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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Listen in as Rukmini Callimachi, the remarkable journalist who is tracking ISIS, talks about possibly the most difficult of media assignments

RUKMINI CALLIMACHI
How on earth does she do it? Rukmini Callimachi, who began her freelance career in New Delhi with Time magazine and who now covers ISIS for The New York Times, has written some striking stories in the past year or so. Here are just a few:

ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape

From Amateur to Ruthless Jihadist in France

The Horror Before the Beheadings

Before she joined The New York Times, Callimachi was working as the Senegal-based West Africa bureau chief for The Associated Press. Her AP stories were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in the international reporting category last year. Check out those stories here.

Earlier this year, Callimachi was interviewed by Aaron Lammer on the Longform Podcast. I have been listening with fascination to the first part of this two-part interview, which has become especially relevant in the aftermath of last week's Paris attacks. From figuring out how to deal with sources to pondering the journalist-terrorist relationship, from asking the tough questions to taking on the trolls on Twitter  Callimachi discusses the many issues that journalists have to grapple with when reporting on one of the biggest stories of this era.

Listen to the interview here:
A word of advice: To better appreciate and understand what Aaron Lammer and Rukmini Callimachi are talking about, it helps to be well-informed and well-read. Here are a couple of the topics that you may like to bone up on before putting on those headphones:

The conflict in Mali

The strife in Libya

And, of course, you should also read Callimachi's stories, at least the three I have highlighted above.

PS: Rukmini Callimachi, according to Wikipedia, left Romania with her mother and grandmother when the country was being run by a communist regime. Her name "Rukmini" is derived from her family's closeness to Rukmini Devi Arundale, founder of Kalakshetra in Chennai.