If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
John F. Kennedy
It is only February and already 2015 is off to a sad start for the press; the terror attacks on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, the imprisonment and lashings of Saudi blogger Raif Sadawi, these acts are an affront to the freedom of speech the world over. The Economist reported “Every country limits free speech. Some do so only to prevent immediate harms, such as libel, violence or child pornography; others ban “hate speech” (offensive utterances against groups such as gay people or racial minorities) or blasphemy. In the wake of the Paris attacks, these differing approaches are colliding—both with each other and with free speech, which is in many places at best a wavering ideal.” These are complicated times. Social media has made it even easier to have access to multiple opinions- one might say it is impossible to escape. The question regarding freedom of speech is, when is it free and when is it harmful? Where do we draw the line without living in censorship?
I am honored and privileged to be the editor of this independent magazine that delivers the words of our writers into your hands.
In school, I was always taught that good journalism needs to be objective. However I have learned that great journalism rarely is. Most people are neither neutral nor objective. I personally ascribe to the notion that even the smallest acts and opinions are political. Our daily decisions, from where we do our shopping or whether we choose to drive a car or take the bus, every action shapes the world. At The Eye, our writers choose their own stories, their own angles and we compile them for you each month with the hope that we will inform you about what is going on in our part of the world, from our perspective. Great journalism doesn’t just lay out the facts, it effectively transmits a version of the truth.
This month we explore dance. While dance as a topic may seem safe enough from political leanings, it isn’t. As we can see in Deborah Van Hoewyk’s article on the Feather Dance when questions of authenticity and the preservation of true cultural integrity arise . Leigh Morrow takes us through her personal journey with the classic song La Bamba. Most riveting for me was Julie Etra’s piece on the Muxes as it serves as a reminder that our diversity should be celebrated!
See you next month,