Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Iran and the US might be talking

Here is an excerpt from an interesting BBC article:

Washington has shown it means business by agreeing to send the Under-Secretary of State, William Burns, to Geneva to join talks between the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, and Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili on Saturday.

It is a major shift by the Bush administration, and the Iranians will understand that.

Earlier this week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he was interested in direct talks with the US.

He also said Iran was interested in an idea being floated in Washington - to open a US diplomatic mission in Tehran for the first time since the revolution.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Don't know if you're at all interested in Portland or professional publishing, but I saw this in a daily jobs digest I receive from Annenberg and thought of you. Hope all is well!

Program Director Position (Portland, Oregon)
Here at Bitch, we're in search of a perfect someone to join our tiny but dedicated staff as a program director (full-time) at our office in Portland, Oregon. Someone bright, with a deep talent and love for analyzing media/pop culture from a perspective rooted in social/economic justice, who's passionate about both print publishing and newer (to us, at least) forms like online, audio, and video, someone excited about helping shape the future of the work we do at Bitch (and who recognizes Bitch's potential), someone committed to DIY/grassroots operating, who understands Bitch's role as both critiquing what's crappy and praising what's good, who's as excited about Bitch as a multimedia organization as Bitch as a magazine…

All that and more. We're asking for a lot, yes, but as the saying goes, You'll never get what you don't ask for. We're also at a critical moment. For the first time in our 12-year history, we're not in financial crisis (if you're familiar with the realities of independent publishing, you'll know this is a huge accomplishment). We're beginning the process of infusing our work with a set of core values and visions. And though we were originally created as just a magazine, our work is evolving into a movement. In many ways we have unlimited growth potential.

In other words, we have some exciting things happening, part of which is bringing a new organization into being. This is what "nonprofit gurus" call an organizational refounding – evolving, moving forward, asking questions, creating space for new visions and voices.

So what would your role at Bitch be? Right now we're calling it a program director position, but this could change depending on the outcomes of this search and our visioning process. In many ways our program director will be like the editorial/content director for the magazine (and may also be involved in our website, but we're hoping to create an additional position soon for someone to oversee the site), but since we're so much more than our editorial content, the program director will also be responsible for helping direct and maintain the vision of the organization, as well as things like fundraising, outreach, attending events, doing some public speaking, and just generally being a huge advocate for Bitch. In other words, we're looking for someone who's a highly skilled editor and is excited about helping us grow as an organization and reach our potential.

Also, though we've grown tremendously since the magazine was originally founded (we currently print about 50,000 copies of each issue), we're still very much a DIY operation and want to remain that way. Our grassroots publishing model is integral to our work, so we're looking for someone who's as committed to that as we are. We're looking for someone who will actively seek out ways of publishing quality (critical, thoughtful, etc.) content while being mindful of our tight budget, and is excited about helping us evolve into a multimedia organization

Experience/skills that are essential to this position:
- At least three years features/developmental editing experience
- Strong familiarity with past and present trends in media and pop culture
- Excellent communication and organizational skills
- Excellent grasp of grammar and spelling
- Stellar proofreading and copyediting abilities; familiarity with Chicago style
- Proficiency with Excel, Word, and InDesign
- A strong capacity to multi-task, prioritize, and delegate
- Experience with web writing/editing
- Experience with video and podcasting technology a major plus

Personality traits/skill sets that are helpful in a small organization like ours:
- Clear and frequent communication
- Ability to collaborate and share decision-making in small groups
- Ability to think creatively even when resources are tight
- Strong initiative, drive, and self-direction, ability to work independently
- A sense of humor

As an effort to live out our commitment to systemic social change and grassroots organizing, we encourage politically radical folks from marginalized identities/backgrounds (people of color, people from poor and working class backgrounds, queer-identified folks, etc.) and others committed to anti-oppression, collective, grassroots organizing work to apply.

In the interest of transparency, you should know:
- Regrettably, the only way to our office is up a set of about 15 stairs. We are not wheelchair-accessible.
- The job is based in Portland, Oregon, and unfortunately we're unable to cover moving expenses (unless you would like to start a fundraising campaign for the cause).

Please include a cover letter that addresses these questions (apologies if these seem like hoops, but we hope you'll understand that we have a lot riding on these decisions):
* What would you like us to know about you, and what you'd bring to Bitch?
* How long have you been reading Bitch, and what has your perception of it been through that time? (Please be honest; we're not sensitive and constructive criticism is always welcome.)
* In what ways do you identify (or not) with the word feminist?
* What do you think of both the title Bitch and the subtitle Feminist Response to Pop Culture? (If you could change one/both of them, what would you change them to?)

Salary and Benefits: * $33,680/year, salary, exempt, paid medical/dental/vision
Closing date for applications: July 31. Anticipated start date: mid-August

Please email detailed cover letter (*answering all the questions, please!*), resume and three references to Please write "program director position" in the subject line.
Or mail to: B-Word, Debbie Rasmussen, 4930 NE 29th Ave, Portland, OR 97211
No phone calls, faxes, or drop-ins. No, no!