Our media coverage is often dominated by one big story that crowds out nearly everything else. As an antidote, every week, Nation interns try to cut through the echo chamber and choose one good article in their area of interest that they feel should receive more attention. Please check out their favorite stories below, watch for this feature each week and use the comments section below to alert us to any important articles you feel warrant broader attention.
Laura Bolt focuses on human rights and revolution.
“How a 5-Year-Old Foreign Film Sparked a Free-Speech Fight in Tunisia,” by Massoud Hayoun. The Atlantic, April 30, 2012.
This article highlights the tension between the State and the arts in Tunisia, where recent revolutionary efforts underscore a battle of censorship and free speech. The subject of the piece is Nabil Karoui, who is being prosecuted for allowing the broadcast of Persepolis, a popular and critically acclaimed 2007 film about a young girl growing up and testing her freedom in Iran.
Zoë Carpenter focuses on the intersection of economics, health and the environment.
“What Money Can’t Buy,” Tana Wojczuk Interviews Michael Sandel. Guernica, May 1, 2012.
Sandel makes the compelling argument that we have undergone a transformation from a market economy to a "market society," in which markets and market-based thinking increasingly govern social spheres once organized around other values. Sandel summarizes key historical changes in economic thinking and explains how certain economic models have risen to the forefront. The importance and challenge of having a debate about market triumphalism are that doing so would raise "big and controversial ethical questions" about "the moral limits of the role of markets in our society" and their impact on health, education, the environment and democracy.
Umar Farooq focuses on the world-wide movement for democracy.
“Mexico Weighs Law to Compensate Victims of Drug Violence,” by Hannah Stone. The Christian Science Monitor, April 27, 2012.
50,000 people have been killed in Mexico since 2006, when President Calderon deployed the army to combat drug violence. This law (now approved by legislators) sets up a national body to track drug-war related deaths, which will include representation from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and compensate relatives of victims with up to $70,000. Most crimes in the drug war are thought to remain unreported though, so it is unclear what impact this law would have. Nevertheless, it could represent a major shift in the political landscape of Mexico, as it looks for a pragmatic way to end the violence.
Loren Fogel focuses on peace, power and political culture.
“Torture Isn’t Fair Game, and It Isn’t Effective Method,” by Retired Maj. Gen. Walter L. Stewart Jr. PennLive.com, May 2, 2012.