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April 29, 2008

Pt 1: Risks of Reporting - On April 28, 2008, Miyasar Abu Meatak was preparing breakfast when an explosion tore through her home, killing her and four of her children. Until it was flattened yesterday, her house stood in Beit Hanoun, a town in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

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Pt 2: Madeleine McCann Documentary - It was in May 2007 that Madeleine McCann -- a British girl who was about to turn four -- vanished while she and her parents were on holiday in Portugal. Her disappearance quickly became one of the year's top news stories.

Read more here

Pt 3: Facebook in the Workplace - What began as an exclusive website for students at Harvard is now a social networking phenomenon. By 2008, more than 60 million people had a Facebook profile with 20,000 more creating one every day. In all, it seems everyone from high school students to grandparents are busy "superpoking" their friends and throwing virtual sheep at people.

Read more here

It's Tuesday, April 29th.

A top Iranian official says imported Barbie dolls are a "destructive" cultural influence and a "danger" that must be kept out of the country.

Currently ... except for Nuclear Centrifuge Technician Barbie. She's welcome.

This is The Current.


Alan Johnston - Risks of Reporting

On April 28, 2008, Miyasar Abu Meatak was preparing breakfast when an explosion tore through her home, killing her and four of her children. Until it was flattened yesterday, her house stood in Beit Hanoun, a town in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

The town is often used as a base for Palestinian militants who fire rockets and mortars into Israel. It's also a common target for Israeli military attacks. In the aftermath of the explosion, both parties blamed each other. After that, Palestinian militants resumed firing rockets. And Israel refused again to talk to Gaza's Hamas-led government about its proposal for a ceasefire.

For three years, this was the world that Alan Johnston lived in and reported on as the BBC's correspondent in the Gaza Strip. He was the only international correspondent living and working in Gaza. Then in the spring of 2007 he was kidnapped by a little-known group called the Army of Islam and held hostage for four months. He was released in July 2007.

Alan Johnston came to Canada for a series of events around World Press Freedom Day and joined us in Toronto.


Listen to Part One:

 

Madeleine McCann Documentary

It was in May 2007 that Madeleine McCann -- a British girl who was about to turn four -- vanished while she and her parents were on holiday in Portugal. Her disappearance quickly became one of the year's top news stories.

Her parents organized an extraordinary campaign to try to find their daughter. They raised money from millionaires and small donors alike. They held news conferences across Europe. They even had an audience with the Pope. But Madeleine's whereabouts remain a mystery.

Shortly after Madeleine disappeared, a Canadian couple arrived in Portugal's Algarve region and landed an accidental front-row seat for this story. Nancy Durham is the CBC's London correspondent and she prepared a documentary about the couple's experience.


Listen to Part Two:

 

Facebook in the Workplace

What began as an exclusive website for students at Harvard is now a social networking phenomenon. By 2008, more than 60 million people had a Facebook profile with 20,000 more creating one every day. In all, it seems everyone from high school students to grandparents are busy "superpoking" their friends and throwing virtual sheep at people.

But for some bosses, Facebook isn't all fun and games: it's an increasingly unwelcome distraction from the task at hand -- namely work. So employers like the Government of Ontario, The City of Toronto and the Toronto Dominion Bank have banned Facebooking in their offices. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty explained why Queen's Park became Facebook-free.

For his thoughts on how Facebook is affecting the office and the world, we were joined from New York by Greg Atwan, co-author of The Facebook Book. Also joining us were, from Fredericton, Andrea Seymour, who is the Vice President of Health Information with a New Brunswick Regional Health Authority where Facebook has been banned; and from London, England, John Wood, who is the New Media Officer for the United Kingdom's Trades Union Congress.


Last Word - Social Websites

We closed this episode with one more thought about Facebook. It's not the only social networking site out there: others have come before and they're still competing fiercely for your on-line social networking time. The people who produce the animated series Supernews for the on-line television network Current TV offered this take on the competition (the network has no relation to The Current on CBC Radio).


Listen to Part Three:

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