May 22, 2024

To anyone who’s trekked in Africa, ridden the Trans-Siberian Railway, or tried crossing a Neapolitan street, the world probably doesn’t look so flat. As the great journalist Mort Rosenblum put it, “It’s round and it’s lumpy, and they eat our hamburgers.”

But chomping a Big Mac, buying a pair of Nikes or watching Sex and the City — as one may in the tonier districts of Buenos Aires or Istanbul or Beijing — hardly smooshes life in those places into some depressingly monochromatic brand.

The proof is you: if this world were so deterministically converging to red, white and blue, or EU, you wouldn’t be coming back from your trips so surprised, inspired or profoundly changed.

The astonishing stories, video, audio and photography you’ve sent us, from every corner of the planet, speak to your sense of exploration and discovery.

You show there’s no reason to buy into U.S. mass media’s claim, as it abandons costly international coverage, that if it’s not happening on your block, it’s not happening. We’re against that attitude, lately morphed into a profit-driven hyperlocal craze that does nothing for real inquiry, and could encourage diviseness and xenophobia.

Big World Magazine means to abet your curiosity: to poke into overlooked corners, to help you figure out how ideas in one place can solve problems in another, and to report back the news from places not necessarily like home.

Please join us.

Mary D’Ambrosio, founding editor

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International Response Fund