February 25, 2009

The news no one's reporting

Once again, intrepid reporter Brenda Norrell goes where others fear to tread:

Censorship and the heroes of our generationWhen I was a staff reporter for Indian Country Today, the managing editor in 2005 demanded that I not write about "grassroots people or the genocide of American Indians." I continued to do so and was terminated in 2006. But, before I was terminated, my articles were censored and the wording changed, over my objections. The non-Indian staff members responsible continued at the newspaper over the past years in various positions.

Today, unless one reads a great deal on the Internet, because of the censorship, it is possible to remain unaware of current events.

The most underreported news includes the Zapatistas Digna Rabia gatherings in Chiapas; American Indians' support for Palestinians; the discovery of US-made white phosphorus munitions used by Israel on Palestinians; the digging up of the graves of O'odham ancestors, 69 at one site alone, in Arizona for the US/Mexico border wall and the secret removal of the remains of O'odham ancestors by Boeing while constructing the border wall on O'odham land.
And:The issues in Mohawk Nation News are widely censored, including land theft and oppression by a wide range of security forces. The exposure of mass graves of Indian children at Canadian residential schools was among the most censored articles. The hoax of carbon credits, to enrich the World Bank and corporations, is also censored.

Another censored fact was that Leonard Peltier was recently beaten by a gang in a Pennsylvania prison, and transferred. The question of why so many American Indians in some Indian Nations are living in poverty, while millions of dollars are pouring into their casinos, is largely censored. Peabody Coal, along with a long list of corporations in collusion with the Navajo Nation government, continues to produce disease and pollution, even in the area of the Navajos' place of origin, Dinetah, in what is now New Mexico. On Western Shoshone land, and around the world, Barrick Gold, and other coal, gold, silver and copper mining corporations, continue to oppress the people and destroy Indigenous lands and water. In Guatemala, there have been assassinations, and in New Guinea, rapes and murders of villagers.
Comment:  I believe you could consider the Western Shoshone story one of those land grabs I referred to recently.

Norrell forgot to mention the all-important "non-Natives cast as Natives" story. I don't think anyone's covering that except a few bloggers and me.

The reason some tribes are living in poverty while others are getting wealthy from casinos is that they're two different sets of tribes. The poor tribes don't have casinos or don't have them in good locations. There are few if any gaming tribes earning substantial profits but not sharing them with their members.

I've written several articles for Indian Country Today and they've never changed a word. These articles were certainly anti-establishment, though they weren't as radical as Norrell's articles. So it's not as if ICT takes all its orders from the US government.

A slight correction:  I'm pretty sure Peabody Coal's biggest (only?) two coal mines are in Arizona, not New Mexico. One or both are on Hopi land, not Navajo land.

For more on the subject, see Censored Stories in 2008.

P.S. I look forward to DMarks reminding us that an unreported story isn't necessarily a censored story. ;-)

Below:  One of the Arizona coal mines in question.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

"Indian Country Today, the managing editor in 2005 demanded that I not write.."

The expression of freedom of the press is not censorship. The editor was exercising control over his/her own publication.

"P.S. I look forward to DMarks reminding us that an unreported story isn't necessarily a censored story. ;-)"

I could say "under-reported" instead of unreported. That is, reported somewhere. I remember checking one of "Project Censored"'s yearly list of stories, and after I found that many of them were archived from previous coverage on CNN and Fox News, I had found ont that "Project Censored" had nothing to do with censorship.

As you said once, "Rob said...
I knew you'd say something like that. ;-)"