World Update with Dan Damon homepage

Should We Be There?

Dan Damon Dan Damon | 12:52 UK time, Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Any journalist with a heart - and despite the cliche portrayal in TV dramas, most of us have them - reaches a point in a difficult story amidst people going through hard times when they ask themselves if they are getting in the way or just exploiting the suffering of others.

I know our teams in Japan will be asking themselves that as they cover the aftermath of the tsunami and earthquake. As a story the unfolding chaos is irresistible. Cars piled on houses, boats piled on bridges - the images are awful, in the original sense of that word.

The voices of the displaced and distraught are inspirations to our humanity.

But is gathering that material doing any good?

When I asked myself this question - on the hills of Northern Iraq amongst the dying after Saddam had chased the Kurds from their homes in 1991 or with the Iraqi mourners after suicide bombings more recently - I justified myself by saying "we are calling the powerful to account - if we weren't here they could do what they liked and no one would know."

Even in Japan, democratic and open as it appears to be during this crisis, the same rule applies. Without showing those images or recording those voices, the victims would not be seen or heard and those responsible for their welfare might not be so keen to act.

Biz Stone on the origins and future of Twitter

Dan Damon Dan Damon | 15:55 UK time, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Comments (7)

Tomorrow (Friday 20th November) our business correspondent Mark Gregory will be on World Update with an interview with Biz Stone the co-founder of web phenomenon Twitter.

We need to make Twitter profitable. e-Mail is hard to monetise . . .Twitter is more of an information network. We have the ability to create a system that scales.

Are we going to see some changes in Twitter? Will they be for the better? What would you like to see?

Holidays in Iraq; Google Copyright Books Row - your Qs please

Dan Damon Dan Damon | 15:13 UK time, Wednesday, 11 November 2009


After more than six years of conflict Iraq seems an unlikely place for a holiday. But could its status as the birthplace of civilisation see tourists flocking?

Iraq is sending representatives to one of the world's biggest tourism fairs for the first time in more than ten years. The delegation to the World Trade Market in London will be led by the chairman of the Tourism Board of Iraq, Hammoud al-Yaqoubi. We'll talk to Mr. al-Yaqoubi and welcome your suggestions for questions.

And... the first half of next year Google plans to put millions of the world's books online. So, is this giant digital library the most exciting research tool since man first put pen to paper; or copyright infringement on an industrial scale? We'll have an expert guest.

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