B.U. Bridge

Renata Adler on Journalism: The Problem of Credibility, 10 a.m., Friday, March 25, at SMG 208

Week of 18 March 2005· Vol. VIII, No. 23

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Boston Globe: Dems’ reform proposals misguided

Massachusetts Democrats are discussing two proposals designed to make the party more competitive in gubernatorial races, and both are bad ideas, says George Bachrach, a COM journalism lecturer and a former state senator, in an op-ed piece in the Boston Globe on March 13. Both proposals — to move the primary date back from September to May or June, and to implement rules that make it more difficult for alternative or splinter candidates to get on the primary ballot — are aimed at uniting the party behind a single candidate as soon in the race as possible.

“The problem for the Democratic Party is not that primary campaigns are too short or that party leaders have too little control,” Bachrach writes. “The problem is that we pick the wrong nominees. We don’t need longer campaigns and conventions controlled by powerful institutional interests supporting front-running Beacon Hill insiders. We need just the opposite. We need open and spirited campaigns that support bold, independent candidates. We need Democratic nominees who offer a progressive vision and an alternative plan, not an echo of the Republican Party or a front for Beacon Hill power brokers and Democratic interest groups.

“If the Democratic Party finds a candidate with courage and vision and independence,” he continues, “then the party will unify, no matter how many candidates emerge from a convention or when the primary is held. Reducing the candidate pool via these misguided reforms only reduces the chance of finding that candidate.”

Boston Globe: Sociology prof pleads for attention to Bangladesh

Nazli Kibria, a CAS and GRS associate professor of sociology, has been working in recent weeks to generate international pressure for a serious probe of the January 27 grenade attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh, that killed her father, Shah A.M.S. Kibria, a journalist and a leader of the country’s opposition Awami League. The killing is part of a wave of violence against moderate politicians and intelligentsia in Bangladesh, a predominantly Muslim nation that since 2001 has been led by a government “whose relationship to Muslim terrorist groups is unclear,” according to the March 10 Boston Globe.

“There is no doubt that the assassination of my father is part of a larger and systematic campaign of terror in Bangladesh, one that seeks to destroy the forces of moderation, democracy, and freedom, and convert Bangladesh into a ‘Muslim state. . . . ’” writes Kibria in a March 8 Globe op-ed. “The fact that the current political crisis in Bangladesh has not, thus far, attracted much attention in the United States does not make it any less pressing. I would urge those who are in positions of power and influence in this country to put Bangladesh on their radar screen now, before it is too late. There is still time for a peaceful, diplomacy-centered resolution to the political crisis in Bangladesh, a country that is home to the fourth largest concentration of Muslims in the world.”


18 March 2005
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