Local-Global: Macy’s and Rwanda women

CBS News ran a great story 12/21 on how women in Rwanda are rebuilding their lives and their country after the bloody civil war that left almost 1 million people dead in an ethnic cleansing murder spree. (Weaving a Better Life in Rwanda)

The women weave baskets that are sold at Macy’s. In 2005, the first year Macy’s offered the baskets, it sold 1,400. Last year it sold 40,000.

The CBS story by Dave Price points out that the sales in the States have allowed the women to earn $3-4 dollars a day. But that is more than double the national average.

A local angle to this very impressive story could easily be to figure out how LOCAL sales of the baskets have been going.

A little simple math could lead a reporter to figure out that if a local store sold X baskets out of national sales of 40,000, then with a few additional calls that reporter could find out how many individual women were helped by the program. The story could talk about the genocide that took place in Rwanda. It could quote the store manager. It could include interviews with people buying the baskets. And it could educate more people about how close vital issues in the world are to their everyday lives.

Congratulations to CBS News for doing this story. Now it is up to local reporters to take the next step.

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Filed under Connections, International News Coverage

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