I recognized John Kasich more from his days at Fox News than as a politician as I searched through the Davos Congress Centre for potential interview partners.
My bureau chief from Zurich and I made up a two-person team for twice daily reports from the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, and we took turns hopping from web feeds, to live events, to demonstrations, and sometimes just walking through a convention center looking for interviews.
I am proud to give some bitter-sweet news today: my work for World Radio Switzerland won the station three Edward R. Murrow awards from the RTDNA! This is a huge honor. It is bitter-sweet, though, because the WRS that won these awards is no more: the station was privatized in 2013, and now lives on as a privately-held, commercial, local station for the Lake Geneva region. The news department which won these awards was disbanded along with the previous public service member WRS.
As I pointed out last year, when our work won an incredible five Murrows, World Radio Switzerland won in the international category, Region 14, for a small market station. “Small market” is defined (under one description I found) as one serving an audience of fewer than 1.4 million people. WRS’s main market is Geneva, served by FM, and has about 190,000 residents. Before privatization, it also had listeners elsewhere in the country through digital radio.
Here’s a list of the award-winning stories:
INTERNATIONAL, SMALL MARKET RADIO STATION: Feature Reporting
Davos talks about how to close the gender gap (Vincent Landon/Tony Ganzer)
INTERNATIONAL, SMALL MARKET RADIO STATION: News Series
Taking Stock of a Destroyed Swiss River (Tony Ganzer)
INTERNATIONAL, SMALL MARKET RADIO STATION: Use of Sound
First Stand-Alone Temple Opens in Switzerland (Tony Ganzer)
Inside the main conference center, where WEF delegates network, charm, and influence the world.
The residents of the Swiss resort town of Davos understand the situation brought upon them by the World Economic Forum, and its annual meeting. Some delegates to the annual meeting seem oblivious to the Swiss everyday life which continues outside the security checkpoints, and between the carefully-planned events at various hotels, restaurants, and private venues which dominate this week in January. The WEF delegates are arguably some of the most powerful people in business, politics, and non-profit activism. On the snow-covered sidewalks of Davos it is not uncommon to see well-dressed men and women window shopping, or carefully trekking to a high-end restaurant. Many take up the whole sidewalk–the locals, and I, tended to walk for a time in the street to avoid a clash of civilizations.
Davos is not a helpless village overrun by the world’s wealthiest, defenseless against the “bling” flashed unnecessarily. It is a resort town. It thrives off wealthy skiers and vacationers. It is expanding its already respectable five-star hotel offerings because the people keep coming. But the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum takes this show of class-status to another level. As with many topics my role as journalist lets me, very literally, walk between the worlds of überwealthy delegates and regular folks on the street. I might be dressed in a nice (for a journalist) suit, but I still hand my grocery store membership card to the surprised cashier, and I say hello to the locals beginning to step toward the street as I navigate the sidewalks. And then I go through security, and peer into an exclusive networking event, where decisions which affect the world could be made over orange juice and free magazines.
LANDON: Welcome to WRS’s special coverage from the World Economic Forum in Davos. I’m Vincent Landon.
GANZER: And I’m Tony Ganzer.
They make up 50 percent of the world’s population. But here in Davos women only represent 17 percent of participants. It reflects–even today–the continuing struggle for gender equality in society, business and government.
Here’s Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director.
LAGARDE: “It makes economic sense to improve the situation of women; to make sure that they have access to education, that they have access to health, that they have access to jobs, that they have access to financing; and that they can sit at table with the same and the equal rights and opportunities.”
LANDON: Right now equality is more honoured in the breach than in the observance. Sheryl Sandberg, is chief operating officer at Facebook.
It’s not uncommon for sitcoms to do flashback shows to fill space in a down-time, nor is it rare for end-of-year lists to flood shows or websites as the clock ticks toward New Year’s. In that spirit of “everyone else is doing it,” I am here putting forth a look back at my year.
The catch? I wanted to compile a list of some of my most important stories covered in 2012. It is almost cliché for a journalist to say this, but my job is one which provides a lowly chap with a microphone (me) the “golden ticket” to unseen territory. This could give access to the proverbial boardroom to interview business leaders; this could open the doors of Parliament for stories on tax debates and refugee rights; or it could give me access to a deeply personal aspect of someone’s life, who trusts that I will do my utmost to respect and accurately portray whatever glimpse I am afforded. It is the latter-most point that I relish the most. Regular readers of this website will know I have a tendency to want to bring voice to those not often heard, or included in the greater society. That’s cliché though, too, isn’t it? “Giving voice to the voiceless.” I hope the difference between my work and the cliché is that I actually do it. I talked to asylum seekers hoping not to be deported, one of whom said he walked from Greece. I experienced Cairo with a Swiss-Egyptian, seeing his childhood home and the rough streets which frame his memories. I am not saying I speak with the roughest characters, or the most excluded in our society–there is no contest in exploring lesser-seen fringes of our society. But in the end I feel my work has been fair, and accurate, contributing to the greater discourse of what is happening in our communities. Below are some of my highlights of a year gone by…