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Radio New Internationalist - Up in smoke

Forty-seven million documents are now online that trace the power-marketing and politicking undertaken by the tobacco industry – the only industry in the world that’s able to sell a product that is directly killing many of those who buy it. There’s a lode of gems you can find in these documents: that is, if you’ve got time to wade through 47 million pages. Anne Landman – the editor of TobaccoWiki, a new online research and information project being facilitated by the Center for Media and Democracy in the United States – is doing much of the hard-yards for us. She’s smoking out damning material about the ways that the tobacco industry attacks the public interest by recruiting young children to smoking; butting out its critics; and influencing government policy away from a healthier policy agenda. Together with today’s guests, she shares with us the industry’s excesses and what can be done to stop them:

  • Hemant Goswami, the Chairperson of the Burning Brain Society, drops in from the north of India to offer us a packet of policies that countries can adopt to stop tobacco’s carnage.
  • Peter T. Brown, the Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation, celebrates open online communities like TobaccoWiki, and alerts us to the ways that Microsoft is trying to make the information superhighway into a one-way street… leading right to the backdoor of its bank.   

This program also features the music of Indian musician Debashish Bhattacharya and his three guitars – a trinity of guitars that he designed himself. Together the guitars straddle the styles of one thousand years of Indian music. The result – Calcutta Slide-Guitar – is a CD that’s already attracting award nominations.

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