Need in the News, Vol. I, Issue 1

Setting up at the 2012 WEF meeting in Davos, Switzerland. (World Economic Forum via Wikimedia Commons)
Setting up at the 2012 WEF meeting in Davos, Switzerland. (World Economic Forum via Wikimedia Commons)

An overview of the story of need from January 2012, with links from blogs, articles and news services from around the country and the world:


Published on

  • The Gospel and Freedom — A profile about the Community of Sant’Egidio
  • Remembering Auschwitz — Commentary on the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
  • He Had a Dream — A profile about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Bearing witness — Commentary on Ushahidi and the role of crowdsourcing technology in grassroots movements and disaster relief.
  • First summer project — Commentary on the Civil Rights movement and the origin of the name “summer project.”
  • Not yet a footnote — Commentary on award-winning reporter Jerry Mitchell and pending cases related to Civil Rights-era killings.


Around the nation & the world



  • There is currently a serious food shortage in the Sahel region of Africa.
  • Unrest continued in parts of newly independent South Sudan.
  • This month marked the two-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people and displaced 1.5 million more in Haiti. In an article on Jan. 12., The Huffington Post reported that “more than 500,000 are still in temporary settlement camps as Haiti struggles with a reconstruction effort that has been thwarted by a messy election, political paralysis and absence of aid coordination.”
  • Drug violence killed nearly 13,000 people in Mexico in 2011.


Reviews & previews

  • The World Economic Forum held its annual meeting from Jan. 25-29 in Davos, Switzerland. The gathering of the world’s elite — politicians, pop stars and business and non-profit leaders — earned extensive media coverage for its influential role in analyzing and shaping international policy. The setting in which some of its discussions of global needs took place were not without a sense of irony, however, as the Swedish foreign minister discovered. Also, according to at least one commentary, many of the panels and speeches of this year’s meeting were haunted by the spectre of “Mr. 99 Percent.”
  • The Sundance Film Festival featured several documentaries addressing urgent needs, including The Invisible War, The House I Live In and The Law in These Parts.
  • Thoughts on why Bahrain’s uprising failed while others succeeded (or seemed to have succeeded).
  • We will be examining the theme “Us v. Them” in February. Possible stories and posts could include the stories of Covert, Mich., and Northern Ireland, and the reality of re-segregated schools in America.
  • If you have an idea for a future story on, please let us know.
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