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Investigative Journo Survives Africa, Parasite, Death of Magazine Journalism

feature-100-china-africa1.jpgWhen Richard Behar‘s not pissing off the Scientologists or the Russian government he’s traveling to remote areas of the world and contracting parasites… all in the name of journalism.

For his latest article, which takes up a remarkable 24 pages in Fast Company (who says long-form journalism is dead?), Behar traveled to Africa, in the process contracting Entamoeba histolytica, which is responsible for the second-highest number of parasitic deaths on the continent (malaria is No. 1). Despite the illness, he returned with enough material to report on the Chinese land grab taking place in the sub-Sahara, an area where 300 million people live on less than $1 a day.

Behar was the first American journalist in three years to step foot in Equatorial Guinea. The last two were forced to leave the tiny oil dictatorship after just a few days on the ground — one of them booted for “spying.” Almost getting thrown in jail is cool, but we think returning to the United States with a potentially-deadly parasite is much better.

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