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 focuses on money in politics.
“The Hidden Hands in Redistricting: Corporations and Other Powerful Interests,” by Olga Pierce, Jeff Larson and Lois Beckett. ProPublica, Sept. 23, 2011.
A ProPublica investigation of the redistricting battles that have followed the 2010 Census reveals that many major players—from Fair Districts Mass to the California Institute for Jobs, Economy and Education—are not who they appear to be. Their tactics are as deceptive as the stakes are high, for the victors will shape elections at the state and Congressional level for the decade to come. ProPublica’s findings serve as yet another example of how unlimited, undisclosed political contributions are eroding our democratic process.
Cal follows the drug war and human rights in Latin America.
“Drug war cables: ‘Burn poppies, burn,’” by Chris Arsenault and Sam Bollier. Al Jazeera, Sept. 4, 2011.
Although this Al Jazeera English article is almost a month old, it is still relevant because it details the most recently discovered WikiLeaks cables on the drug war. In spite of their often snarky and humorous titles, these cables reveal a recurring theme, especially when it comes to Latin America: U.S. officials consistently doubt the resolve of their Latin American and Caribbean allies when it comes to political purity in their fight against drug traffickers.
Teresa focuses on "Global South" politics, or sociopolitical developments in areas of the developing world.
“Brewing Up Double-Edged Delicacies for Mosquitoes,” by Donald McNeil Jr. The New York Times, Sept. 26, 2011.
The New York Times’s recent special section, "Small Fixes," covers low-cost, high-impact innovations in the developing world that could ultimately save thousands of lives. The articles in this series are all well worth a read—one of them, involving groundbreaking developments in cervical cancer prevention, has already been extensively re-blogged—but the one that I’ve listed above is my favorite. Scientists at Hebrew University in Jerusalem have developed a strain of "nectar poisons" that can be sprayed on flowing plants, and would attract and then kill mosquitos (little known fact: while female mosquitos drink blood, mosquitos usually subsist on nectar). Environmentally friendly and inexpensive, preliminary forms of the solution have killed off 90% of the mosquito populations in Malian villages—thereby all but eliminating the threat of malaria.