Shaggy Dog Tales by Paul Ress
58 1/2 Years of Reportage

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The stories and the anecdotes in this book illustrate two kinds of journalism over a period of more than half a century. During a span of almost 30 years as a journalist for major media, I was convinced that there was no life after journalism. Even losing my job as a reporter three times did not change my mind. What did alter my outlook was the discovery of international and non-governmental environmental and public health organizations in and around the United Nations in Geneva that were doing good things. Writing about their activities and seeing them reported not in one newspaper or magazine but in hundreds of publications and on radio and television stations around the world, was a satisfying experience. It was journalistic writing, and, sometimes, the press releases and feature stories really did make things move. Two examples. A simple World Health Organization press release on arsenic in the drinking water in Bangladesh led to an investigation on the spot by a reporter of a major American newspaper. His syndicated story caught the attention of a Nordic government which agreed to finance efforts to try to rid the wells of the arsenic. Another story-for UNICEF this time-concerned premature or underweight babies in Colombia in a region where hospitals had no incubators. The mother carried her baby close to her body beneath her sweater or dress rather like a kangaroo with a baby in her pouch. It saved their lives. They came to be known as "kangaroo babies." A respected, large-circulation British newspaper read the feature, sent a team with a doctor, a nurse, a reporter, and a photographer to Colombia, and published a big cover story on the technique in their Sunday magazine. Articles about "kangaroo babies" keep popping up here and there, and the kangaroo system has spread.

About Paul Ress

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Published October 24, 2006 by Xlibris Corporation. 116 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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