Posts Tagged ‘US election’

Azerbaijan bound

“Baku” first appeared in my email in early May, just days after I resigned as Senior Producer for Politics at The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.  21 years was long enough, even if it meant stepping away in the midst of a most fascinating presidential campaign.  But for me, it just felt like more of the same, and I could not imagine riding out the remainder of my days in Shirlington, Virginia.  It was time for new challenges!  

But Baku?

The email came through a friend at the BBC.  A search was on for an experienced television news producer to create public affairs programming in association with the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. The foreign ministry had created the academy to train and instruct diplomats to staff Azerbaijan embassies around the world.  However, missing from the academy, and from Azeri life in general, was much public discussion or debate of issues, foreign or domestic.  

Seventy years of Soviet-domination can have that effect on a society, and little had changed in the 17 years since Azerbaijan declared independence.  A formidable challenge, indeed, but only one of many to come.


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