Afghanistan News That Isn't So Bad

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Afghanistan isn't just a trending topic among the news. It dominates our media almost as much as Tiger Woods does.

We've all heard the bad. In fact we've heard what's beyond bad. The ugly, the horrifying, and the downright disturbing.

Whether it is about a fallen soldier, suicide bombs, or kidnapping, ever since he 2001 US-led invasion overthrew the Taliban regime the media hasn't stopped with the nightmarish stories that are all too close to reality.

It is beyond rare to hear about something good about Afghanistan, and an Afghan immigrant is trying to change that.

Abdullah Qazi, after moving to America, got tired of seeing his country in such a negative light on the news. Knowing that the news would continue to show Afghanistan in an unfavorable way, he decided to set up a website,, that would focus on good things going on in his home country.

The site focuses on pretty much anything positive in Afghanistan. Whether it has to do with sports or transportation impovements, Qazi makes sure the article is uplifting. When it comes to unsavory topics, Qazi still makes them favorable and pleasing.

In the few months since Qazi launched Good Afghan News with the slogan "Afghan News That Will Make You Happy," he has registered thousands of hits from Afghans all over.

He may not have changed the way our nation's media portrays his country, but he is slowly trying to make America see that Afghanistan is just another country trying to make its way in the world. Reading about the positive things in this torn-up country is just a click away.


Using Social Media to Listen

Any journalist knows that they must constantly be listening to what is going on. Listening to the members of their community, officials and even the competition is key to discovering news. Now, social media can be added to the list.

Robert Quigley, social media editor for the Stateman, gives three tips to use social media to listen.

  • Read story comments - Stateman Business Editor Kathy Warbelow said, "[People's] comments have given up tipoffs on things like local layoffs...stores or restaurants opening or closing, the sudden stop of work on big construction projects and sometimes about companies we had not known about."

  • Besides tweeting, use Twitter just to listen - Follow users such as politicians, athletes, sports commentators, companies and other media outlets. These people and groups are reliable and informative.

  • Listen to your Facebook friends - Become friends with local people who can give information on what's going on within the community.

Social media is a good tool in discovering news. Several people use social sites to get their information, and if used well, it can be helpful in generating new story ideas.


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