in the coming days. We’ll be sure to keep close watch, too.


–GFM Team

E-mail your story ideas to  

If you want to buy these stories for broadcast, contact CEO Henry Peirse of Global Radio News at henry@globalradionews.com.

Special thanks to Jerome Starkey for his work in the field.

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Day two of Xinjiang province protests – why the violence?


Global for me Tickerticker: China

Afternoon, bloggers!

China’s Xinjiang province is topping news headlines again today with a second day of violent protests. Today, our story ticker brings up this story for readers like you and for our correspondents in China.

The developing story, from our main website

Following the riots in the Xinjiang region on Sunday by Muslim Uighurs which left 156 dead, racial tensions in the region have reached tipping point. As 10,000 Han Chinese marched through Urumqi on Tuesday afternoon the potential for further catasrophic tragedy seems ever more likely…

The Uighur people claim that they have been repressed for years by the Chinese government. They say that their plight has been ignored – due to the success of Chinese propoganda. They allege that the Chinese have successfully portrayed them to the West as Muslims with links to al-Qaeda and simultaneously to Muslim majority countries as pro-west Muslims, as not true Muslims. So that no one is interested in the truth…

In a nation as economical with the truth as China, do you want to know the real story in Xinjiang? What has really been taking place and who is really responsible?

Find out here at Global For Me, where we have the reporters in place to find the answers to your stories…

So here’s the catch…

In order to make this story happen, GFM needs interest as well as donations to get the story done. The idea is all about crowdsourced journalism, as well as connecting directly with the reporter behind the news desk.

Read through our list of Global Radio News freelance reporters who work inside China. One of those correspondents could potentially work for you.

Remember, GFM’s goal is to create journalism for you, and support freelancers working hard all over the world to deliver the news.

If you’re already interested, contact us right away, or comment below.

–GFM Team

E-mail your story ideas to  

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Stories from Helmand, Afghanistan – report or no report?


Global for me Tickerjust in…

UPDATE: This story pitch was supported by users and produced by freelancer Jerome Starkey. The videos – “At the tip of the surge” and “Helmand’s Little America” – can be seen in our Exclusives section.

Morning, bloggers!

Kim here, with today’s possible story update from Global for me.

Consider this a fast-forming habit: on a weekly or even daily basis (pending on how news flies), GFM will look ahead and uncover story possibilities using our own resources.

Remember, GFM is an offshoot of freelance news agency, Global Radio News. And since our GRN parent manages 600 freelance correspondents throughout the world, occasionally a neat story may come up from where you least expect.

It’s all about connecting to the reporter behind the news desk – or in this case, the reporter working in the field.

So here’s something from one of our correspondents in Afghanistan…

Afghanistan correspondent Jerome Starkey

Stories from Helmand, Afghanistan

by Freelancer Jerome Starkey

HELMAND, Afghanistan – Exclusive report from the heart of Helmand, by freelancer Jerome Starkey, pictured right.

What do ordinary people in Afghanistan think about western troops, the Taliban and the renewed American military surge? A look into the politics and anxieties of wartime.

In the personal scope, how are displaced or separated families? What of those that have lost relatives since the bombs fell in 2001? How is life eight years later? A look into the human cost of war, on a local scale.

Also: a bizarre result of the 20th century. Afghans are quick to remind British troops of their three bloody defeats under the Raj decades ago, but bizarrely, in Lashkar Gah, locals have fond memories of the Americans. The town was largely built on US aid dollars in the 1950s as Moscow and Washington competed for influence. It used to be called “Little America.” There are rows of 1950s-style houses built for American development staff.

Today, that same aid infrastructure is used to irrigate the poppy fields, which often leads to money in Taliban pockets. It remains to be seen if American dollars can wean Afghani people off poppies and the Taliban.

From Jerome’s e-mail:

Sent: 21 June 12:48
Subject: Story Ideas: Lashkar Gah

A trips come together very last minute. I am heading down to Lashkar Gah tomorrow (from Kabul) on the first commercial air service in 30 years. I’m desperate to find a video buyer for a few complete packages.

As far as I know it will be the first time there’s been a British journalist in Lash, without the military, for a year – so it’s virgin territory in terms of access and stories.

GFM brings light to this story on the day of a new US troop surge under President Barack Obama, the first of his presidency. Read the full pitch on our main website here.

What’s next?

To get this story told, GFM needs both user interest and donations to pay for this correspondent’s work.

In this case, the donated money goes to freelancer Jerome Starkey, for working hard in the field and bringing this story to you.

Think of it as simply paying for a story you can’t find anywhere else.

Think on it, consider it. Share your ideas with us by e-mail or in the comment box below.

If you’re already interested in making this story happen, let us know straight away!

See you!


–GFM Team

E-mail your story ideas to  

GFM would like to thank Flickr user shuttermonkey for the light bulb graphic used in this post.

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A call for investigative journalism: Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme – GFM Story Ticker


Global for me Tickerticker: alert

Afternoon, bloggers!

Kim here, we have a story ticker alert. Our ticker will always sound when our Global for me users send us story ideas.

Remember, if GFM receives enough user interest as well as donation pledges, we can ring up one of our worldwide correspondents to pick up the story for you.

It’s all about connecting to the reporter behind that news desk.

Enough ado. Here’s what GFM received from Ivor Sutton:

E-mail Header

To: Global for me
Sent: 29 June 2009 19:54

Submitted Headline

Banking Abuse of Governments ‘Loan Guarantee Scheme

Story Pitch (full text)

The Governments SFLGS (Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme) was produced with the objective of giving ‘the many’ an opportunity to start-up their business ideas. The banks were given the incentive of a government 75% guarantee to implement this ‘scheme’ and the sole task of confirming the ‘viability’ of a business plan and thus providing the necessary funding. Over the last 5-years or so there has been strong evidence that some High Street Banks have ‘Abused the SFLGS’ through banking Maladministration combined with a total lack of ‘customer care’ during the banks funding procedure. IBAS (Independent Advisory Service) has a whole web page devoted to this rather appalling issues that failed to be addressed by politicians, particularly those who were part of a government who were in bed with the bankers throughout this period. Goto: www.ibas.co.uk/SFLGS.htm (for details). In 2004 my business start-up was confirmed ‘viable’ by a Bank and then the basis or product that enabled the opportunity for funding (SFLGS) was ‘Abused’ by this particular bank. Delays at the start, eventually lead to extreme delays. A funding procedure that was meant to take only 5-weeks – took 5-months to complete – and thus proved financially detrimental to the viability of my business. My business manager resigned his post and my business partner and I were left with the ‘burdon of high delay cost’ created by the bank, and the stress and frustration of what ACTUALLy happened. The bank FAILED in the way in which it presented its ‘procedures’ and its ‘customer’ care’ – this in itself was an intolerable failing! My viable business was no longer ‘viable’ as the ‘high cost of delays’ created by this bank created many issues that prevented trading. Everything had in fact ‘changed!’ The financial forecast that was once successful and in full agreement with this bank, was no longer a ‘passage of opportunity’ – instead, it was a ‘root for failure’. And, as a result of this ‘Banking Abuse’, I lost my ‘viable’ business – and eventually my Home. The Financial Ombudsman Service seemingly did all it could to uphold this banking culture. As one of their Adjudicator’s was responsible for dealing with my case – and later I found out that this same Adjudicator was responsible for dealing with similar cases from individuals I did not know at this particular moment in time. It was therefore very strange that this Adjudicator should conclude in all 3 cases that ‘the bank did nothing wrong!” Investigative Journalism is not as active as it should be. Its decline does more to deny the ‘rights’ of redress for many individuals in our communities. In fact, its decline does little to uphold our Democracy – enabling Unfairness and Injustice to grow and thus minimising the Trust and Confidence that is needed in order to strengthen the connection between Politics and the Public, and to weaken the disconnection and dissillusionment that can lead to crime. The aim for me and the others who have suffered a similar fate as me, is to have the support of an Invetsigative Journalist. It is with this type of Journalism that could provide the answers of ‘quantification’ based on the amount of similar cases that the FOS has on record. As you are aware, the Financial Ombudsman Service is not bound by the ‘freedom of Information Act’. Yes, this is a Disgrace! Especially given that their relationship with bankers are also part of this appalling ‘culture’. I am sure you will agree, that the fate that was placed at those who resided from disadvantaged backgrounds is an appalling level of injustice that cannot go unmeasured and untreated. The banks remain arrogant and dismissive while many try to keep the roof over their heads. the fight should have been with political support on our side. However, though their was a brief debate at Westminister Hall in May 2009, it also failed to address these issues in its entirety. Finally, as I, and my contacts, remain strong with full knowledge and evidence of the actual events that took place in our cases, we remain confident that Investigative Journalism will get to the heart of the matter and provide the opening for Truth and Justice to teh many who have been failed by this appalling banking culture.

Thank you, Ivor. If this story is to become reality, there is a laundry list of things to do.

To Ivor, as well as our other GFMers, what do you think?

  • Are there others interested in an investigative story into the British Parliament’s Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme, or SFLGS?
  • What format would you like a story like this produced in?

Don’t hold back. E-mail us you ideas or simply comment below.

And as a quick note…

Note our ticker format: story suggestions are posted as is, unedited – and personal contact information is withheld unless otherwise specifed. This is to maintain the integrity of the journalism process, as well as not spread personal e-mail addresses around!

Again, many thanks to Ivor. Expect future updates should this story move forward…!


–GFM Team

E-mail your story ideas to  

GFM would like to thank Flickr user casey.marshall for the stopwatch graphic used in this post. Retrieved and adapted under the Creative Commons license, 1 July 2009.

Requested attribution to the work:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rsdio/ / CC BY 2.0

Thank you!

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