With the success of their first book, Half the Sky, Nicholas and his wife Sheryl WuDunn exposed the harsh realities of slavery and sexual exploitation that so many women and girls face worldwide. The husband and wife writing team has followed the success of that first project with the equally ambitious A Path Appears which details the ways in which individuals are fostering social change that is making a real difference on a global scale. Deepak Chopra caught up with Nick at Deepak’s home in New York City for an exclusive One World interview.
Nick began his career in journalism when he was 16, as soon as he was able to drive. I thought ‘wow this is so much fun, I’m getting paid to go talk to interesting people and write about it, he remembers. It was a passion that continued to grow through his time at Harvard, Oxford and the American Graduate School in Cairo and led him to his career at the New York Times. While the way in which people interact with news media has been constantly changing in the last few decades, Nick and the New York Times remain dedicated to the idea that news should not be watered down in the name of entertainment, nor should it be so opinion based that it feeds directly into the already formed opinions of its audience. I think we’ve tried to compete by having global, serious news; by offering some dessert but also, a salad bar if you will, of timely and important journalistic pieces. It a strategy that has worked for Nick in his career, earning him two Pulitzers and making him a Pulitzer finalist a total of six times.
In their book, Sheryl and Nick have continued their tradition of journalistic excellence while providing the personal anecdotes that really drive the audience to feel passionately about the struggles of those people that Nick and Sheryl write about. In our books, we often start chapters with stories and at least for me the origin of that came when I was covering Darfur and it was very frustrating that people we being slaughtered and these columns seemed to be disappearing without a trace, he explained to Deepak. So Nick began to focus on what helps a reader connect and empathize with the suffering of people millions of miles away. Thus Nick and Sheryl began using the personal story as a means of communicating larger social issues with their audience. This is how A Path Appears draws the reader in. It is a calculated but passionate call to action from two journalists, skilled at their craft and truly attuned to the struggles facing the world today.
26:05 | 2014