July 8, 2007 — -- The Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nick Kristof has come up with an all-American way to connect readers to Africa. It is a contest where the winning student and teacher become foreign correspondents for a week.
Nick Kristof:People see the Africa in the headline and they tune us out. And especially for young people, there is a tendency to get your news from John Stewart, maybe, and to feel that columns are kind of boring and turgid, and especially when they're about something as distant as Africa. I thought that if I could get a young person to write about them, to blog about them, to video blog about them.
Student video blog: The poverty in the countries that we visited is overwhelming. People can tell you about the poverty, but really until you see it first hand it's incomprehensible.
Kristof: And it's the kind of thing that is so obvious -- that those of us who are professional journalists would never write about [it]. But there's a real powerful truth there.
If we introduce these problems to the American reader or the American viewer, then they make people uncomfortable. And making people uncomfortable over breakfast is really the first step toward getting politicians, getting leaders, getting [the] international community to address them.