admin

Collaboration / Objectivity in the Times of Fake News (with Suno India)

Suno India speaks with journalists Prachi Pinglay and Kunal Shankar, who produced On Spec’s Season 3, Episode 4 – Love in Times of Hate. They discuss what the impact of fake news has been on India, and what it was like reporting and putting together the episode for On Spec.

Read More

Pandemic Treatments that Paralyze

In Africa, herbal treatments are used to heal viruses in the absence of modern medicine, but disinformation about these treatments and how they can cure COVID-19 is having a deadly impact. Government officials and local healers out to make money sell these treatments with fake news. Congolese journalist Patrice Chitera, who has used these treatments for his ailments in the past, adds his own story as well as those impacted by these herbal meds. Patrice questions who to hold accountable for the loss of lives in a country where there’s little trust of those in power.

Read More

The Death of Hong Kong

Hong Kong protesters were on the streets for more than a year to fight for their freedom of expression after China announced laws to further curb their rights in 2019. Police violently attacked protestors, threw opposition politicians in jail and the country has been polarized as disinformation spreads. Journalist Lisa Jane Harding, based in Hong Kong for 18 years, reports through the eyes of a politician and a chef supporting opposing sides on how the protests split Hong Kong, and if the city can regain lost freedoms.

Read More

Combating Climate Change

Some of the world’s most active climate deniers reside in the United States. Arkansas suffers from flooding and is one of the conservative red states where many farmers, who have the most to benefit from green policies, are actually voting against their best interests because of disinformation. Arkansas native and journalist Alice Driver introduces an organic farmer, who’s a climate activist, to a state senator, a climate change skeptic who also happens to be her neighbor, to see if they can find common ground.

Read More

Love in Times of Hate

The Modi government has an agenda to make India a Hindu nation, and they have tapped into old prejudices and disinformation to brainwash influential and ordinary people into hating minorities, particularly Muslims. Indian journalist Prachi Pinglay Plumber is a Hindu married to a Muslim, and she touches on her own experience of interfaith marriage, as she tells the tale of India’s demise from a secular democracy to a country that has used fake news to fuel riots. She unravels the Delhi riots in 2020 through the lens of a Muslim family living in a Hindu neighborhood, and a right wing Hindu activist. And she asks, how is love possible in the midst of broiling animosity?

Read More

Breaking Up a Family

Since the elections in Brazil that brought Jair Bolsonaro to power, Brazilian journalists Giovana Fleck and Carol Grune have been hearing politicians insult women, threaten them with rape, and try to take away their rights as women. For Carol, the polarized politics of Brazil led to a breakup with her father. Giovana helps Carol tell her story as the father and daughter quarantine together in Porto Alegre. Carol and her parents are on different sides of the feminist debate in Brazil, and they hash out their their political differences, realizing the divisions are really about their own identities.

Read More

Russia’s Rainbow Divide

Putin’s Russia is a homophobic country. The state media spouts anti-gay rhetoric and creates fake news, Parliament passes laws that curtail LGBTQ activism, and hate crimes are on the rise. But in bigger cities, there are also thriving gay scenes, and a new generation of Russian activists is seeking to change public opinion. British journalist Theo Merz, who’s gay, takes us to Moscow where he lives across these two Russias. He explores this rainbow divide and brings two people with radically different viewpoints face to face for a discussion about sexual identity.

Read More

The Last Bus to Europe

Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, but they are facing a brutal backlash from Turkish society. In February 2020, during the onset of the pandemic, the Turkish government misinformed refugees that they could leave Turkey and enter Greece. Turkish photojournalist Özge Sebzeci boarded a bus from Istanbul to Greece filled with migrants headed to Europe, and she tells the story of their journey. Then she weaves in the Turkish narrative by getting to know an anti migration politician and a pro-refugee activist to understand how they shaped their opinions.

Read More

Collaboration / Inside Iran’s Holiest Shrine

Scott Gurian, an American journalist and the voice behind Far From Home podcast, transports us to Mashad, Iran, inside a pilgrimage site where he and his fellow travelers find themselves grappling with cultural and religious differences. Then Scott tells On Spec his reflections about the trip, and how he managed to avoid Iran’s government minders…

Read More

OnSpec/08 – My Phoenix

Part of the ancestral homeland of Arizona’s O’odham and PeePosh tribes, Phoenix is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and the epicenter of a transforming border state. Journalist Alisa Reznick gives a tour of the greater metropolis, old and new — through the eyes of her extended family, who came three generations…

Read More