Here’s a 1 minute, 42-second audio slide show I just created after spending a few hours snapping photos and recording audio at the site of massive anti-government protests here in Bangkok today.
Protesters are rallying against Thailand’s Prime Minister, Samak Sundaravej. The protests has been organized by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which accuses Samak of being a proxy for ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra. People at the event who I talked to said they want Samak to resign, and they want Thaksin — who has fled to England — to return to Thailand to face corruption charges.
Health care has long seemed one of the most local of all industries. Yet beneath the bandages, globalisation is thriving. The outsourcing of record keeping and the reading of X-rays is already a multi-billion-dollar business. The recruitment of doctors and nurses from the developing world by rich countries is also common, if controversial. The next growth area for the industry is the flow of patients in the other direction—known as “medical tourism”—which is on the threshold of a dramatic boom.
Tens of millions of middle-class Americans are uninsured or underinsured and soaring health costs are pushing them and cost-conscious employers and insurers to look abroad for savings. At the same time the best hospitals in Asia and Latin America now rival or surpass many hospitals in the rich world for safety and quality. On one estimate, Americans can save 85% by shopping around and the number who will travel for care is due to rocket from under 1m last year to 10m by 2012—by which time it will deprive American hospitals of some $160 billion of annual business.
Link via Ideas, a promising new blog from editors at the New York Times‘s Week in Review section. From their description:
This is a blog for Web-browsing omnivores. It features brief posts on the most interesting ideas we’ve come across lately from any realm, in the course of educating ourselves as generalist editors — article links primarily, but pictures, video and audio too.
I like the format — quick posts with links to external Web sites (as opposed to links merely to internal material). I’m reminded of The Wall Street Journal‘s Informed Reader, which, unfortunately, met its demise in February.
If you’d like to join our annual Yahoo English Premier League Fantasy Football (soccer) group, you can find more info on the game here. It’s free. And entertaining.
If you’re interested, email me (newley [at] gmail.com) and I’ll give you our group name and password. The deadline to compete in the first week is…before today’s fixtures kick off. You can participate after today, but you’ll miss out on the first week’s points. (Which, given the length of the season, isn’t entirely important.)
As ever, we’ve got a geographically diverse group of participants, with folks from the US, Thailand, Hong Kong, and the UK joining in the fun.
Followers of my dispatches on Twitter will know that my brother C and I have been in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the surrounding area all of this week. I have many things to say about this great city. I really love it. And I shall be sharing some images of people, sights, and (most of all) food next week.
We return to Bangkok tomorrow (Fri.) afternoon local time, so if there are any of you in this neck of the woods who’d like to meet up, please email me: newley [at] gmail.com
Journalist seeking paycheck? Try India: As U.S. newsrooms shrivel, India’s are booming. And they’re hiring, not firing reporters and editors.
If ever there was a time to take pity on America’s journalists, this would be it.
The U.S. news industry is bleeding jobs. According to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 2,400 journalists left newspaper newsrooms last year, either through layoffs or buyouts, leaving the industry with its smallest workforce since 1984. Circulation and revenue are falling across the country, as are share prices: Gannett, the country’s largest newspaper publisher, is seeing its stock trade at around one-third its value a year ago; the New York Times Co. is down 45 percent. Classified advertising revenues have dropped 30 percent over the last two years and the last quarter was one of the industry’s worst ever.
Just how bad can it get? The American Journalism Review’s Charles Layton recently concluded that “we may begin seeing, pretty soon, big American cities with no daily newspaper.”
So, what’s an underemployed journalist to do? Some move on to academia or cross over to the dark side of public relations. But a few forward-thinking souls are heading to a land where journalism jobs not only aren’t disappearing, but are more plentiful by the day: India.