Article Highlights

 
Illustration by Zoe van Dijk
Culture

‘It Was a Story That Could Save a Life’

Global Press Journal reporters look back on the challenging, difficult and happy moments they encountered while reporting the news in 2018.

Intersex, Transgender People in Zambia Self-Administer Hormones to Avoid Discrimination, Arrest

“Stories on intersex and transgender are rarely written about in our local media. When I discovered that there was illegal hormonal usage among them, I knew it was a story worth telling. It was a story that could save a life once told. During the interviews, I could feel the desperation my sources faced. [They were] desperate to do the right thing, but the route seemed too complicated for them. What surprised me is that some medical experts did not even know that this group of people uses the hormones illegally because they rarely seek medical attention.” Prudence Phiri, Lead Reporter, Zambia

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No Money, No Land: Nepal’s Indentured Servants Are Free, But Can’t Escape the System

“Goreram Labad and his wife Bina were walking barefoot to reach their home. The family of six members used to sleep on the floor in the house that they received while working as haliya (indentured servants.) I know one should not be swayed by emotions while doing any story or doing reporting, yet tears rolled down my cheeks when I saw their miserable conditions.” Kalpana Khanal, Senior Reporter, Nepal

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Growing Number of Women Disabled Amid Kashmir Violence Receive Little or No Aid

“It was very difficult to convince the subjects [to be] interviewed, especially for the photographs. They had very bad memories of the reporters who had interviewed them before. I was really afraid at one point when one of the women who was injured…screamed and said that one of the reporters in the past tried to ask her how she felt after the injury, which really upset her. I just gathered all my courage and tried to be as empathetic as possible.” Aliya Bashir, Senior Reporter, Indian-administered Kashmir

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The Commute: Corruption and Danger on the Streets of Kampala

“In my mind I had always thought that boda boda riders and passengers were the number one victims of boda boda-caused accidents. I was surprised to find out that it is the pedestrians. Definitely, I am now more conscience of my safety as a pedestrian regarding boda bodas than before, when I was more worried of vehicles.” Nakisanze Segawa, Reporter, Uganda (Segawa is one of two reporters who worked on this story.)

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The House is Affordable, But There’s No Plumbing

“I was surprised about how many people who live in irregular settlements without running water had normalized their lack of water. [They] assumed was an unavoidable step to get, someday, a piece of land to call home.” Mayela Sánchez, Senior Reporter, Mexico

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Gone Are the Goats: Wedding Dowries Get Tech Upgrade in DRC

“I was surprised to see and hear that the traditional or customary marriage that was once a symbolic gesture is being transformed into a market for retail sales of girls. Today, parents require their future sons-in-law to provide lots of money and items for a marriage. To me, the most interesting part of the story was when the bride’s father expected his daughter’s future husband to bring lots of money and items as a condition of winning approval for marriage. He required him to provide money and items as compensation for tuition expenses he had paid for his daughter.” Françoise Mbuyi Mutombo, Associate Reporter, Democratic Republic of Congo

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Eyeing U.S. Border, Caravan Passes Through Southern Mexico on Long Walk North

“I think getting closer to the lives of the people [in the caravan] brings us closer in another way to the stories and allows us to stop seeing them as just statistics. And, despite knowing the situation in the countries of origin, it is astonishing to learn about the expressions of violence that these women and men lived through in order to decide to walk so many hours, days and months in order to flee and to find a better life.” Marissa Revilla, Senior Reporter, Mexico