January 13, 2022

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 Now 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

U.S. Education Needs Land Acknowledgements; Forget McCarthy’s ‘Woke Indoctrination’

Land acknowledgements can open up uncomfortable conversations about dispossession and genocide without extracting emotional labor from Indigenous people. These conversations are urgently needed in the United States. Most U.S. voters don’t understand why.

With his recent election as Speaker of the House of Representatives in the U.S. Congress, Kevin McCarthy announced that issues he finds urgent include “woke indoctrination” in education.

Dale Hudson investigates how the interactive documentary “Exit Zero” works to counter this weaponization of education that rightwing political parties and politicians embrace.

Read Hudson’s commentary on The Edge.

Artificial Intelligence: Everyone’s Life, a Work of Art

In September 2022, “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial” (“Space Opera Theater”) by Jason M. Allen won a blue ribbon at the Colorado State Fair.

Outrage ensued. The involvement of an AI software called Midjourney offended many critics.

Allen never wielded a paintbrush or mixed pigments to produce his prize-winning artwork. Instead, he typed words and phrases into a text field and clicked “enter.” In response, the Midjourney software returned a picture. Allen printed the picture to canvas.

Heidi Rae Cooley contends if we could focus on the how and not the what, we might see something different in a painting such as Allen’s “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial.”

Read Cooley’s commentary on The Edge.

A Brief Political Travelogue of an American Abroad

Traveling outside of the country poses great privileges and special challenges for Americans, given the influence that the U.S. has over the global economic and political order.  It comes with responsibilities, which all Americans should take seriously but, unfortunately, many don’t.

Thomas Shevory offers vignettes of political encounters during bike travel across Canada and Europe, from a hotel proprietor baffled by Donald Trump to Ukrainian demonstrators in Paris.

Read Shevory’s account on The Edge.

Open-Source Investigations Becoming Standard in Modern Newsrooms

Last month, Nieman Reports published a comprehensive piece on the concept of open-source investigations — that is, according to author Maxim Edwards, reports concerning “any information that can be publicly accessed by others, including but not limited to online sources.”

With increased availability and diversity of open sources, several newsrooms now have dedicated open-source teams, “like The New York Times’ visual investigations unit, which in April used satellite imagery to debunk Moscow’s claims that bodies had been placed on the streets of Bucha after Russian troops had withdrawn from the Ukrainian town.”

Read the report on The Edge.

In Other News

1. Trump Organization sentenced for ‘sweeping’ tax fraud as ex-president overtakes DeSantis | The Independent

2. Academic Freedom Is Not a Matter of Opinion | The Atlantic

3. Biden Political Future Clouded By Classified Document Probe| HuffPost

4. California’s homeless battle floods and storms | BBC

5. Rightwing group pours millions in ‘dark money’ into US voter suppression bid| 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.