January 27, 2023

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 Annual “Izzy Award” for Independent Media

The Izzy Award will celebrate its 15th year this spring, and nominations are officially open for work produced during the calendar year 2022.

The Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College (PCIM) will again grant this honor — named after legendary journalist I. F. “Izzy” Stone — for outstanding achievement in independent media. As always, the award will go to an independent media outlet or individual journalist or producer who publishes their work through their own site or that of an independent outlet.

Journalists, academics, and the public at large may submit nominations until midnight EST on Friday, February 3, 2023. The winner will be announced early next spring, with an award ceremony to follow in April 2023.

Read more on how to nominate here.

The Edge

The Racism of American Capital Punishment

The death penalty in America always incites controversy.

Last year, Alabama took three hours to administer their lethal injection drugs. Idaho had to pause an execution for the lack of those drugs. And two people on death row were exonerated.

But, Michael Trotti writes, racism so poisons the history of the death penalty in America that practical arguments such as the exorbitant expense to taxpayers in legal fees for a death sentence are unnecessary. The nation urgently needs to relegate this practice to history.

Read Trotti’s preview to his book, “The End of Public Execution: Race, Religion, and Punishment in the American South,” on The Edge.

COVID and a Return to Normal? Cementing Inequities in the Latino Community

Almost three years into COVID, we continue to avoid openly and fairly addressing the structural inequities that guaranteed COVID disproportionately impacted Latinos.

We need to acknowledge these endemic inequities that characterize how far too many Latinos live.

As we move forward, Noreen M. Sugrue says two different choices present themselves.

We can pretend to return to some imaginary normal and behave as though it is 2019. Or we can choose to work to remedy the ongoing inequities in the Latino community so that they will not be further intensified.

Read Sugrue’s full column on The Edge.

The Traumas of the Buffalo Winter Blizzard of 2022

Like many in Buffalo I struggle to make sense of what happened during this once in a lifetime blizzard after the mainstream media images fade away. This storm turned out to be more catastrophic and dangerous than the famous blizzard of ’77. The deadly magnitude of this winter storm was beyond anyone’s comprehension or previous reference point.

David Gracon shares his story of surviving the December 2022 blizzard, which mainstream media moved on from as the storm left 47 dead in Buffalo.

Read Gracon’s account and see his photographs documenting skiing in the street and snow-buried cars on The Edge.

Academic Austerity Survival Kit: 15 Ways to Make It Through

It’s bad, really bad, in higher education these days.

Whether the pandemic is over or ongoing, its continuing impact has catapulted colleges and universities into a maelstrom of student disengagement, faculty quiet quitting, outright resignations, and draconian budget cuts.

If you are an instructor at whatever rank or contract status, teaching feels like an increasingly lonely and monastic pursuit.

Patricia R. Zimmermann offers some small ways to build connection and community even at a distance.

Read Zimmermann’s guide on The Edge.

In Other News

1. Tyre Nichols video – Body cam footage to be released today as 4 of 5 Memphis officers freed on bond | The Independent

2. Monuments to the Unthinkable | The Atlantic

3. FDA Plans To Allow Some Gay Men To Donate Blood| HuffPost

4. Bilal al-Sudani: US forces kill Islamic State Somalia leader in cave complex | BBC

5. Texas death row inmates sue state over ‘brutal’ solitary confinement conditions | 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.