Thomascrampton1
[Note from Joi: Please welcome my first guest blogger ever, Thomas Crampton from the International Herald Tribune I've blogged about him in the past.]

Posted by Thomas Crampton

Civil wars, deadly disease outbreaks, natural disasters and foreign cultures have been standard fare in my career of newspapering. Now, at the suggestion of Joi, I intend to enter a new foreign culture and experiment with a foray into Blogging. This marks the first Blog posting by this journalist.

Who am I?

My career has been pretty hard core international reporting: A foreign correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, reporting from five continents and on many major world events. While based out of Asia (Hong Kong and Bangkok), I covered the Asian financial crisis as it spread out of Thailand and across the region, the rise of China as a regional power and the SARS outbreak as it spread from Southern China around the world as well as Sudan's civil war as seen from the rebel-held south.

My favorite place to report from?

It is impossible to say which country is most memorable, but one of my favorite places in Asia is Burma/Myanmar, a country of wonderful people ruled by one of the world's most harsh dictatorships. As part of the integration between the newsrooms of the IHT and the NYTimes (full owner of the IHT since 2003), I worked in a variety of positions at The New York Times, reporting for the Metro desk on issues in New York, the Washington bureau on the presidential campaign trail with the Bush twins, with the vice president and conventions as well as for the National Desk, covering two of the three Florida hurricanes (I managed to go through the eye of both hurricanes.)

What gets me up in the morning?

I have a deep and enduring commitment to defending freedom of expression and speaking in defense of journalists persecuted for doing their job. In that light, I currently serve on the board of the Overseas Press Club, was elected president of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Hong Kong, and also elected president of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand.

Where am I now?

Based out of Paris since May, I have spent recent months covering cinema (a daily column on the Cannes film festival), media (French newspapers' attitude towards the European constitution) and various other events (release of French hostage in Iraq, Florence Aubenas.)

What is next?

Looking forward, the next permutation in the intersection of technology, culture and media fascinates me. For example, in recent months I have written about the sociology of mobile phones (how do different cultures use mobile phones?) the way a mobile phone ring tone beat out Coldplay on the UK charts and how ubiquitous Wifi may bring a new generation of wireless devices. My view is that understanding Blogs is crucial to all journalists and I want to learn about them the best way I know how: Reporting on the topic.

Joi encouraged me to also try starting a dialogue on his Blog. What topics?

Since I am based outside the US, I am particularly interested to know what is unique and different about Blogs in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. I am also interested in individuals and companies that might be good to profile.

With a posting wordier and much more self-referential than what my editors would allow, I hereby enter the brave new world of Blogging!

16 Comments

Hi Thomas!!! Great to see you blogging.

If you want to know what's unique about blogs in different parts of the world, you should definitely follow Global Voices: www.globalvoicesonline.org!

Thomas - Great to see you here. Very much hoping you'll use the space to fill us in on what's going on in Burma, especially in the Burmese blogosphere, such as it is...

Hi Thomas! Welcome here. You could not have found a better place!

Welcome aboard, Thomas. I've enjoyed your technology reporting, which is so up my alley that people tend to send me links whenever you report on mobile telephones and their social impacts.

Hi Thomas, very nice office, where is that ;-)

Welcome to blogging you'll like it. Ask questions at the end of your posts.

Howard, I just finished reading Smart Mobs while in Tibet last week. Great stuff all around, I really enjoyed it.

You said: “Since I am based outside the US, I am particularly interested to know what is unique and different about Blogs in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. I am also interested in individuals and companies that might be good to profile.”


Maybe about people not known, people not having a Weblog, people “blogging” without a “weblog”, just to illustrate that weblogs are not the only way, that there are interesting things happening with the same patterns than weblogs but without the technology. The weblog world is so much into looking its own navel, that opening a window outside of the sphere could only be beneficial.

Welcome in this strange (ego)-world.

for overseas, see http://k.lenz.name/LB/ in german and japanese as well as english


for a long term tech blog, w/o too much ego see http://www.educatedguesswork.org/

Thomas: I will brief you about Karl when we have dinner tomorrow next week...

sorry I meant "together" and not "tomorrow"

Why wait? I can brief you right now:
Karl wears many hats. To some he is an urban poet, to others he is the Conformance Manager of the Quality Assurance Working Group of the W3C. In this last role, he is in a position of choice to have a very complete overview of all web technologies and how they are used and how the behavior of people is affected by them and vice versa. Especially being a "digital journal keeper" since 1995 himself.

Oh and also, to me, he is a best friend.
Loïc has a very very different opinion of him. Which is understandable. I entreat you to discover for yourslef though.

Loïc: c'est pas très gentil ce que tu viens de faire. Vous avez peut-être des chocks de personalité entre vous, mais je serais bien mécontent d'entendre parler mal de quelqu'un aussi bien que Karl. ;)

Welcome to the blog world Thomas. I'd definitely be interested to hear how your experience with fellow bloggers differs from your experience with fellow journalists. Looking forward to your next post.

Welcome to blogland, Thomas! Hope those bloggers will treat you well.

You will find a different blogosphere and a different attitude towards blogs in the various European markets. Europe likes to be diverse ;)

Hi, Thomas. You mean the office you shared with the Daily Deal Asia team wasn't the best place you've ever reported from? Come, come! Good to run into you again in cyberspace.

Great to get so many comments on my first blog entry! Thanks very much to all.

Apologies for not responding sooner, but I am still adapting to the fact that blog readers respond directly to what is written in the very same space.

In the past readers contacted me via email or write letters to the editor. The great interactive nature of blogs provides an opportunity for journalists to interact directly with readers.

Blogs would have been extremely useful for a large number of stories I have worked on in the past and I look forward to seeing how it can help my reporting looking forward (Not just about technology.)

Not yet sure how to respond directly to the individual comments above, but will learn shortly (for now I need to run off to write two stories for Monday's paper - one on blog advertising and the other on the Media Development Loan Fund.)

Are you related to Jimmy Crampton, a famous athelete from Burma?

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J'ai le plaisir de vous présenter comme blogueur invité sur ce blog Thomas Crampton, ami journaliste de longue date au International Herald Tribune basé à Paris. Thomas est le deuxième blogueur invité ici, avec Julien Van Caneghem. Thomas veut Read More

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