Where are you looking?
People have a well-documented bias for bad news, which as researchers point out, can be a survival instinct. But hope and progress are going on at the same time, if you just know where to look.
As Americas correspondent Sara Miller Llana once said, being a Monitor reporter often means being where other journalists are not. She proved that once again this year by covering the Canadian elections from Alberta, finding a sense of Western alienation there months ahead of it becoming the hot topic in the country in the fall.
We cover the big stories, of course. From U.S. farmers battling Midwestern floods to floods of protesters in Hong Kong fighting for their civil rights, our reporters were there. We were in El Paso after a shooter targeted Latinos in the Texas border city, and in the Bahamas after a hurricane flattened the island nation. And we were in the United Kingdom, covering elections and the vexed topic of Brexit; and in Congress and on the campaign trail, examining the stresses testing U.S. democracy.
But we were also in a Yurok courtroom, learning how a pioneering judge has redefined justice for her people. We were in Tunisia during that country’s crash course in democracy, discovering how it is helping stabilize a rocky region and leading to rights for minority citizens. And in Botswana, our reporter was one of the few foreign journalists in the room when that country jubilantly laid down a historic marker, becoming the first in Africa to declare that homosexuality is not a crime.
The Monitor believes journalism can do more than inform, it can uplift and enlighten. Above is a guided visual tour of some our photographers’ best work of 2019. Below, our top 10 favorite stories, as determined by readers and editors, also show examples of a wide embrace of humanity. Thanks for joining us on that journey last year. And here’s to more in 2020.