Annette Fuller: our woman in Algiers

Dateline: Sun 02 Dec 2007

Annette Fuller worked at the Star from 1991-1997, first gracing features with her enthusiasm, wonderful story-telling skills and wit, then heading up the brand-new South bureau as its first editor.

Of late she was running the Denton bureau for the Dallas Morning News, but Annette has always had itchy feet and a spirit for adventure. Hence she recently took a job in Algiers in North Africa, working to establish the free press in an area of emerging democracies. Job-seekers, take note: her employer is JDG, Journalism Development Group, started by a former Associated Press journalist, Don Pine. This is interesting on so many levels -- Annette is taking on a new exciting career challenge and once again proving that journalism knows no borders.

Here is what she has to say in an email sent Friday:

"Thought it was time I said hello from Algiers!

"I'm still glad I came -- no 'what the hell have I done' moments yet.

For lack of a better way to explain it, here's what I'm doing: it's sort of like the Peace Corps for newspapers and journalism. Helping the journalists here adopt international journalism standards, tell both sides of a story, etc.

"This country is 99 percent Sunni Muslim, and you might think they hate

americans, but I have found just the opposite.

"I have already visited one newspaper and done some work; they have

very small newsrooms with a few computers and tiny, cramped working

spaces. It's like free management consulting, courtesy of the U.S.

government. But we do NOT tell them what to write and say about

America; they can have their own opinions."

But "all work and no play" would make Annette a dull girl -- she also talks about attending a holiday party given by an employee of the American embassy -- the pork dish was clearly labeled -- and hanging out at the American Marine Corps bar, where rap music is a universal language.

Look for more updates in the future. Anyone wanting Annette's email, please speak up and I'll pass your request on.

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