America left behind: Many US communities fall short of UN goals (12/18/2015)
Problems highlighted by UN Millennium Development Goals remain severe in parts of US (Courtney Brooks, Alex Margaritis, Randall Pinkston, Ben Piven, Lan Trinh)

Candy corn: Sweet maize of polarizing sugar politics (10/30/2015)
Love it or hate it? The hugely popular tricolor Halloween confection, by the numbers (Alex Margaritis and Ben Piven)


During a week of reporting around Port-au-Prince, Haiti, we document tent cities, UN peacekeepers from multiple countries, nightlife, and mass transit:

Tapping into the Haitian Soul, Haiti’s Jordanian Peacekeepers, 1.5 Million Remain Homeless in Post-Quake Haiti, Haiti’s Little India, Nightclubs of Port-au-Prince

(06/01/10 by Mohammad Al-Kassim and Ben Piven) Click around for the five videos in the player below:

Moroccan hip-hop group fuses traditional music with rap

During a reporting trip to Morocco last year, Worldfocus’ Hoda Osman, Rebecca Haggerty and Megan Thompson met the members of hip-hop group H-Kayne. In this brief interview, the rap trio discuss their musical influences, including Moroccan traditional music such as Aissawa and Gnawa. (04/01/10 co-edited by Ben Piven)

U.N. aid worker recounts rescue after 5 days under rubble

Jens Kristensen, a senior humanitarian officer with the UN’s peacekeeping force in Haiti, survived for five days under the rubble of the UN headquarters. Since he was largely unharmed, Mr. Kristensen chose to stay in Haiti to help with the rescue mission. Listen to our interview with him from Port-au-Prince. (01/26/10 Reporter/Producer – Mohammad Al-Kassim, Editor – Ben Piven)

Yemen’s UN ambassador calls al-Qaeda a ‘pestilence’

Worldfocus producer Mohammad Al-Kassim interviews Abdullah Alsaidi, Yemen’s Ambassador to the U.N. They discuss Yemen’s battle against al-Qaeda in light of its own internal difficulties, as well as the failed Christmas day bomb attempt by a Nigerian man who had lived in Yemen. (01/26/10 Cameraman – Ben Piven)

Kim Jong-il’s North Korea welcomes legal U.S. tourists

Part 5 of 6 in our Inside the Hermit Kingdom series on the people and culture of North Korea. Worldfocus multimedia producer Ben Piven’s video chronicles his five-day trip in August. Watch original footage of the Pyongyang Metro, rural countryside, Demilitarized Zone and everyday North Koreans. Cross-post on HuffPo (11/16/09)

How Chile weathered the global economic downturn

In this wide-ranging interview, Chilean finance minister Andres Velasco speaks about Chile’s privatization of social security, its past and present fiscal policy, and the lessons advisors have learned from economic cycles of the past. (10/14/09 Reported by Edie Magnus, produced by Ara Ayer, edited by Ben Piven for Worldfocus)

How Chile weathered the global economic downturn from World Focus on Vimeo.

100,000 North Koreans dazzle at mass games spectacle

Filmed at the August 17, 2009, Arirang Games in Pyongyang, North Korea, with a point-and-shoot camera. The socialist mass games performance features 100,000 performers and runs six nights a week for over two months. (10/06/09 Ben Piven for Worldfocus)

At home in Morocco with an Islamist…and a feminist

Mme. Nadia Yassine is the public face of a Moroccan Sufi Islamist association. She describes the social and political goals of her organization and the situation of women in Morocco. (09/11/09 Reported by Rebecca Haggerty and produced by Ben Piven on Worldfocus)


Naked Sushi in NYC Interactive 2009 Issue 4

Koko Hirasaki and her model Yuki Koyanagi demonstrate the sensual art of Nyotaimori (by Jenny Brown and Ben Piven)

The Penn Club: An Inside Look — from High Society: NYC’s Elite Social Clubs in NYCInteractive 2009 Issue 3

Listen to a member discuss the pros and cons of NY’s elite social clubs. (by Rebecca Fried and Ben Piven) is a NYC-based project on hoarding and cluttering that Karn Dhingra, Jacquelyn Kasuya, and Ben Piven produced as the 2009 multimedia master’s project at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

This Debugging and Decluttering video is one of the premier elements of the Hoardhouse project. The Flash-based site launched 03/23/09.

From Christ to Krishna — part of Shifting Faiths in NYCInteractive 2009 Issue 2

See two Hare Krishna devotees discuss their conversion to ISKCON. (by Neeraj Kulkarni and Ben Piven)

Payphone Pirate — from The Art of Subvertising in NYCInteractive 2009 Issue 1

Watch Public Ad Campaign replace an ad with art. (by Joe Bernstein and Ben Piven)

Agence France-Presse ran Guerilla artist targets phone booths on Yahoo!News and in the Sun (U.K.) / Un artiste s’attaque aux cabines telephoniques appeared on AOL and other networks in French / Guerilla-Künstler in New York verschonert Telefonkabinen was syndicated in German / Another syndicated version appeared in Arabic.

The Philly Beard, featured in Philadelphia Weekly and

Philadelphia is known as “the city of brotherly love” and these brothas’ love their beards. The beard has a special significance in Philadelphia culture, where it is an expression of individuality, religious observance and civic pride. (01/29/09 Chikodi Chima, Justin Colvin, and Ben Piven) presents: The Sunni Beard from Chikodi Chima on Vimeo.

Audio Slideshow: Selling Obama featured on Decision NYC

Street vendors in Manhattan have been cashing in on Barack Obama’s iconic image for months, selling a wide variety of merchandise from t-shirts to posters. (11/02/08 Joe Jackson and Ben Piven)

Audio Slideshow: Election Enclave featured on Decision NYC

Two days before the election, the Hasidic Jewish community in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, is strongly leaning towards John McCain, in contrast with predominantly Democratic NYC. (11/02/08 by Gaia Pianigiani and Ben Piven)

Audio Slideshow: America Mountain
Brooklynites in Prospect Park frolic on a giant American flag, stitched by MendingBeeForChange to help raise money for Barack Obama. (10/11/08 by Chikodi Chima and Ben Piven)

America Mountain from Chikodi Chima on Vimeo.

Audio Slideshow: Meta at the Market from Tough Times

Doing good is in Meta Bodewes’ blood, but her idealism comes at a high price. (11/10/08 by Ben Piven & Malia Politzer)

Undergrad Student Documentary: The Caste

Interviews with homeless people in West Philadelphia around the University of Pennsylvania for a film class in 2004:

Unedited video clips from my YouTube Channel include: Shi’a Muslims Self-Flagellating in Damascus, Black Hebrew Females on Shavuot, Samaritan Priests Chanting, Burning Man Stickmen Wil’ Out, and Pink Goddess of the Black Rock Desert.

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