May 12, 2023

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

The Izzy Award

The 15th Annual Izzy Award Recognizes Trailblazing Journalists

The 15th annual Izzy Award ceremony recognized the outstanding work of independent journalists and outlets following the legacy of dissident journalist I.F. “Izzy” Stone. The Park Center for Independent Media hosted the winners on April 27, 2023, with a live, virtual audience that heard passionate accounts of reporting on social injustice and political corruption.

Liza Gross, whose investigation with Inside Climate News uncovered Big Oil’s influence on California agriculture, said, “It seemed incredible to me that California, a state that presents itself as a climate leader, allows oil companies to use fresh water to extract the fossil fuels that exacerbate drought.”

The other recipients for this year’s award were Andrew Perez to represent The Lever, Kimberly Griffin and Donna Ladd for Mississippi Free Press, and journalist Carlos Ballesteros of Injustice Watch.

Watch the full recording of the Izzy Award here.

Read more from the ceremony here.

The Edge

How Bill Morrison’s “Incident” Accesses Police Body Cams to Give Voice to a Crime

“Incident,” the latest film from archival filmmaker Bill Morrison, weaves together footage and sound from police body cameras with video surveillance showing the police shooting of Harith Augustus in July 2018.

Scott MacDonald observes of the events in Morrison’s complex panorama of split-screens and digital wipes that no immediate serious effort seems made to determine if Augustus is alive, though one officer puts handcuffs on the immobile victim.

It is obvious that as soon as Augustus lies immobile, officers Halley and Fleming are already working to convince themselves that Halley shot in self-defense, despite the fact that Augustus’s gun remained in his holster.

Read MacDonald’s analysis on The Edge.

Resets, Rethinkings, Rewirings: Reflections on a Roundtable Discussion about AI

The very animated panel during the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival concerning artificial intelligence engaged themes of responsibility, the sharing of wealth and social justice, the role of people, environmental costs, and generosity. Faculty, community members, and students in attendance raised productive questions and shared insightful points of connection.

Three weeks after the discussion, Heidi Rae Cooley shared further questions that percolated, interrogating whether “artificial” and “intelligence” are even the most apt words for the initialism AI.

Cooley suggests we start asking new questions: How do we and AI collaborate according to a logic of hospitality? How do we and AI enact new forms of reciprocity?

Read Cooley’s reflection on The Edge.

Capturing the Latino Vote

Latinos are a young, growing, and economically formidable group, and one demographic that everyone wants as the 2024 election season begins.

A mainstream media response to the relatively low voter turnout among Latinos is to ask why more Latinos don’t vote. That is the right question, but the answer must shift away from assuming Latinos are not playing their part in the political process.

Noreen Sugrue says the emphasis should focus on discovering how the political system has failed Latinos to determine why Latino voting rates are low.

Read Sugrue’s column on The Edge.

Further Stirring the Ashes of the Burned-Over District

In writing about the political and social tumult in South Butler, New York, during the antebellum period, David DeVries focused on two remarkable people. Samuel Ringgold Ward was the first African American ordained in a mainstream American protestant church, and who was pastor for two years, from 1840 to 1842, for the South Butler Congregational Church.

The other figure was Antoinette Brown Blackwell, the first woman ordained in a mainstream American protestant church and who also preached for the South Butler Congregational Church a decade after Ward left. Frederick Douglass knew them both and spoke highly of them.

Read David DeVries’ historical account of western New York on The Edge.

In Other News

1. SCOTUS makes landmark decision recognizing transgender person’s pronouns | The Independent

2. CNN Went Full Jerry Springer | The Atlantic

3. For Biden To Keep Debt Limit Off The Table Until After Election, It Will Take A Massive Hike | HuffPost

4. Tens of thousands at US border as Title 42 migrant policy ends | BBC

5. ‘The law is finally catching up’: the union contract fight at Starbucks | 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.