Graduation Year

January 2011

Graduation Month


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

School or Department


Faculty Mentor Department


Faculty Mentor

Carol VanValkenburg

Faculty Reader(s)

Keith Graham


human trafficking, journalism, objectivity

Subject Categories

Journalism Studies


Goma Rai was sold into prostitution in Bombay when she was thirteen years old. She was raped and brutalized and endured situations many of us only see in our nightmares. She escaped this life, but not without repercussions. Rai has AIDS, was shunned from her country and society, and now has to cope with these struggles. She formed an organization, Shakti Milan Samaj, to empower HIV/AIDS affected women by involving themselves in society through training and to change the negative attitude against HIV. The organization also pays for medications and medical treatment. I went to Nepal this summer for six weeks and while there captured the images and voices of those harmed by human trafficking. Goma Rai gave me an exclusive interview where she discussed with me intimate details of her situation. In my five-minute multi-media I show how this third world country is affected by human trafficking.

In my research paper I talked to journalists, Karen Coates, Jerry Redfern, Durga Ghimire, Kelly McBride, Thomas Nybo, and Holly Pickett to discuss with them how to report internationally on human dilemma stories, like Goma Rai's story. The reporters talk about how different it is when you are in the real world and faced with an ethical dilemma. After hearing their stories of difficult stories they covered, such as child labor overseas, poverty-stricken families in Chicago, human trafficking and other stories where people were hurting and needed help, I have come to the conclusion that international reporting on controversial social issues is a challenge. It is important for us to learn and think about what we will do in situations before they happen, but those conclusions can change with time and the situation.

Honors College Research Project




© Copyright 2011 Heather Kay Ericson