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Say That Again? Podcast eP. 56

How Our Accents Can Divide and Unite Us

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Can the way we speak be a source of unity instead of division? Two journalists share their stories.

We all judge others on how they sound: their accent, their pronunciation, their use of slang. Some of us have been criticized for these things ourselves, mocked because we sound different from those around us.

The way we speak can be a source of division. But it doesn’t have to be.

In this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground, we speak with Jessica Mendoza and Jingnan Peng of The Christian Science Monitor. They host the Monitor’s new podcast Say That Again?, which explores how we sound, how we listen, and how we can come to better understand each other.

Both hosts and guests on this show were once newcomers to the US. We hear some personal stories of how their own voices have affected their experience, and how listening differently can help us all find common ground.

Our show includes several extracts from Say That Again?, including a man who was turned down for a job because of his accent, and two women whose use of Black English – often derided by outsiders – has become a source of pride both professionally and personally.

Jessica Mendoza

Jess is a reporter and podcast producer for The Christian Science Monitor. She’s produced and hosted podcasts about the legacy of racism in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the challenges and resilience of women in the pandemic; and the ways that accent and language shape identity. Her work includes helping to develop the Monitor’s long-term multimedia strategy and collaborating with other Monitor reporters and editors to engage audiences beyond written stories.

Jess started at the Monitor in 2015 as an intern at the Boston office, where she worked her way from the web team to the National News desk. She worked two years as the Monitor’s West Coast correspondent out of Los Angeles before coming to Washington, D.C., to cover politics on Capitol Hill and beyond.

Previously, Jess was a radio DJ for a top 40 station and sideline reporter for a pro basketball league in the Philippines, where she’s from. She holds a bachelor’s in communication from Ateneo de Manila University and a master’s in journalism from Northeastern University.

Jingnan Peng

Jingnan Peng is a reporter and multimedia producer for The Christian Science Monitor. He mainly shoots and edits videos, with a focus on disability, culture and politics. He previously covered breaking news for Agence France-Presse (AFP) and reported on technology and culture for Quartz. Say That Again? is his first podcast.

A Beijing native, Jing studied literature as an undergraduate at Yale and went on to complete a Master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School. Outside of work, he likes learning languages, watching films, and performing improv comedy (he has a gig at Boston’s Improv Asylum).

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Story Hinckley & Christa Case Bryant Podcast

The State of Polarization: 2022

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A year after the assault on the Capitol, is America more or less polarized? Two journalists search for answers.

One year after the January 6th assault on the U.S. Capitol, we take a close look at America’s political divide with two journalists who covered the calamitous events of that day and the reactions to what happened.

Our guests are Christa Case Bryant, Congressional correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, and Story Hinckley, the Monitor’s National political correspondent. We discuss whether America is more polarized than it was one year ago and the prospects for finding common ground in Congress and across the country.

In their reporting throughout the year, both journalists sought answers to complex questions about what caused people to storm the Capitol, and why Democrats and Republicans have very different views about voter access, election laws, and the controversy over the 2020 vote count. In this episode, we also examine the role of the media and individual reporters in covering the state of polarization.

Join us as we begin our third year of “Let’s Find Common Ground.”

Read more from Christa Case Bryant and Story Hinckley: “A divided anniversary: Jan. 6 in the eyes of those who were there.”

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Ep 47 – The State of Polarization: 2022

Story Hinckley

Story Hinckley is a National Political Correspondent based in Washington.

She holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia where she double majored in Political Science and Environmental Thought and Practice, and a master’s in journalism from Northeastern University.

Christa Case Bryant

Christa Case Bryant is The Christian Science Monitor’s senior Congressional correspondent, building on four years of experience editing and reporting on U.S. politics, including as Heartland correspondent.

A 2015-16 Nieman fellow at Harvard, she previously served as the Monitor’s Jerusalem bureau chief, Middle East editor, and Europe editor. She has reported from Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Germany, Estonia, and South Korea.

Ms. Bryant holds an M.A. in international relations from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a B.A. from Principia College, where she focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a major in global perspectives and a minor in religion. She also attended the Middlebury School of Hebrew and studied spoken Arabic in Jerusalem.

After spending many years as a cross-country ski racer on the national and international level, Ms. Bryant has a special interest in all things Olympian. She covered the Winter Olympics in 2010 and 2018.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Change Makers: People Making a Difference

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When times seem dark, how can we be uplifted? Get inspired by people making a difference.

In a world of problems and catastrophes, we look at a handful of extraordinary problem solvers: People who use their passion and personal experience of life to make a difference.

We speak with Dave Scott, Engagement Editor at The Christian Science Monitor, about the remarkable stories of individuals who use generosity, hope and innovation to inspire others to uplift their fellow human beings.

With original stories and personal anecdotes, we hear how listening and trust are essential elements in constructive change and finding common ground.

This special year-end episode includes excerpts from the Monitor’s new podcast, “People Making a Difference.” We hear about what a 12-year-old can teach us about empathy and kindness; how the Sewing Machine Project has repaired thousands of lives around the world, and why LavaMaeX is providing hot showers, pop-up care villages and radical hospitality for homeless people in California.

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Ep 46 – Change Makers: People Making a Difference

Dave Scott

David Clark Scott oversees the innovation and evolution of CSMonitor.com, as well as The Christian Science Monitor’s newsletters and social media platforms.

Previously, as product manager and online director, Scott has led teams that were part-Skunkworks, part journalism, and part tech training. Those cross-functional teams often served as the bridge between the editorial, business, and technical teams of CSMonitor.com.

Prior to joining the web team, Scott was the International News Editor at the Monitor. In 2007, he won the inaugural Dart Society Mimi Award – “the first of its kind to recognize editors who advocate relentlessly for the integrity of stories and invest time in shaping the talents of journalists.”

Scott was a 2011 Fellow of the Punch Sulzberger Program at Columbia University.

Scott has also been the Monitor’s Latin America bureau chief in Mexico City, Australasia bureau chief in Sydney, and Wall Street bureau chief in New York.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Neal Temko, Scott Peterson

American Foreign Policy: Challenges, Threats, Opportunities.

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America’s foreign policy challenges are evolving rapidly. What are the implications?

The takeover of the Taliban in Afghanistan; a more aggressive China and Russia; a newly-elected hardline President in Iran, are all major challenges facing President Joe Biden and his administration.

Our podcast guests are Ned Temko, who writes the weekly international affairs column “Patterns” for The Christian Science Monitor, and Scott Peterson, the Monitor’s Middle East bureau chief. Both are highly experienced and well-traveled foreign correspondents, who bring depth and expertise to coverage of global affairs.

Among the many topics covered in this episode: Similarities and differences to President Trump’s “America First” approach, the implications of the rapid withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, why China is the biggest overseas challenge for the Biden Administration, relations with America’s allies, and the increased threat to human rights in Asia and the Middle East.

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Ep. 37: American Foreign Policy – Challenges, Threats, Opportunities. 

Ned Temko

Ned Temko writes the weekly international affairs column “Patterns” for The Christian Science Monitor. A longtime Monitor foreign correspondent, he was based in Beirut, Jerusalem, Moscow, and Johannesburg before moving to London at the end of the 1980s for the Monitor’s television news program.

He has covered stories ranging from Middle East war and peace and the hostage crisis in Iran to the final years of Soviet Communism and apartheid in South Africa. As the Monitor TV correspondent, he also covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

Scott Peterson

Scott Peterson covers the Middle East for The Christian Science Monitor from London, with a special focus on Iran, Iraq, and Syria. A well-traveled and experienced foreign correspondent who is also a photographer for Getty Images in New York, he has reported and photographed conflict and powerful human narratives across three continents for more than two decades.

Scott first joined the Monitor in 1996 as the Middle East correspondent based in Amman, Jordan, then became the Moscow bureau chief. In Afghanistan, he traveled with the Taliban in 1999, and later was witness to their collapse when Kabul fell in 2001.

He has made 30 visits to Iran, which form the backbone of his book Let the Swords Encircle Me: Iran – A Journey Behind the Headlines (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He has also frequently reported from Iraq, first during the 1991 Kurdish uprising, when he secretly crossed the border from Turkey, before being forced to flee across the mountains with more than a million Kurds – and a handful of fellow journalists – when Saddam Hussein’s armed forces crushed the resistance.

Since 1997, he has traveled often to Baghdad, except for a two-year period when he was blacklisted by the former regime. He was embedded for one month with US Marines during their November 2004 assault on Fallujah. Prior to joining the Monitor, Scott covered the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Africa, and the Balkans for The Telegraph (London) and was based in Cyprus; Nairobi, Kenya; and Zagreb, Croatia.

Scott is the author of Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda (Routledge, 2000), about his work in war zones in Africa during six years in the 1990s.

Read more about Scott’s work on his website.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

What The Voters Told Us: Christa Case Bryant and Story Hinckley

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Voters sent mixed messages in the 2020 election. What can we learn about how divided the country is – or isn’t?

A highlight of the 2020 election was the remarkable turnout from both sides of the political divide. Voters in cities, suburbs and rural parts of the country went to the polls in record numbers.

In the next episode of the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast, we examine the mood of the electorate, discuss the reasons why President-elect Joe Biden won nearly five million more votes than Donald Trump and speculate on some reasons why the pollsters got the election so wrong. Voters sent mixed messages in Congressional and local elections by splitting the ticket which caused Republicans to fare much better than expected in many races.

Our guests are Christa Case Bryant, a national political reporter for The Christian Science Monitor, and Story Hinckley, a National Political Correspondent in Washington on the newspaper’s national news desk in Washington. Both traveled extensively during the 2020 campaign, listening to voters and politicians in many states and gaining insights about how divided our country is – or isn’t. They share their rich experiences on the frontlines of the campaign and what they learned from the many people they met along the way.

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Ep. 17- What the Voters Told Us

Christa Case Bryant

A 2015-16 Nieman fellow at Harvard, she previously served as the Monitor’s Jerusalem bureau chief, Middle East editor, and Europe editor. She has reported from Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Germany, Estonia, and South Korea.

Ms. Bryant holds an M.A. in international relations from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a B.A. from Principia College, where she focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a major in global perspectives and a minor in religion. She also attended the Middlebury School of Hebrew and studied spoken Arabic in Jerusalem.

Read more by Christa Case Bryant: Can friendship be bipartisan? Ask the Janets.

Story Hinckley

Story Hinckley is currently a National Political Correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor in Washington. She served as the Monitor’s Paul S. Deland Fellow in 2016 before coming on staff. She holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia where she double majored in Political Science and Environmental Thought and Practice, and a M.A. in journalism from Northeastern University.
Twitter: @StoryHinckley
Instagram: @storiesbystory

Read more by Story Hinckley: One upside of a hard-fought election – bumper crop of new voters.

2020 Election Briefing: U.S. Foreign Policy

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The “America First” policy has reshaped many global institutions. What is the future of America’s role in the world?

President Trump’s “America First” policy has led to a U.S. withdrawal from many global institutions. For decades after World War II, American leadership in the world was taken for granted. Today, the future of American hegemony is deeply uncertain.

In this episode, we explore the future of foreign policy with two highly experienced journalists, Peter Ford and Howard LaFranchi. Based in Paris, Peter is global affairs correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. Prior to his current job, he spent a decade as Beijing Bureau Chief. Howard has been The Monitor’s diplomacy correspondent in Washington D.C. since 2001.

We discuss the U.S. pullback from the World Health Organization during the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s exit from the Paris climate accord, deteriorating relations with China, and the differences between Joe Biden and Donald Trump on America’s role in the world.

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Ep. 14- Election Briefing Foreign Policy

Peter Ford

Peter Ford is The Christian Science Monitor’s global affairs correspondent, based in Paris. Prior to his current posting, Peter served for a decade as the Monitor’s Beijing bureau chief, covering news and features throughout China and also makes reporting trips to Japan and the Korean peninsula. Before that, he spent six years as the Monitor’s Chief European Correspondent. Based in Paris, he covered news and features from the continent and also followed global trends in justice, religion and security, among other issues. Earlier, Peter served for four years as the Monitor’s Moscow bureau chief, reporting throughout Russia and the former Soviet republics.

Peter also worked as the Monitor’s Middle East correspondent, based in Jerusalem, arriving in the region in December 1990 just in time to cover the Gulf War from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. From his home base, he traveled widely and regularly throughout the Middle East, focusing on the developing peace process and the interplay of religion and politics in Muslim countries. As a special correspondent based in Buenos Aires in 1989 and 1990, Ford covered Argentina and neighboring countries for The Independent of London and The Christian Science Monitor. Ford lived and worked in Central America from 1985-1989, writing for the Monitor, the Financial Times, and The Economist during the civil wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Prior to this, Ford was an editor with Inter Press Service, a news agency specializing in the affairs of developing countries. Ford is the author of “Around the Edge,” a book about a journey he made on foot and by small boat along the Caribbean coast of Central America published by Viking Penguin in 1991.

A native Englishman, Ford was educated in England and graduated from Durham University with an honors degree in politics and sociology. He is married to French journalist-author Edith Coron and is the father of two sons.

Read more by Peter Ford: “Power shift: How America’s retreat is reshaping global affairs.”

Howard LaFranchi

Howard LaFranchi has been the Christian Science Monitor’s diplomacy correspondent in DC since 2001. Previously, he spent 12 years as a reporter in the field; serving five years as the Monitor’s Paris bureau chief from 1989 to 1994, and as a Latin America correspondent in Mexico City from 1994 to 2001. LaFranchi has continued to travel as diplomacy correspondent and covered the Iraq War from the Monitor’s Baghdad bureau on numerous occasions. Prior to joining the Monitor, LaFranchi worked as the City Hall reporter for the Holyoke Transcript-Telegram. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley Journalism School and has a Masters Degree in Journalism from Boston University.

Read more by Howard LaFranchi: “The United Nations: Indispensable or irrelevant?”