Here’s the dilemma each of us faces since the introduction of the iPhone and other super-powerful smart phones a decade ago:
I think I hold the whole world in the palm of my hand! Look! There’s my Google-Earth icon! But the truth is—the Google gods are geniuses at learning your local preferences and shrinking your world to the size of your neighborhood. Want pizza tonight? Type “pizza” into Google—and you’ll never hear about the wonderful pizza at a cafe overlooking the world-famous Piazza Navona in Rome. Google knows you want pizza now and lists pizza places near your home.
The same thing is true with global news. Even if you use the powerful Google News search screen—Google knows you want journalism in your native language and you probably want stories “close to home.” You have to intentionally switch over to advance search options to force Google to show you the work of journalists around the world.
Is your vision global? Lots of long-time ReadTheSpirit readers would say: Yes. You certainly do want to glimpse the whole world when you’re looking for news about religion, holidays, the role of faith in food and film—and other kinds of cross-cultural issues.
Now, a solution is emerging, thanks to two veteran journalists who work with the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ). They are Elisa DiBenedetto and Larbi Megari. Elisa is based in northeastern Italy and has reported over the years from Afghanistan, Lebanon and Kosovo. Her specialties include religion, cross-cultural issues, immigration and gender issues. Larbi Megari is based in Algeria and has reported for newspapers and television. His specialties include religion, cross-cultural issues, economics and politics.
Both Elisa and Larbi speak multiple languages and are sought-after teachers and experts in their fields. They also are core staff members at the IARJ. Their newest project is a special IARJ Twitter feed that is becoming a must-follow source for tips on great news stories around the world.
How you can help …
Elisa and Larbi just began this Twitter feed—so ReadTheSpirit is reporting on it as the project gets off the ground. In fact, ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm is actively consulting with Elisa and Larbi to help this particular Twitter feed become the kind of must-follow resources that will serve growing numbers of readers around the world.