Jaeah Lee

Jaeah Lee

Associate Interactive Producer

When Jaeah isn't coding, researching, or writing for Mother Jones, she's usually reading about foreign policy, climate change, or new dinner recipes. A lover of mass transit, she can pretty much navigate the New York City subway blindfolded.

Full Bio | Get my RSS |

Prior to joining Mother Jones, Jaeah worked as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, focusing on China. Her writings have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Global Post, Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, and Movements.org.

The #18DaysInEgypt Media Revolution

| Fri Apr. 15, 2011 3:01 AM EDT
Feb. 11, 2011, CAIRO—As doctors and nurses march peacefully on one side of Al Qasr Al Aini Street, onlookers shoot video from their mobile phones. Even early in the demonstrations, protesters had cameras ripped from their hands and smashed on the ground, and journalists had their equipment confiscated. So the revolution was captured from their mobile phones.

Earlier this year, as the world watched tens of thousands of protesters pour into the streets of Egypt, Jigar Mehta noticed something: Many of the people in the crowds were also holding cameras. "Holy crap, people have probably been recording something over the last few days," he told himself. Mehta, a former New York Times video journalist, saw an untapped wealth of raw footage from the protests. He wanted to collect them and turn them into something bigger.

Mehta hashtagged his project #18DaysInEgypt, and sent out a call to action on Twitter, Facebook, and various email listserves. He asked people in Egypt to tag their videos and photos from the protests, and to catalog and reflect on their experiences. "All the footage is important to someone," he told me later. "What I want to know is why they chose to film at that moment."

When I first interviewed him back in February, Mehta didn't know what the end product of his crowd-sourcing media experiment would look like, but he thought it would help pioneer a new kind of storytelling. I caught up with Mehta again last week in San Francisco, where he's a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. What he showed me looked like a marriage between YouTube, Wikipedia, and Google Maps, culminating into an interactive, curated learning experience.

Take, for example, footage like this:

Advertise on MotherJones.com

5 Ways to Sip a Cocktail and Save the World

| Thu Apr. 14, 2011 2:50 PM EDT

Getting tipsy might not be the first idea that comes to mind when figuring how to help out poor farmers in Bolivia. But it is a pretty good one, say the fair-trade wine and spirits folks I met over the weekend. At the San Francisco Green Festival last Saturday, Fair Trade Spirits's Danny Ronen and wine importer Michael Hutchinson unveiled a few brands of alcohol that prove a fine Merlot can also be socially conscious. Since we've already told you how to minimize your carbon footprint at the wet bar, why not improve your social impact too? Try out a few of these recipes at your next party* and tell us what you think.

Photo courtesy Fair Trade USA.Photo courtesy Fair Trade USA.A Caïpirowska that creates jobs: Consider it a lazy mojito, made from fair-trade quinoa vodka (yes, quinoa) that is cultivated by more than 1,200 small-scale producers in the Bolivian Altiplano and gathered in the Anapqui cooperative, the country's main association of farming producers. Thanks in part to the new craze for quinoa in the US, fair-trade quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) production has generated an additional 2,675 jobs in the Bolivian highlands, and increased profits have gone to support the coop's new vehicles purchases and agricultural training programs. It tastes better than potato-based vodka, too.

  • 5 centilitres fair-trade quinoa vodka
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 spoons of fair-trade sugar

Cut the 1/2 lime in 4 pieces and crush in a mortar with the sugar. Top with crushed ice and add the vodka. Shake well and serve with two short straws. (Recipe from Fair Trade Spirits.)

Ivo Posthumus/Flickr.Ivo Posthumus/Flickr.A White Russian that puts kids through school and combats cancer: The liqueur in this drink, otherwise known as the "Jackie Caucasian," is made from coffee grown by small-scale farmers in Huatusco, Mexico, and sugar harvested by independent cane growers in Malawi. Profits from the coffee have funded some $21,000 in scholarships and helped build a cancer screening clinic in Huatusco, and sugar sales have helped install 10 safe drinking water wells in Malawan villages. The Dude would be proud.

  • 2 ounces fair-trade quinoa vodka
  • 1 ounce fair-trade cafe liqueur

Pour over rocks in a rocks glass. Top with organic half-and-half. (Recipe from Fair Trade Spirits.)

The EPA's Moment of Truth

| Wed Apr. 6, 2011 5:24 PM EDT

Tension is running high in both chambers of Congress. "It's a sad day," said Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.) on the House floor, where Congressional representatives are sparring over the future role of the Environmental Protection Agency. As we've reported previously, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Kent.) introduced H.R. 910 as an effort to reverse the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Now, all is coming to a head.

The main thrust of the bill is that Congress, not the EPA, should have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, but the debate is heating up as Republicans and Democrats clash over larger implications of bill, including accepting the science behind climate change, the effects on health, and local economies. In their last line of defense, some House Democrats are pushing back by introducing a dozen amendments that would "clarify" the H.R. and retain some of the EPA's powers, some of which failed to pass by a voice vote. Dems are motioning to send them into a roll-call vote.

Meanwhile, the Senate just rejected Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-Kent.) amendment to a small business bill mirroring H.R. 910, by a narrow 10 votes. The Senate is now proceeding with three similar small business bills.

Watch the action live on C-SPAN (for the House) and C-SPAN2 (for the Senate).

[Update: The Senate has rejected all four motions. Read more on this at Nature.]

 

Senators' "Sneak-Attack" on the EPA

| Wed Mar. 16, 2011 3:00 PM EDT

Today the Senate will consider two bills that would clamp down on the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act. This comes on the day after the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted in favor of Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) Energy Tax Prevention Act, or HR 910, which would overturn the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Today, the Senate will vote on two items: an amendment introduced by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that essentially attaches HR 910 as an amendment to an unrelated small business bill, and a bill by Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), which puts a hold on the EPA's regulatory powers for two years.

Rockefeller, who racked up $31,200 in campaign contributions from Peabody Energy from 2005 through 2010, claims he's "not for" a bill "which abolishes the EPA" and "strips them all of funding"—it's simply that Congress needs an opportunity to enact climate legislation. If last summer's fizzling of the Kerry-Lieberman climate bill is any sign, the chances of Congress doing so in the foreseeable future are slim to none. Nevertheless, Rockefeller's bill won the support of six other Democratic senators. (MoJo's Kate Sheppard has more on this.)

In essence, McConnell and Rockefeller's motions represent a "sneak-attack" on the EPA, as the Natural Resource Defense Council's Dan Lashof puts it. And according to NRDC's Pete Altman, these actions are moving forward despite strong opposition from public interest groups including the American Lung Association, the Consumers Union, and the Small Business Majority.

Meanwhile, a recent poll from NRDC found that 63 percent of likely voters agreed that Congress should not stop the EPA from updating air quality standards, and 69 percent thought that "EPA scientists, rather than Congress, should set pollution standards." And in California, where GOP members are now trying to pre-empt a strict carbon-emissions law, voters just swatted down an oil-industry-funded initiative to suspend that law by a 62 percent to 39 percent margin.

Thu Aug. 29, 2013 6:00 AM EDT
Thu Aug. 22, 2013 6:00 AM EDT
Mon Jul. 1, 2013 6:00 AM EDT
Tue Jun. 11, 2013 4:03 PM EDT
Mon May. 13, 2013 6:00 AM EDT
Mon Aug. 20, 2012 6:00 AM EDT
Mon May. 7, 2012 6:00 AM EDT
Mon Apr. 23, 2012 6:00 AM EDT
Fri Mar. 9, 2012 6:04 PM EST
Mon Feb. 27, 2012 2:34 PM EST
Mon Dec. 5, 2011 6:30 AM EST
Mon Nov. 21, 2011 7:00 AM EST
Thu Nov. 17, 2011 1:19 PM EST
Tue Oct. 25, 2011 6:00 AM EDT
Thu Sep. 15, 2011 6:15 AM EDT
Mon Aug. 15, 2011 6:30 AM EDT
Sat Aug. 13, 2011 5:25 PM EDT
Thu Aug. 11, 2011 6:00 AM EDT
Fri Jul. 22, 2011 9:30 PM EDT
Mon Jul. 4, 2011 6:30 AM EDT
Mon Jun. 20, 2011 6:50 AM EDT
Mon Jun. 6, 2011 7:30 AM EDT
Fri Jun. 3, 2011 5:16 PM EDT
Mon May. 30, 2011 7:20 AM EDT
Fri May. 27, 2011 7:37 PM EDT
Mon May. 23, 2011 6:36 AM EDT