January 12, 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 pcim@ithaca.edu.

Read more on nominations here.

The Edge
Jan. 6 Insurrection: The Shape of Democracy One Year Later

On January 6, 2021, loyalists to then-President Donald Trump unleashed a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol building. The riot interrupted the certification of the 2020 election after Trump gave a speech doubling down on his “big lie” that the outcome of voting was fraudulent.

Members of the mob called for former Vice President Mike Pence to be hung for his role in President Biden’s certification, and had erected a gallows ostensibly for this purpose. By the end of the attack, five people had died, hundreds were injured, and Americans watched as members of Congress were forced to evacuate the Capitol.

Just one year later, partisan lines have revealed differing accounts of the day’s events.

Read the full report on The Edge.

Time to Stop Modernizing America’s Nukes and to Start Negotiating Peace

This summer, investigative journalist Dave Lindorff warned of the production of nuclear materials under Joe Biden. Read his urgent account of the dangers involved on The Edge.

The Biden administration’s proposed military budget calls for the production of nuclear “pits”— the spherical plutonium-based implosion bomb that dropped on Nagasaki.

Not since 1992 has the U.S. arms industry invested in these, but Biden’s massive $753-billion National Security Budget has allotted funds to — prematurely — ensure the Plutonium-239 in America’s nukes hasn’t broken down enough to render them duds.

The U.S. aims to restart its “pit” manufacturing “to serve as triggers for new thermonuclear bombs and warheads planned for use by new planes, ships and ballistic missiles, and perhaps as small ‘useable’ tactical bombs with yields as low as 5 kilotons.”

“This is a bunch of really terrible ideas.”

The U.S. has a history of nuclear production during peacetime, including its “first use” strategy — contrary to common belief, “retaliation is not what the Minuteman or Trident missiles were designed for.”

Read Lindorff’s full commentary on The Edge.

More from 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 its withdrawal from Afghanistan last August, the U.S.  is facing growing uncertainty concerning its 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.

In Other News

1. Killing of Black man by white neighbour ruled ‘justifiable homicide’ (The Independent)

2. The Bold Economic Move Joe Biden Refuses to Make (The Atlantic)

3. US Inflation Is The Highest It’s Been Since 1982 (HuffPost)

4. Quebec to impose health tax on unvaccinated Canadians (BBC)

5. ‘The economy cannot stay open’: Omicron’s effects ricochet across US (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.