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Posts Tagged ‘Euna Lee’

From Mother Jones Contributor to Mother Jones Staffer

ShaneBauerPicLaura Ling joined E! Investigates; Euna Lee spent a year studying documentary filmmaking at Columbia University; and now, another former U.S. foreign-journalist captive has re-embraced the Axis of Free Will.

Shane Bauer, one of three hikers arrested on the Iranian border and held captive from 2009 to 2011, joined the Mother Jones San Francisco office full-time May 1. His beat is human rights and social justice. From today’s announcement:

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Shane on board,” noted co-editor Monika Bauerlein. “We’ve been great fans of his reporting here and elsewhere, and I know our readers are hungry for more of his investigations.”

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Virtual Vigil Friday for Kidnapped Journalist James Foley

JamesFoleyPicTomorrow is freelance journalist James Foley‘s 40th birthday. There will be candles, but sadly, they will be of a sort that do not signify a happy occasion.

Foley was abducted in northwest Syria on Thanksgiving Day 2012 by a group of unidentified gunman and has not been seen or heard from since. In support of an ongoing grassroots campaign to bring about his release, there will be vigils tomorrow night in the U.S. and various international locations:

Please join the Foley family this Friday in a virtual and actual vigil for peace and the safe return of James Foley, in honor of Jim’s 40th birthday!

October 18, 2013
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
Rochester, NH at 6pm

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Former Current TV Captive Euna Lee Unveils Columbia J-School Doc

Wiling away all those hours in 2009 as a prisoner of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, former Current TV producer-editor Euna Lee prayed for a better tomorrow. She was able to get to that place, move from LA to New York and complete the Master’s graduate documentary film program at Columbia University. This past weekend, she screened The Translator, her thesis film about Iraqi U.S. special-visa immigrant Taif Rady.

“The premiere was a part of DocFest at Columbia University, which featured ten documentaries overall,” Lee tells FishbowlLA via email. “About 100 people attended my screening.”

The Translator is a 45-minute look at a formal, U.S. affiliated Iraqi translator and his 11 family members’ first three years in New York,” she continues. “The biggest compliment from this past Saturday for me was that the viewers were really able to see inside of what it is like to live in the U.S. as refugees and the tough life they really go through every day.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Euna Lee on Becoming a Better Journalist

In a few weeks, former Current TV editor Euna Lee will quietly mark the third anniversary of her March 17, 2009 capture along the North Korea-China border. Much has transpired since then: Bill Clinton; a book; and a move from LA to New York last summer to attend Columbia journalism graduate school.

FishbowlLA caught up with Lee over the weekend upon her return to Manhattan from Washington DC, where she had traveled to film a scene for one of her class projects. Lee is slated to graduate in August from the one-year Master’s documentary program.

Since one of the very best things about Columbia is the caliber of the teachers, we asked Lee to tell us about some of hers. “This semester, I am taking the documentary class with June Cross,” she replies. “She cares for her characters in her films and reminds me of why I am making documentaries, a medium to give voice to the voiceless. She is very strict with journalism ethics, which I also love and respect a lot.”

“Another professor is Judith Matloff, who used to be a foreign correspondent for over ten years,” Lee continues. “Anyone looking to cover a war zone or conflict nations wants to take her class. One day, she brought her bulletproof vest to school. She is one a few people who is honest about how she felt covering dangerous zones. We, as female journalists, often feel the need to be a strong figure in public, but she doesn’t try. Still, her work shows how strong a person she is.”

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Current TV Makes Good on Third Show Promise

A few weeks ago, when Current TV chairman Al Gore welcomed Cenk Uygur to the ranks, he promised that the San Francisco based network would soon be announcing a third show to go along with The Young Turks and Keith Olbermann. This week, he revealed the latest piece of his dynamically evolving 2011 prime time puzzle to be The War Room with Jennifer Granholm.

Granholm (pictured) was the first woman to hold the office of governor in the state of Michigan. The two-term ex-politician joins a progressive network that not only espouses a lot of the same views as Michael Moore, but sometimes also welcomes him as a guest. That trend will surely continue on War Room. Per Tuesday’s release:

Granholm, a regular contributor to NBC’s Meet the Press, recently co-authored a new book, A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future, with her husband and leadership consultant, Daniel G. Mulhern.

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Euna Lee Heads to Columbia Journalism School

In marked contrast to the silence that surrounded former Current TV editor Euna Lee‘s detainment in North Korea in 2009, the author, mom of Hanna, and wife of actor Michael Saldate has been keeping her Facebook followers extremely well informed about the family’s current cross-country trek. The gang packed up their LA belongings at the outset of the holiday weekend and hit the road for New York City, where Lee is enrolled in the master’s program in journalism at Columbia University.

They are tenting it along the way at various campsites, and thanks to the kind of Smartphone device that is strictly forbidden in North Korea, Lee has been uploading short video clips about everything from the closed food stop in Barstow to the windy weather in Arizona. There was also this somewhat ironic status update to go along with the video from a Border Patrol checkpoint in Tombstone:

An officer asked me if I have a resident card. I didn’t realize how close we were to Mexico.

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Laura Ling Investigates Gruesome 2005 Teen Murder

There was a bit of a gap between the second and third episodes of Laura Ling‘s E! Investigates series, but last Wednesday, the reporter debuted her newest installment, “Fatal Teen Triangle.” The show repeats tonight at 6 p.m. and Friday July 1st at 1:00 p.m.

Although the crime at the center of the episode is six years old, Ling’s report is part of a wave of renewed coverage of the horrific murder and disposal in January 2005 of 16-year-old American Idol hopeful Adrianne Reynolds (pictured). The Moline, Illinois teen was done in by a jealous girlfriend, Sarah Kolb, and male accomplice Cory Gregory.

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LA Times Columnist Posits ‘Hiker Hate’

Echoing the majority of reader comments at press time to Meghan Daum‘s latest LA Times column, we don’t buy into her stand-alone concept of “hiker hate.”

Daum suggests that the disapproval articulated by the American populace over the actions of Iranian imprisoned hikers Sarah Shourd (since released), Shane Bauer, and Josh Fatal is “so vehement that it lends itself to its own coinage and category.” That’s a stretch. The same kind of reaction framed the 2009 North Korean detainment of Current TV journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, and in fact the amount of vitriol that has slammed the hikers is on par with just about any other Berkeley-Biloxi dividing topic (Sarah Palin, abortion, take your pick).

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Jumping Into the Fishbowl

On this, Columbus Day 2010, it gives me great pleasure to be able to introduce myself as FishbowlLA’s newest blogger.

When I moved from Toronto to Los Angeles in the late fall of 1993, I did what any self-respecting Canadian would: I drove around at night with the convertible top down, marveling at the balmy low-50′s temperatures. As winter season approaches, a new wave of Canadian and Scandinavian west coast transplants will no doubt soon be cruising down Sunset Boulevard in similar fashion.


Since my arrival in L.A., I have hung out at the House of Blues Foundation Room with Jimi Hendrix Jr.; helped filmmaker Brian Herzlinger land a date with Drew Barrymore; felt the wrath of Mel Gibson after authoring an article about video piracy; and become fascinated with North Korea as a result of starting a grassroots Twitter and WordPress campaign in 2009 on behalf of detained Current TV journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee.

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Freed Times Reporter Relives Four Scary Days, Death Of A Friend

One day after his rescue from Taliban captors in Afghanistan, New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell has blogged about his kidnapping, captivity and escape on the Times‘s “At War” blog.

The detailed account of Farrell’s 4-day ordeal is unlike anything we’ve ever read, and if you can read it without tearing up — especially at the end when Farrell speaks about his translator Sultan Munadi who was killed during the rescue raid — then you are certainly made of stone.

Farrell’s story is unique because many journalists that survive captivity seem too shaken to speak about their experiences, particularly in the first days after their release. Times reporter David Rohde, who escaped from months of Taliban captivity earlier this summer, has yet to tell his story, and Laura Ling and Euna Lee, recently freed from North Korea, took a few weeks before making a statement about their arrest. They still haven’t given specific details about their captivity. At least not the way Farrell has.

Farrell speaks at length about this captors’ organization or lack thereof, their efforts to indoctrinate him into the Muslim faith and their threats against Munadi:

“There were good hours, and bad ones. Progress and setbacks. They reported to Sultan that their elders — the word ‘commandant’ was used frequently — thought that we were ‘not security people so are to be treated well.’

But then our status as journalists was called into question again, and it became an endless series of assurances and reassurances. They allowed Sultan to talk to his mother and father, which was encouraging, but on the second day Sultan picked up that they might be seeking money, and on Day 3 an exchange of prisoners. He became glum at this, especially so when two Taliban told him that while they were confident that an exchange could be arranged for me, not so for him…Another reminded him that an Italian journalist had once been exchanged, but his translator was no so fortunate. ‘He was beheaded,’ the unsmiling youngster said, to Sultan’s face. He translated it, faithfully but with a gray face.”

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