December 31, 2021

The Park Center for Independent Media circulates the Indy Brief. Subscribe for a weekly selection of news stories from journalists operating outside traditional corporate systems.

The Izzy Award
Nominations Open for 14th Annual “Izzy Award” for Independent Media

The Izzy Award will celebrate its 14th year this spring, and nominations are officially open for work produced during the calendar year 2021.

PCIM will again grant this honor — named after legendary journalist I. F. “Izzy” Stone — for outstanding achievement in independent media. This year’s award will go to an independent media outlet or individual journalist whose work is published independently.

Journalists, academics, and the public at large may submit nominations until midnight EST on Tuesday, February 2, 2022. The winner will be announced early next spring, with an award ceremony to follow in April 2022.

Nominations should include 250 words or less explaining why the entry is worthy of consideration. They should also include supporting web links (no more than four) and/or attached materials. Send submissions to Raza Rumi, director of PCIM, at

Read more on nominations here.

The Edge
Crucial Stories from Indy Media in 2021

Independent media’s coverage this past year has informed the public through an ongoing pandemic and worsening climate catastrophes. Outlets and individuals have diligently tracked the overlapping actions of governments and corporations as misinformation muddled the online ecosystem.

As news cycles spin on through the new year, here are some of the key stories to track into 2022: The U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, an event preceded by two decades of U.S. deceit and mismanagement; the January 6 insurrection that was carried out by loyalists to Donald Trump, who continues to dispute the results of the 2020 election; and the numerous investigations that revealed corruption and greed among world governments and corporations.

Read more top stories from 2021 on The Edge.

The Defense Industry Has Ghostwriters

After the withdrawal from Afghanistan last August, the U.S. is facing growing uncertainty around its current place in the world.

Across the Middle East, two decades of conflicts fought in the name of anti-terrorism and the resulting millions of deaths, mass displacement, forced privatization and mismanagement of basic utilities, and the installation — and destabilization — of several corrupt U.S.-backed regimes have called into question the value of the U.S.’s projection of power.

Now, as one conflict has come to a close and the U.S. becomes more unsure of its global role, the defense sector and media are setting the stage for a Cold War with China.

Read the full commentary on The Edge.

More from the Edge
Manchin’s Opposition Slashes Build Back Better’s Chances

Democrats face a political crisis after West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin announced during an appearance on Fox News that he won’t back his party’s signature $2 trillion social and environment bill.

After five-and-a-half months of negotiations with Democrats, during which he was the bill’s greatest opponent, Manchin further suggested that he never intended to compromise to support crucial portions of the Build Back Better Act, preferring it die altogether.

Now facing an uncertain future are the popular social and economic policies outlined in the bill: In addition to limiting prescription drug costs and implementing a more generous child tax credit, the bill allocates more than $500 billion for tax breaks and spending aimed at curbing carbon emissions, which experts consider the largest federal expenditure ever to combat climate change.

Read the full story on The Edge.

Newly Elected Chilean President Gabriel Boric Promises to ‘Bury Neoliberalism’

On December 19, Chile elected its youngest president ever: 35-year-old Gabriel Boric, a progressive Democratic Socialist who ran on the promise to enact widespread social and economic change. The former student activist has vowed to make Chile — one of the earliest nations to implement neoliberal reform — the ‘grave’ of neoliberalism.

Following a historic voter turnout, Boric beat conservative opponent Jose Antonio Kast by a wide margin with 56% of votes.

Boric’s triumph over Kast — whose far-right, reactionary politics are comparable to authoritarian leaders such as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and former U.S. President Donald Trump — is considered a significant win for Chile and leftist politics in South America.

Read the full story on The Edge.

In Other News

1. Inferno declared most destructive ever as aerial footage shows devastating impact (The Independent)

2. Omicron Is Pushing America Into Soft Lockdown (The Atlantic)

3. When A Prison Sentence Of 10 Years And 6 Months Turns Into Forever (HuffPost)

4. Ghislaine Maxwell: How accusers’ testimony brought her down (BBC)

5. Russian foreign minister warns west over ‘aggressive line’ in Ukraine crisis (The Guardian

Read previous Briefs and more from independent media on the PCIM website, and The Edge, and follow PCIM on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.