Ndjamena: Dec. 6 – 12, 2009:  Lake Chad is drying up faster then feared and water reserves are dwindling with famine predicted in the north in 2010 due to a short rainy season and over grazing; the 2009 census shows that the population of Chad has doubled in just 15 years although it was widely criticized when the authorities rigged the figures to favor the Muslims of the north to the detriment of the Christians in the south; 80% of the population is illiterate; the war in the east continues — but hey, lets hold elections!

Moundou, Chad, June 7 – 12: A Chadian was stopped by a corrupt Ivorian policeman who told him « I’m going to give you problems. » The Chadian responded “and I will give you solutions.”

When President Idriss Deby in January told his security forces to impose a draconian ban on the use of charcoal in Chad in a bid to fight desertification, he did nothing to help people find alternative means for cooking. Deby responded to his critics by saying Chadians are people who find solutions to everything. He insisted nobody is starving in the country.

Paris — Once again the question of law and an individual’s right to privacy is taking center stage in France where the media hungry President Nicolas Sarkozy and his top model girlfriend are suing Ryanair for using their photo in a print advertisement. 

VIRGINIA TECH

It is interesting to note that when a South Korean immigrant youth went on a shooting rampage in Virginia Tech last April, killing 32 people and himself while wounding 25 others, the story became the Second Amendment and gun control.  This false debate hid the real story and the real culprits.

When the new interactive web site Rue89 broke the story that President Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife Cecilia did not vote in the second round of Presidential elections, the story was not that the woman did not back her husband.  For Rue89, like most of the French press, the story was the news was censored in the Journal du Dimanche (JDD) by its wealthy owner, a close friend of the President.

If anything allows the press to say news is a science, it is all in the art of rigorous verification before publication.  It is what has made American journalism so dependable.   

US reporters know what they write can adversely affect people’s lives. This is why they make sure 100% of what they write is 100% correct …