Dying for the Story and Living Better on Less

Wanda Urbanska
Wanda Urbanska
Terry Gould
Terry Gould

Investigative journalist Terry Gould talks about his book, MARKED FOR DEATH: Dying for the Story in the World’s Most Dangerous Places. It explores the stories of seven journalists who exposed the truth — even though they knew they’d be killed for their work. And Wanda Urbanska of the TV show Simple Living tells us the secret of genuine happiness. She edited LESS IS MORE with Cecile Andrews.

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Journalism As An Act of Courage

At least thirty two journalists were killed in 2009 while reporting dangerous stories in dangerous places. Since 1992, 758 journalists have been killed on the job. Contrary to common assumptions, most of them — 85% — were not foreigners working in country as war correspondents. Instead, they were local journalists exposing official corruption in their own communities.

Terry Gould says those communities are most often in countries where corruption is embedded in the formal structure of government — places like Russia, Colombia, the Philippines and Bangla Desh. There, lawlessness takes place within the law, the system of organized crime is locked into the business of the nation — and journalists are murdered with impunity. Ninety five per cent of the people who ordered their murders remain unpunished.

“While a lot of these journalists had been targeted beforehand, they persisted in their story, knowing they would almost certainly be killed for doing so. And I wondered who these amazing people were.”

The seven journalists Gould profiles in his new book, [amazon-product text=”MARKED FOR DEATH” type=”text”]1582435499[/amazon-product] knew they would be killed. Yet they persisted. More than that, they were willing to give their lives defending the common people against the powerful interests that preyed on them.

Terry Gould wanted to know what made these journalists tick, what “psychology of sacrifice” drove them to persist in their investigations — people like Anna Politovskaya of Russia. She was murdered the very day Gould was on his way to interview her about the killings of two other Russian journalists. He found her and most of the other journalists he profiled to be deeply flawed, if incredibly courageous, individuals — all except the saintly Manik Saha of Bangla Desh, who was motivated by his own scientific theory of goodness.

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Gould has been following organized crime throughout his long career as an investigative journalist. He is also the author of [amazon-product text=”PAPER FAN: The Hunt for Triad Gangster Steven Wong” type=”text”]0679313559[/amazon-product] as well as other books and numerous articles. He won the Singh Hayer Award for Bravery in Journalism, sponsored by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression.

His book, MARKED FOR DEATH takes its title from a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists, a NY-based organization that keeps track of press freedom abuses around the world and lobbies on behalf of threatened journalists.

Read an except about Manik Saha from Terry Gould’s MARKED FOR DEATH

Watch a video clip of Gould talking about the book.

Less is More?

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What makes us happy? That question is answered by a host of writers in a new book co-edited by guest Wanda Urbanska. She says genuine happiness comes from having more time and downshifting to a lower consumption, more satisfying lifestyle. The book she co-edited, [amazon-product text=”LESS IS MORE: Embracing Simplicity for a Healthy Planet, a Caring Economy and Lasting Happiness” type=”text”]0865716501[/amazon-product], counts among its contributors Bill McKibben, author of DEEP ECONOMY, Ernst Callenbach who wrote the 1970’s classic ECOTOPIA, John de Graaf of AFFLUENZA, and Juliet Schor, author of THE OVERWORKED AMERICAN and its sequel, THE OVERSPENT AMERICAN.

Wanda Urbanska hosts the TV show Simple Living. Her co-editor, Cecile Andrews, wrote the book SLOW IS BEAUTIFUL and is co-founder of Phinney Ecovillage in Seattle.

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About Francesca Rheannon

Francesca Rheannon is an award-winning independent radio producer. In addition to hosting Writer's Voice, she's a freelance reporter for National Public Radio and its affiliates. Recipient of the prestigious Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for reporting on substance abuse issues for her news series, VOICES OF HIV, produced for 88.5 WFCR public radio in western Massachusetts. She is also finishing a book on Provence (PROVINCE OF THE HEART) and working on a memoir of her father, THE ARGONAUTS.