We just put ourselves through the strange process of nominating a handful of NewStandard stories from last year to stand judgment for the 2007 Project Censored awards. Last year, we nominated several stories that we considered the cream of our crop, in terms of groundbreaking reporting from 2004, our first year of publication. In the end, we won a single award -- for an article none of us had nominated.
The process of choosing less than, say, 100 TNS articles from the previous year to submit as nominations is truly bizarre, since probably a good 3/4 of our content qualifies as under-reported and of broad public interest. It's kind of strange when your whole mission is to do exactly what the judges are looking for, to highlight just a few that really raked the muck.
So this year, we tried to be more strategic and think like the judges, none of whom we know, and reviewed the kinds of stories they've rewarded in recent years. And as impressive as their list was, we found ourselves chopping articles from our nominations roster because, however amazing they were, for one reason or another we didn't think they stood much of a chance.
And along the way, we noted the irony that in the nomination game, the motivation to be recognized for your efforts can lead you to hold back from presenting what you think is your best. Paradoxically, this kind of calculating, self-conscious judgment, in which the desire for approval influences how you present your achievements to others, is not so far removed from the "self-censorship" rampant in the corporate media, which in turn inspires initiatives like Project Censored.
But fortunately, we think we are still level-headed and confident enough in our strengths not to let the judgments of others dictate our attitudes toward our work. And we hope we can even persuade the folks at Project Censored to see things from our angle this time around.
Below is our short list of entries before we did the final stripping. We're not going to note which of these we actually nominated, since as a collective we found them all to be exemplary and deserving of recognition for daring to venture into underreported territory.
(Michelle Chen contributed to these remarks)
- Poor â€˜Shareâ€™ More Costs Under Medicaid â€˜Cost Sharingâ€™ Initiatives
- Scientists: Northern California Oceans in Hot Water
- Judge Roberts, Bush Officials May Skate Despite Apparent Ethical Impropriety
- Funding Holes Found in Housing Voucher Program
- Electronic Tags Used to Track Immigrants
- Stadium Developers Threaten Historic Slave-Trade Site
- Worsening Storms Compound Legacy of Chemical Waste
- Air Raids Terrorize Gaza Residents, Target Key Infrastructure
- Abuse, Forced Labor Rampant in New Orleans Justice System
Volunteers: Police Harassment of New Orleans Relief Workers Escalating
- Feds to Fund Controversial School Surveillance
- Govt Flu Plans Assailed as Inadequate, Pro-corporate
- New Orleans Activists Fill Aid Gaps Left by FEMA, Red Cross
- Disaster Buck Stopped at Chertoff, Not Brown
- Budget, Alliance Uncertainties Threaten Grassroots Work Safety Efforts
- House Passes Bill Discouraging Voter Outreach
- Some Immigrants Suffer Doubly After Hurricane Katrina
Immigrants Rebuilding Gulf Coast Suffer â€˜Third Worldâ€™ Conditions
- Watchdogs Blame Industry, Not Weather, for High Energy Costs
High Gas Prices Result of Industry Profits, Watchdogs Say
- Katrinaâ€™s Displaced Move to Defend New Orleans from Elite Visionaries
Threatened New Orleans Tenants Fight Back Against Evictions Scourge
New Orleans Homeowners Fight to Save Homes from Bulldozers
New Orleans Public Housing Residents Set to Fight Off Developers
- Chicago Turns Down Discounted Venezuelan Oil