Molly BinghamWanting to share the stories and experiences of the Iraqi people during the war, one professional journalist found herself being held prisoner by Iraqi intelligence officers and security personnel who thought she was a spy.

The experience led her to question her commitment to her chosen profession. However, her international experiences helped inspire her to find a way to present “the true global perspective currently missing in journalism.”

“I came face to face with my commitment to journalism and that commitment has only deepened and matured,” said journalist Molly Bingham.

Bingham, who comes from a family of media professionals, shared her story with a crowd at TEDxCoMO in Columbia, Mo., of how she’s combining her family’s values to journalism with her work experience to create a type of journalism for a global audience.

Bingham’s great-grandfather bought the Louisville Courier-Journal in Kentucky and started a radio station. His son operated both media outlets and then started a television station. Her father was experimenting with newspaper digital access when the company was sold in the 1980s.

“Each one of them used the new medium of their era to reach a wider audience and better serve it by raising the difficult issues of their time,” said Bingham.

Now it’s time to raise the difficult issues and have the difficult conversations on a global scale in the digital era, said Bingham.

Journalists can connect and reach an even larger audience than ever before through digital technology. According to Bingham, the messages, however, remain “stubbornly fragmented and parochial,” missing a unique global perspective.

“Every single one of us is raised to see the world through specific national, religious and ideological biases determined purely by where we were born and who raised us,” says Bingham.

Each new era of media (radio, teleivison) has seen a struggle to take advantage of the new power presented by the medium. Digital is no different. 

“It’s time for our message, our stories, to catch up with the power and opportunity presented by the digital medium.” 

On a mission

Her experiences and knowledge led Bingham to found nonprofit organization ORBmedia. ORBmedia will “utilize data and professional reporting to provide a global information source that better reflects and describes the realities of our interdependent, single human community.”

Bingham’s mission is to “fuse the best traditions and standards of public service journalism with the reach and tools of the digital revolution.”

Every day ORBmedia reporters will create a single multimedia story on one of eight subject areas that affect people everywhere — food, water, energy, health, education, environment, trade and governance.

The goal of ORBmedia will be to create universally accessible content that is available in multiple languages. The stories will be compatible to be viewed on the world's widely used devices, said Bingham. 

It’s time to remove the blinders and “embrace the wider view of the world,” said Bingham.

“I think it is a very natural thing for journalism to move forward combining the new digital tools with access to a huge audience, to tell the biggest story of all – how are we, the seven billion people on this planet, collectively faring?” asked Bingham.

Jennifer Nelson  
Senior Information Specialist


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