Newsweek has ventured into sort of different territory with this video slideshow featuring photos from Darfur, taken by Newsweek photographer Jan Grarup, set against the song "Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)"by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, a rather efficient combination of newspegs in Darfur, the holiday season and the anniversary of Lennon's death (the video was posted on Friday, December 8th). It's unlike any other video offered in the Newsweek video archive, which offers mostly news-based material (i.e. "Putin's Russia" "Inside The Baker Panel" plus some holiday gift guides and, as a bonus, a whole cache of movie trailers), and it has its own tab (i.e. "NewsMinutes" "Holiday Movie Preview" "Darfur: War Is Not Over"). It's not exactly the most original idea to use the classic Lennon song against a sobering slideshow (see here and here and here) but damn is it effective. (Also effective: Putting your heavily-emailed international-edition article about how the death toll in Sudan is actually tens of thousands higher than State Department estimates in your national edition, which Newsweek did not).
A similarly sobering effort has shown up across the networks in an extremely effective ad for SaveDarfur.org called "Voices From Darfur" where testimony from Sudanese refugees is read by ordinary Americans (see below). No soundtrack necessary.
Incidentally, it was only by going to SaveDarfur.org that I discovered that this weekend was to have been a weekend of prayer/awareness for Darfur in conjunction with the 48th anniversary of the UN's Universal Declaration Of Human Rights (today, December 10th). That didn't get much play, and surprisingly, neither did this: Nancy Pelosi guest-blogging on the site to commemorate the anniversary and speak out on American inaction in Darfur:
We cannot stand idly by as the Sudanese government continues its systematic destruction of the people of Darfur. We are compelled by the conscience of the world to put an end to this humanitarian disaster and restore dignity and hope to the Darfuri. If we do not, we betray our commitment as the protector of human rights, and risk compromising the very nature of our own conscience.
— Rachel Sklar