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St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Feeding Africa

I don’t have to tell anyone who knows me that I have a strong desire to go to Africa. I fully intend, sometime in the next decade or so, to make it there. It’s on my top 10 things to accomplish in life list. I see so much potential for change and so much need. There are so many people and children living in Africa, all over the continent, who could genuinely use my help. For whom, my help could be the difference between life and death.

I want to go there and help, in whatever way I, as an insignificant person wandering through a relatively privileged life, can do. Probably not as a reporter, though if my job in the media is what brings me there, so much the better. There are stories, millions of them, there that need to be told. I had entertained the Peace Corps, and still want to do that when I am at a more secure place in my career. (I actually applied and began the interview/paperwork process, but halted it to gain more practical experience in a job first.)

Given all of that, seeing the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Feeding Africa, which I came across randomly in a post here, was refreshing.

Ironically, in the multimedia presentation laid out by the SLPD, it was the written essays that were the most poignant for me. Why? They effectively painted pictures of the people, their customs and the different pace of life. I also really enjoyed the first set of audio slideshows and the minimalism of the design. Some stories are powerful enough to stand on their own without bells and whistles and all sorts of snazzy Web 2.0 embellishments. Knowing when to tell the difference is somewhat of an art form most news organizations haven’t learned to command just yet.

This story is one of those millions that needs to be told, and given the number of newspapers abandoning foreign bureaus in favor of letting the AP handle the bigger picture stories that don’t fall between New York and California, it’s nice to see that there are places not afraid to take the time, money and resources and throw them into telling these stories.**

**(This of course doesn’t mean anything against the hyperlocal stories most papers are focusing on. By all means, this is, should and will only become more so our bread and butter. I’m simply saying that there are also larger stories beyond our radar worth telling also.)

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