Izzy Award to Be Shared By Earth Island Journal and Journalists Laura Flanders, Dave Lindorff and Aaron Maté
The Park Center for Independent Media (PCIM) at Ithaca College has announced that this year’s Izzy Award “for outstanding achievement in independent media” will be shared by a publication and three journalists who undertook path-breaking and in-depth reporting in 2018. Earth Island Journal highlighted the connections between environmental degradation, women and indigenous peoples; Laura Flanders provided progressive and internationalist perspectives to American audiences; Dave Lindorff uncovered the opaqueness of Pentagon accounts and bloated military budgets; and Aaron Maté exposed the hollowness and hyperbole of the so-called Russiagate scandal.
The presentation of the Izzy Awards will take place on Monday, April 15, at 7 p.m. in Emerson Suites. The event is free and open to the public.
Earth Island Journal
The Autumn 2018 issue of Earth Island Journal on Women and the Environment brought to light the often-overlooked connections between environmental rights and women’s rights. The Journal published hard-hitting articles on the impact of fracking “man camps” on indigenous women; the grave threats faced by women environmental defenders in South America; the tireless efforts of behind-the-scenes women climate advocates, scientists and policymakers; and the grassroots strugglesto address systemic harassment and violence within the U.S. food system.
“Earth Island’s special issue on women in the environmental movement was a breath of fresh air,” said the Izzy judges. “It presented a rare showcase of the powerful influence of women leaders and activists around the globe. More importantly, it brought disturbing attention to the gendered obstacles and dangers these women continually confront on a scale that men in the movement don’t face. Earth Island’s concentrated focus on these women’s stories is not only exceptional but unparalleled.”
Earth Island Journal is edited by Maureen Nandini Mitra and Zoe Loftus Farren.
Laura Flanders has been producing on a regular basis forward-looking media that investigate policies that drive racism, sexism and economic exclusion. The author of six books and the host and executive producer of her own syndicated television show, she has explored alternative models and movements that could shift the economy, culture and political terrain often overlooked by mainstream media. Among other topics, in 2018 “The Laura Flanders Show” presented special video reports on community wealth building and the rise of the Labour Party in the UK. Her show’s motto: “The place where the people who say it can’t be done take a backseat to the people who are doing it.”
“Laura Flanders’ TV shows have always been filled with the kind of stimulating analyses and insights missing in so much other media coverage,” noted the judges. “But what she’s been especially good at recently is fleshing out the narratives around grassroots-driven solutions to our economy and politics. Her reporting on how Britain’s Preston Model of community wealth building is influencing American activists, along with the British Labour Party’s transformation into a more modern, U.S.-influenced populist movement, spotlights the globalization of ordinary people rising to take control of their political and economic lives.”
Dave Lindorff spent months investigating the Pentagon’s annual financial reports and funding requests to Congress, and found it has been simply making up the numbers, thereby making Pentagon expenditures opaque and misleading. His detailed report for The Nation was cited by politicians and academics in 2018, and provides a solid basis for public debate around the issue.
“Amid federal cuts to vital social programs,” said the judges, “Dave Lindorff’s exposé revealed that not only is the Pentagon budget bloated, but it’s also unaccountable — apparently by design. His in-depth report on the Defense Department’s shady accounting practices raised questions about ever-increasing military spending, fostered by bookkeeping too muddled to be reliably audited.”
Lindorff has been an investigative journalist for 47 years and is the founder of the collectively run, journalist-owned alternative news site This Can’t be Happening!
Throughout 2018, independent journalist Aaron Maté questioned the assumptions and exaggerations from mainstream media and politicians propelling the Russia election-collusion story. Almost alone among journalists, his meticulous reporting for The Nation consistently challenged the way the public was being informed about the Mueller investigation and related issues.
Commented the judges: “At a time when the fixation on ‘Russiagate’ led mainstream news outlets to promote the kinds of conspiracy theories they used to deride, Aaron Maté bravely offered a factual and sober approach to the story while urging a focus on President Trump’s provable assaults on U.S. democracy.”
Maté was formerly a host/producer for The Real News and Democracy Now!
The Izzy Award is named after I. F. Stone., the dissident journalist who launched I.F. Stone’s Weekly in 1953 and challenged McCarthyism, the Vietnam War, racial injustice and government deceit. This year’s judges include director of the Park Center for Independent Media Raza Rumi, former PCIM director and founder of FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) Jeff Cohen, and Linda Jue, editor and executive director of the G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism.
For more information on the Park Center for Independent Media, visit www.ithaca.edu/indy.