Around The Nation

Around The Nation

My favorite books. Plus: How will the new student loan laws impact you? And David Carr and John Nichols disagree, respectfully.


Two years ago, The Nation‘s Joshua Kors broke a shocking story: the US Military was intentionally misdiagnosing returning veterans with "personality disorder," depriving vets of medical coverage and covering up many of the wounds that vets experienced in combat. Kors’ story sparked a firestorm–and led to a congressional inquiry. Unfortunately the inquiry hasn’t gone far enough. In the third part of his series on returning vets and personality disorder, Kors introduces us to a new victim–and calls into questions promises made by Congress and then Senator Obama to address the issue. How we treat our vets is a deep reflection of who we are as a nation–I hope you’ll read this important story.

Also this week:

More Honors for A.C. Thompson…

Investigative Reporter A.C. Thompson was awarded the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism this week for his 2009 story in The Nation, Katrina’s Hidden Race War, which exposed a series of vigilante shootings and police brutality in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The story, reported with the support of the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, has sparked two federal grand jury investigations and an FBI inquiry. Thompson continues to follow the story for Pro Publica, where he has widened the scope to include additional allegations of post-Katrina police misconduct. Congratulations to A.C., The I-Fund and Pro Publica on this important story.

… And a Special Award for JoAnn Wypijewski Congratulations also to The Nation‘s long-time contributor and "Carnal Knowledge" columnist JoAnn Wypijewski, who was awarded a lifetime achievement Aronson prize. The Aronsons cite JoAnn’s "career distinguished by original reporting on the interweaving of social and sexual affairs," which includes reporting for Harpers, Mother Jones and her recent columns on the intersection of sex and politics for The Nation. It’s a well-deserved honor.

The Breakdown with Chris Hayes …

In an under-the-radar move, the Obama Administration pushed through significant reforms to federal student loans in the same vote as healthcare reform, transitioning students from a bank-based system to direct government lending. In this week’s edition of "The Breakdown," education policy expert Ben Miller joins The Nation‘s Chris Hayes for a sharp, seven-minute primer on what student loan reform means for you. Listen here:

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Is Government Funding the Answer for Journalism?

Yes … and no. In this interview from the National Radio Project’s "Making Contact," The Nation‘s John Nichols says yes–arguing that federal subsidies for a thriving free press are patriotic. (If you don’t know "Making Contact," its important public interest journalism.) But in this video filmed last month in New York, David Carr of the New York Times disputes the idea of subsidies, arguing that some "green shoots" in the media industry show the way forward for journalism:

Finally this week: I was just featured at the new, a website that helps connect people to opportunities for community engagement. They asked me some of the books and films that changed my life and engaged me politically. They also asked my guilty pleasures when I want a break from politics and journalism. You can see my "Media that Inspires" answers here.

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