Category Archives: Editorials

Our New Collaborator: Madalena Araújo

We are thrilled to announce that every Saturday from now on, you will be hearing from London-based trainee reporter Madalena Araújo. She will touch on a wide range of topics, from inspiring figures to hot political issues that affect real people. We are very glad that she is joining us, and thank her very much for believing in our project.

Read about Madalena here!

“I was born and raised in sunny Lisbon, Portugal, but decided to turn my life around when I turned 18. I moved to London to study journalism, a masters in history of international relations followed and now it’s time to take up the real challenge and pursue a journalism career full-time.

I had always been fascinated by stories of people who lived abroad, but the turning point came after I spent two weeks at a summer school outside London at 16 years old. I hated the weather but loved the city and the idea of studying in a country that has some of the best universities in the world. The more I learned at journalism school, the more I recognised my passion for international affairs, so four years later I feel really fortunate and still think it was the best decision I ever made.

The transition from journalism to international history was the outcome of my ambition of becoming a more informed and thorough reporter. The internships I took on were great to learn and network, but they made me realise that I was not familiar enough with contemporary political issues and debates. As a masters student I studied the big wars, such as World War I or the Gulf War, diplomatic decisions that influenced the course of history and key figures. This was crucial to understand our world (a bit) better.

As for hobbies, I seem to spend most of my spare time exploring London’s vibrant cultural scene, from the arts to good food, which I end up writing about here pretty often. I also love film and travelling whenever I can.”

1. Why did you decide to join our project?

“I personally love your idea of sharing knowledge on all kinds of interesting subjects in this format. I always learn something new when I read the J.R. Chronicle, you cover such a wide range of topics and I enjoy that surprise element. The more I read the more article ideas occurred to me and I am happy to contribute – it’s a win-win situation, I hope.”

2. What are the issues that motivate you to write? What can readers expect from your chronicles?

“I’m driven to all kinds of stories that have an impact on ordinary people, whether they’re being affected by government policies or unforeseen circumstances, shedding light on intriguing issues – with many of them overlooked in the mainstream media – is what drives me. Readers can also expect chronicles on interesting figures and events.”

Madalena also has a very interesting blog, The View From Beyond, that you should make sure to check out!

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Our New Collaborator: Vasco Sousa Cotovio

We are very proud to let you know that every week from now on, we will have the pleasure to read Vasco Sousa Cotovio. Indeed, every Thursday he will write a Chronicle. We are very glad that he is joining us, and thank him very much for believing in our project.

Read about Vasco here!

“I was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal, where I studied for most of my life: from the Economic Sciences in high school, to Media Studies at the Faculty of Human Sciences of the Portuguese Catholic University.

The change of scenery happened later and only after accumulating almost 3 years of professional experience in journalism. From Lisbon to London, to the Queen Mary, University of London, where I reread forgotten authors, consolidated ideas, and specially where I extended my knowledge. Living abroad has been an important step in my personal and professional growth, allowing me to expand my horizons and to develop new skills.

From high school to the Master’s in International Relations, every professional and academic choice took into account my dream of one day becoming a war reporter. I believe it is one of the moments where good journalism is most needed and I intend to contribute.

Besides journalism, I have a passion for martial arts. I have been practising Songahm Taekwondo since I was 16 and I earned my black belt in August 2010. My dedication to the sport bore fruit when, in 2012, I qualified for the World Championships and then finished among the top 10. However, the greatest challenge is the one I am now preparing to embrace, as I start the instruction course.

I also have writing, oenology and travelling as hobbies.”

1. Why did you decide to join our project?

“I would say that besides my passion for the topics here discussed, I am a fan of the ideals behind the project. I have always been a curious person (a key asset for a journalist) and I find the JR Chronicle’s search for knowledge interesting, as well as motivating. Your purpose fits into my ideal of what journalism should be – instructive, analytical, defiant – and I felt it would be a good opportunity for me to write about the subjects I like the most.”

2. What are the issues that motivate you to write? What can readers expect from your chronicles?

“I’m passionate about international affairs and politics and that will be my area of focus when writing for the JR Chronicle. I think it is an area that allows me to touch on, pretty much, every subject. From economics to sport, from famine to fashion, from health to war, everything falls into this domain. The fact that there are so many possible themes is one of the features that make it such an attractive area – there is so much to ask, to explore, to learn. However, what I value the most is the impact it has on people’s lives, touching their very aspect. In sum, you can expect something touching this topic. However, its vastness will make my predictability very unpredictable, I hope.”

The J&R Chronicle Pilot

The JR Chronicle Pilot

Like any other, the summer season of 2013 was a chaotic one. While part of the globe goes to rest for their yearly deserved holidays and disconnects from the world news, it is always staggering to come back and understand the complexity of the rentrée.

Unlike us, the world did not go on a break.

In Europe, summer euphoria brought by the millions of tourists who pumped our economies, has ended. Unemployment went down in some countries due to the season’s advantages but now winter is coming. The EU Member States are holding their breaths while Germans prepare to the polls at the end of this month. If Merkel wins – and she probably will – those Europeans who support austerity can relax as past years’ economic diet will not have been in vain. On the other hand, despite the EU’s efforts of speaking with a common voice, Syria is again showing our lack of foreign policy consensus. Still, none of this really matters; after all, a royal baby was born.

Regarding the Americas, the world was shocked to discover that the United States was spying on pretty much everyone one, even on its closest allies. With three more years ahead of him, President Obama is probably living the worst momentum of his career. The President elected to end wars, faces the moral dilemma brought by Assad’s use of chemical weapons. And because of that, he’s now embarking upon of a revival of the Cold War atmosphere.

Heading South, Mexico’s government is being pressured by the private industry to embark on an energetic reform. As the Constitution sets a State monopoly on the country’s natural resources, private interests are struggling to reform the founding text and start profiting from a massive privatisation of energy wealth. In Colombia, where former President Uribe’s war against the FARC is still very much deep-rooted, President Santos peace process with the guerrilla organisation is progressing slowly due to popular pressure. And in Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff continued to be pressured by the sweeping protests but was lucky enough that the ‘wannabe revolution’ did not gather enough strength.

In Africa, the events in the north of the continent have made everyone think that the Arab Spring has failed. Fears of a civil war between anti and pro-Morsi supporters are certainly legit in Egypt. Despite the hypocrisy of the West, not wanting to call it a ‘military coup’, the country’s past month has witnessed every characteristic of a military overthrow. The regional instability compromises of course, the rest of the Middle East. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are disputing what seems to be becoming a ‘proxy’ conflict, while Israel quietly suffers from anticipatory panic. Finally, our generation’s hero, Nelson Mandela is probably dead despite the relentless denial by his family, most likely pressured by those who fear the instability that this news will bring to South Africa.

In Asia, the war in Afghanistan continues, without any end in sight and the President Hamid Karzai, has asked Pakistan to start peace talks with the Taliban to help him with the Afghan peace process. In the meanwhile, the border between Pakistan and India continues to be a hot spot. In China, Bo Xilai’s unique trial has been the big topic of the summer, even bringing protesters to the streets. In India, 22 children died due to another sanitarian crisis, while the rupee faced a continuous plunge, showing the weaknesses of the world’s ‘biggest democracy’. Last, but not least, despite Japan’s terrible crisis caused by the Fukushima disaster, Japanese have come to discover that they will host the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

As the summer ends, we come back, with a new look.

The magic formula remains pretty much the same: sharing random things/subjects/events/affairs, that are interesting to us, and that, hopefully, you will find interesting as well. We will tell you about things that happened, events that are taking place in front of our eyes, groundbreaking science, amazing people, about what we support and about what we disagree with.

However, we have changed. After getting feedback from many of our readers, we understood that the “newsletter” format was not making a consensus. From now on, you will be able to read our articles in this online page. From now on, we will post an article every day, instead of giving them all to you on Sundays. From now on, we really want you to be part of our project.

Indeed, if you you would like to share something about a certain topic, do not hesitate and write us. We want volunteers. If there are no volunteers, we will write to you directly and ask you to write with us. After all, it is all about sharing.

We hope you will like The J.R. Chronicle. In the meantime, check out our previous articles below!

J&R

The Idea

Dear all,

In our daily lives, most of us cannot afford to waste time learning about random subjects. We hear about things that we don’t always know, but about which we would like to find out more.

We (Maria Roquette and Sofia Jalles) are very fond of discussing things/subjects/events/affairs and learning more and more about those things we hear about. We often wonder how something came to be the way it is, or who was who, where he/she came from, what he/she did, or even what is the purpose of a certain thing. We regularly argue around topics of which we are unsure, or what are their precise facts. Fortunately, internet gives us the amazing possibility of looking for all these things we don’t know about and learning about them.

Our curious personality, and a couple of very wise friends, gave us the idea of starting a newsletter. Thus, every week, we brought you some “knowledge” about something we discovered each day. After 24 editions, we decided it was time to take it to the next level.

The J.R. Chronicle is the outcome of a will to evolve into something new. Hence, every day we will publish a small article, following the same previous style, allowing you to comment and share your ideas with us.

After all, it is all about sharing.

J&R

Feel free to send us feedback at thejrnewsletter@gmail.com