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GC Blog

Journalism, Compassion and the Power of Stories

When I switched on my favorite radio program last week, I was astounded to hear the voice of my favorite journalist, Nicholas Kristoph, chatting with my favorite interviewer, Krista Tippett. (Yes, I realize there are lots of “favorites” in that sentence, but hopefully that will convey just how excited I was.) The Pulitzer Prize-winner shared candidly with radio’s most thoughtful hostess his strategy of seeking out heart-wrenching stories to move apathetic Americans to action.

Kristoph’s reporting has almost singlehandedly shed light on some of the world’s most forgotten tragedies -- from children dying of preventable disease to the brutal war in the Congo -- often by focusing on the plight of a single individual. He and his wife even compiled a book of these powerful stories and more -- Half the Sky, Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide -- and ultimately helped galvanize a movement. Kristoph and Tippett’s conversation taps into the heart of journalism and its potential to fuel compassion and understanding across all borders and boundaries, which in my perspective, is what they both do infinitely well.