Our media coverage is often dominated by one big story that crowds out most 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 please use the comments section below to alert us to any important articles you feel warrant broader attention.
— Angela Aiuto:
Angela focuses on money in politics.
“Lobbyists in on ‘super’ secrets,” by Anna Palmer. Politico, Oct. 3, 2011.
As the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement against disproportionate corporate influence in politics continues to swell, the Congressional supercommittee charged with slashing $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit is deciding the nation’s financial future in secret. Well, not entirely in secret: Though no details of the committee’s recent closed door meetings have been released to the press, congressional staffers have made sure to keep their lobbyist friends up to date. This news is hardly surprising, but serves as a current and significant example of how the 99 percent are largely excluded from the most important political conversations.
— Cal Colgan:
Cal follows the drug war and human rights in Latin America.
“Drug War: Faster And More Furious – Analysis,” Eurasia Review, Sept. 30, 2011.
This news analysis piece in Eurasia Review critiques the U.S. and Latin American governments’ muddled efforts to fight the War on Drugs. The article not only critiques the ATF’s botched Fast & Furious operation, but also argues that multimillion-dollar enforcement policies like the U.S.-Mexico Merida Initiative and Plan Columbia primarily serve the arms industry and private contractors. The result, according to the article, is the escalation of violence, especially on the U.S.-Mexico border.
— Teresa Cotsirilos:
Teresa focuses on "Global South" politics, or sociopolitical developments in areas of the developing world.
“India unveils world’s cheapest tablet computer,” by Mark Magnier. Los Angeles Times, Oct. 6, 2011.
Subsidized by the government, the "Aakash" tablet computer costs only $35, and officials hope to eventually drive the price down to $10. The production of this device has been riddled with delays and plagued by skepticism— widespread corruption has historically jettisoned a wide array of outreach programs in India, and many rural schools in India lack toilets and teachers, let alone the electricity to power a tablet. If successful, however, the Aakash could bring basic computing, social networking, and Web surfing to up to millions of rural Indians, and could help raise a large percentage of India’s population out of poverty.