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David Guttenfelder unveils North Korea through iPhone

Pulling back the curtains and with the press of a button, David Guttenfelder revealed to the world the mysterious behind North Korea - a place with little visual record.

Guttenfelder, now a photographer for National Geographic Society, traveled to North Korea tens of times in the course of a year to dig into North Korea’s paranoid isolation.

"I couldn’t relate to the country there," he said at the AAJA Conference. "I had doubts that people even lived there."

(Instagram: dguttenfelder)

Guttenfelder is one of the few photographers who was allowed in to the country. His portrayal of North Korea got him named Instagram Photographer of the Year by time magazine in 2013, solely through the use of his iPhone.

He said Instagram is a medium that allows instant uploads. This concept is what made his documentation more exciting to him - Especially for photos that aren’t necessarily shot for print or web.

"My own impressions of the world had changed," he said.

(Instagram: dguttenfelder)

He wasn’t afraid to be there. He never was. It was never difficult. He was attracted to the “melancholy beauty” of it all.

"There was a lot worth discovering in North Korea," he said. "There was a lot worth discovering in North Korea."

(Instagram: dguttenfelder)

People were not resist to the cameras, he said. But once local officials found out he was using Instagram, they had to ensure he was maintaining the same kind of objectivity as he was for the AP, he recalled.

"The camera was an open door to communicate," he said. "It was an immediate connection with people."

Now, Guttenfelder is working on a year-long project in Yellowstone National Park, documenting the ecosystem coexisting with wildlife and people.

— Elizabeth Wang, Medill News Service



Dying of a broken heart

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. That’s the formal name for “broken heart syndrome,” which is a temporary condition where “there’s a temporary disruption of your heart’s normal pumping function” after a traumatic experience, such as the loss of a loved one, according to the Mayo Clinic

Yesterday BBC published an article about couples that had been together for 60 or 70 years and died apparently of a broken heart after their spouse passed away. In one of the stories, a 101-year-old Wales man passed away while waiting for his wife to return from the hospital after being treated for a broken leg. Their daughter said she told her mother to dream of the happiest times of their marriage that night, and her mother passed away around 1:00 a.m. that night on the couple’s 76th wedding anniversary. 

According to the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the heart’s health can be impacted by the death of one’s significant other. The number of people who had a heart attack or stroke during the month after losing a loved one was double the number of a control group who hadn’t lost a loved one.

So is it true— can you die of a broken heart?



Experts Weigh in: Israel and Hamas

WASHINGTON – The Israel and Hamas conflict has generated a lot of news over the past few weeks.  Experts and commentators have been making the rounds on all the major news organizations to make their opinions known.  Several experts met Wednesday at a panel hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  Here’s their take on the conflict:

  • On the U.S. involvement in Gaza:  “There is a sense that, as long as Hamas continues to have this foothold in Gaza, we’re going to go back.  There’s a sense that we’ve kind of reached the end of our rope.” Jonathan Schanzer, VP of research for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.


  • On the Obama administration’s foreign policy:  “There is just a deluge of critique of the Obama administration’s foreign policy.  And I have to say, I agree.  We’ve messaged in such a horrible way that we have lost the confidence of just about every actor, every ally in the Middle East.” Jonathan Schanzer.
  • Role the U.S. should play if it cannot leave the region:  “If you cannot extricate yourself and you cannot transform, then you do the only other logical thing, you transact.  You decide what’s vital from what’s discretionary.  You decide what’s doable from what isn’t.  What is vital to America?”  Aaron David Miller, VP of new initiatives at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars


  • “It’s not that difficult for the United States to resume certain attenuated leadership goal.  What’s required is clear policy and clear goals.”  Hussein Ibish, senior research fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine.
  • On U.S. involvement to broker a two-state solution: “I would argue very strongly that this still is a vital interest.  The Middle East is not avoidable for the United States.  If that’s true, then I think resolving this issue is a vital interest toward the United States.”  Hussein Ibish

- Curtis Sprung, Medill News Service


In the rush to report the death of Robin Williams guidelines on reporting suicide have been ignored by the media. Experts warn that reports which detail the method or use inappropriate language can lead to a rise in suicides. The media has duty to report suicide responsibly
Photos: Touchstone Pictures / EPA
• In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 08457 90 90 90. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14.


In the rush to report the death of Robin Williams guidelines on reporting suicide have been ignored by the media. Experts warn that reports which detail the method or use inappropriate language can lead to a rise in suicides. The media has duty to report suicide responsibly

Photos: Touchstone Pictures / EPA

• In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 08457 90 90 90. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14.



A tribute to one of the greatest comedians of our time

I remember like it was yesterday, bouncing around the couches in my family room pretending to be Peter Pan. When I wasn’t attempting to fly from one ottoman to the next, I was glued to the TV, cheering on Peter and the Lost Boys.

Hook is one of my favorite movies and Robin Williams will forever be one of my favorite actors.

However, the man who made the world laugh, appeared to be fighting daemons of his own. 

Williams, who has been suffering from severe depression, was found dead from an apparent suicide Monday. He was 63-years-old.

Like me, millions of fans are sharing their favorite Robin Williams memories, movies and quotes today.

President Obama paid tribute to the actor in a statement, “Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between,” Obama’s statement read.

He touched every demographic with his talent and made us smile.

Here is a list Forbes compiled of the 25 most memorable quotes of his career:

“Carpe. Hear it? Carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” – John Keating, Dead Poets Society

“O Captain, my Captain. Who knows where that comes from? Anybody? Not a clue? It’s from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in this class you can either call me Mr. Keating, or if you’re slightly more daring, ‘O Captain my Captain.’” - John Keating, Dead Poets Society

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” – John Keating, Dead Poets Society

“I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself.” – John Keating, Dead Poets Society

“Nanu nanu.” – Mork, Mork & Mindy

“He stole your necklace, he stole your ribs, he’s obviously not kosher.”  - Mork, Mork & Mindy

 “Oh, sir. I saw it! Some angry member of the kitchen staff, Did you not tip them? Oh, the terrorists! They ran that way. It was a run-by fruiting. I’ll get them, sir. Don’t worry.” – Daniel Hillard/ Mrs. Doubtfire, Mrs. Doubtfire

“My first day as a woman and I’m getting hot flashes.” - Daniel Hillard/ Mrs. Doubtfire, Mrs. Doubtfire

“I just want to know one thing. Are your kids well-behaved? Or do they need like, a few light slams every now and then?” - Daniel Hillard/ Mrs. Doubtfire, Mrs. Doubtfire

“Carpe dentum. Seize the teeth.” - Daniel Hillard/ Mrs. Doubtfire, Mrs. Doubtfire

“You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you’ve met, she’s not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other.” - Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting

“You don’t know about real loss because it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much.” – Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting

“Gooooooood morning, Vietnam! It’s 0600 hours. What does the ‘O’ stand for? O my God, it’s early!” – Adrian, Good Morning, Vietnam

“Here’s a news flash: Today President Lyndon Johnson passed a highway beautification bill. The bill basically said that his daughters could not drive in a convertible on public highways.” - Adrian, Good Morning, Vietnam

“A game for those who wish to find / a way to leave their world behind. You roll the dice to move your token, doubles get another turn, and the first one to reach the end wins.” – Alan Parrish, Jumanji

“You have to break in half to love somebody.” – Chris Nielsen, What Dreams May Come

“You’re a… you’re a complex Freudian hallucination having something to do with my mother and I don’t know why you have wings, but you have very lovely legs and you’re a very nice tiny person and what am I saying, I don’t know who my mother was; I’m an orphan and I’ve never taken drugs because I missed the sixties, I was an accountant.” – Peter Banning, Hook

“So what? The important thing to remember is not to go to pieces when that happens. You have to react like a man, calmly. You have to say to yourself, ‘Albert, you pierced the toast, so what? It’s not the end of your life.’” – Armand Goldman, The Birdcage

“Shouldn’t you be holding the crucifix? It is the prop for martyrs!” – Armand Goldman, The Birdcage

“It’s like riding a psychotic horse toward a burning stable.” – Armand Goldman, The Birdcage

“Our job is improving the quality of life, not just delaying death.” – Patch Adams, Patch Adams

“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” - Patch Adams, Patch Adams

“Thank you for choosing Magic Carpet for all your travel needs. Don’t stand until the rug has come to a complete stop. Thank you. Goodbye, now. Goodbye. Goodbye. Thank you. Goodbye.” – Genie, Aladdin

“Oh, Al. I’m getting kinda fond of you, kid. Not that I wanna pick out curtains or anything.” – Genie, Aladdin

“I’m history! No, I’m mythology! Nah, I don’t care what I am; I’m free hee!” – Genie, Aladdin



Is Entry-level Work Revolution Good for New Grads?

The Wall Street Journal last week ran an interesting article titled “Where did all the entry-level jobs go?,” which reached the conclusion that new graduates are facing an evolving professional path where some employers cut the number of beginning jobs while others raise the bar of performance expectation from day one.

As a journalism student who is going to graduate in August, I find the labor market outlined in the article isn’t so…attractive, especially considering the fact that the unemployment rate for people aged 20-24 was at a historical high of 11.3 percent in July, according to the story. 

But Kimberley Cornwell, associate director of career services at the Medill School of Journalism, said she is actually “encouraged” by the WSJ article.

"There are definitely early-career jobs out there," she said. "But it’s also incumbent upon students’ being willing to embrace those early-career jobs and go where those jobs are as opposed to having a fixed idea around where they want to work." 

Cornwell said the changing job market indicates the need for different skill sets for today’s news graduates. 

"It’s very important for students to recognize that it’s about your people skills," she said. "It’s about your interpersonal ability. It’s about your teamwork. It’s about collaboration. Your decision-making has even more importance in this environment than ‘Can you use an Excel spreadsheet.’"



Why Africa this time?

The perils of covering foreign affairs

Today, I went to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in downtown D.C. to cover a talk by Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who is in town for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. I expected this talk to be much like Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s visit the Brookings Institution, which I covered successfully back in July. But this time, I was to learn about the trials and tribulations that sometimes come with covering heads of state from different countries. 

The trouble began early on. When I arrived at the CSIS, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the person registering people told me Keita would be speaking French, and that they’d run out of the in-ear translation devices that would allow me to hear what he would be saying in English. This meant I would have to watch the talk from the dreaded “overflow room” – basically a conference room filled with big TV screens that would be broadcasting the talk with an English translation dubbed over the president’s French. 

I decided to make the most of my demotion, and quickly took advantage of the free coffee and orange juice CSIS had kindly provided for us. But after the talk started – about half an hour later than it was supposed to – the translation did not. Instead, I had the privilege of attempting to lip read Keita’s French from the silent flat screen in front of me. When the translation did finally kick in during the Q&A portion of the talk, the French-to-English translator didn’t seem to completely understand either French or English. CSIS brought in a pinch hitter partway through, whose translation was much better, but by that time I’d pretty much lost all hope of salvaging a story from the event. 

As I drained the last of my free coffee – my one silver lining – I knew I’d learned some important lessons: always arrive early enough to get a fancy in-ear translation device and add learning French to my to-do list.

Post by Lindsey Holden



On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit business forum. He spoke about Africa’s economic potential in a positive light.

But in a classic VEEP moment, Biden provides us with another gaffe.

“There’s no reason the nation of Africa cannot and should not join the ranks of the world’s most prosperous nations,” Biden said.

Just an F.Y.I., Mr. VP, Africa is a continent, not a country.

One could argue that Biden’s words got a little jumbled. From the clip, it’s hard to tell if he says “nation” or “nations.” There are no indications Biden thinks Africa is a single country. But for a man who has made a few gaffes in the past, we can’t help but note this one.

Post by Eliza Larson



What’s being said about Paul George

Last week Paul George suffered a gruesome injury in a Team USA scrimmage. Here’s some of the reactions via Twitter:

Fans in Indiana are signing a banner:



U.S. African Leaders Summit: D.C. Traffic’s Worst Nightmare

While scores of government officials, international politicians and D.C. bigwigs discussed important issues such as climate change and wildlife trafficking in Africa, commuters in Washington were complaining about the horrific traffic conditions downtown.

The U.S. Africa Leaders Summit hosted by President Obama, focuses on strengthening financial ties between the U.S. and Africa, maintaining regional stability and dealing with environmental concerns.

The summit brought African heads of state and other guests to the White House for a three-day conference starting Aug. 4. It also brought many traffic delays and even protests due to road closures in the area.

Commuters should expect higher drive times…as well as potential increases in hostility levels among colleagues.

 For a list of complete road closures see below:



Christian Flores talks with a few of his male colleagues about fashion in the newsroom.