Three questions in News-Decoder’s spotlight

What issues should News-Decoder tackle?

That’s an important question as we define who we are and how we are going to build our global community.

Our journalists have more than 900 years of experience covering stories around the world. That’s a lot of anecdotes and wisdom spilling out of reporters’ notebooks.

But News-Decoder is not going to have veterans simply telling young people what they need to know and what to think. We are committed to being interactive.

News-Decoder will bridge regions around the globe, highlighting sometimes conflicting perspectives and enabling young people to communicate across borders about the big issues.

It will also foster dialog across generations — a two-way street connecting age and experience with curiosity and energy.

Making sense of events

Our recently concluded crowd-funding campaign was designed to promote our goal of interactivity.

Some contributors were given the chance to propose a question they thought should be addressed by the News-Decoder community. Others were given the chance to vote on which questions they considered most important.

Here are the three questions that emerged:

  1. What makes young people apathetic towards world affairs in some parts of the world, while totally engaged in others. (offered by Shelley Ranii)
  2. If we require Iran to forfeit nuclear capabilities, should we require the same of Israel? Put differently, is Israel’s nuclear capability a destabilizing factor in the Middle East, fueling a regional nuclear arms race , or is it justified as a deterrent? (offered by Erik Paul Kooijmans)
  3. How did the Israeli-Palestinian conflict start and what has led to the issue in the region we have today? What is a just, equitable resolution to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, and who should participate in the design and implementation of the practical stages in this resolution process? (offered by Ann Marshall and Jean Riesman)

The questions underscore the attention that the Middle East commands; we have already written about it, and there will be much more.

Shelley Ranii’s question goes to the heart of News-Decoder’s mission. Our premise is that young people actually know a great deal about current affairs through the headlines and summaries that they see on screens throughout the day.

But they are frustrated, and in some cases alienated, because for no fault of their own they often lack the historical background to make sense of the events.

News-Decoder wants to help young people put together the pieces of the puzzle — by interacting with experts but also with peers around the world who will share their insights and experiences.

In the meantime, how would you tackle our contributors’ three questions? Your comments below would be welcome.

Nelson Graves

Nelson Graves

Nelson Graves, News-Decoder’s founder, is an experienced educator and administrator who has taught and worked as a journalist on three continents. He was a correspondent, bureau chief and regional managing editor at Reuters, holding posts in Washington, Paris, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Milan and Tokyo. He later served as admissions director at Johns Hopkins University’s graduate program in international relations in Europe.

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