Saturday, December 04, 2010
Press Action Awards 2010
Press Action presents its annual awards, which track achievements of reporters, authors and commentators in the print, broadcast and online communities. Without further ado, here are the 2010 winners:
Press Action Person of the Year 2010
WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is leading a righteous resistance movement. He’s not just talking the talk. He’s putting his life on the line by serving as the face of WikiLeaks, a media organization dedicated to shining light on the crimes and atrocities committed by nation-states, corporations and the global elite.
Press Action Commentator of the Year 2010
Chris Hedges, a former New York Times reporter, provided rousing commentary in 2010. No one could ever accuse Hedges, who obtained a master of divinity from Harvard Divinity School, of looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. The parting thoughts in many of his essays and interviews present bleak outlooks. And yet, Hedges often tries to offer a glimmer of hope. Among his many endeavors, Hedges writes a weekly column for the website Truthdig.com. In a recent essay, Hedges wrote: “If we resist and carry out acts, no matter how small, of open defiance, hope will not be extinguished.”
But Hedges is not naïve. And he is extremely analytical. “Our democratic system has been transformed into what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin labels inverted totalitarianism,” Hedges wrote in wide-ranging essay published in March. “Inverted totalitarianism, unlike classical totalitarianism, does not revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader. It finds expression in the anonymity of the corporate state. … It does not forcibly suppress dissidents, as long as those dissidents remain ineffectual.”
Press Action Book of the Year 2010
The Anti-American Manifesto by Ted Rall
Ted Rall’s The Anti-American Manifesto takes a serious look at how U.S. political and economic elites are pushing the planet and its inhabitants down a road to ruin. The book is a cry for Americans to stand up and show some courage against the leaders who steal their money to fight endless wars and destroy the Earth. Rall is a gifted writer. The Anti-American Manifesto is not a dense treatise on the evils of capitalism. Some reviewers have criticized Rall for not offering a clearer vision of what the United States would look like in the wake of the revolution that he believes the nation so desperately needs. But Rall explains the primary purpose of the book is to incite Americans to do whatever they can to dismantle the nation’s oppressive and destructive systems as soon as possible, with the full knowledge that there will be counter-revolutionaries, with great firepower, who will seek to fill the ensuing power vacuum. Rall apparently is writing a follow-up to the manifesto that may quiet some of his critics by outlining his vision for a sustainable and compassionate society.
Press Action Cartoonist of the Year 2010
Minimum Security cartoonist Stephanie McMillan took her comic strip’s fans on a riotous journey in 2010 as her cast of characters pondered life in an economically depressed world where the political and corporate elite work hard to dupe the masses into believing a viable future depends on waging endless wars against other people and the Earth. McMillan’s strip explores a wide range of potential strategies and tactics for resistance against the dominant culture. In spring 2010, McMillan took Minimum Security to a new level by transitioning from a joke-a-day format into a long-form narrative. “It’s now a story about how a group of friends goes through twists and turns while figuring out how to effectively fight the system,” McMillan told Mickey Z. in a recent interview. Among her many other projects, McMillan also draws a weekly editorial cartoon called Code Green that focuses on the global environmental emergency.
Press Action Blogger of the Year 2010
In 2010, Will Potter, editor of the GreenIsTheNewRed website, further cemented his position as the nation’s leading authority on the government’s crackdown on environmental and animal rights activists. In recent years, police agencies and the courts have targeted these activists, primarily because the activists have found success in drawing attention to the atrocities committed against animals and the never-ending destruction of the environment. Potter follows these developments every step of the way, providing activists with legal updates and other information they need to wage effective campaigns to protect animals and the Earth. Along with his valuable work on GreenIsTheNewRed, Potter is the author of a forthcoming book from City Lights Books called Green Is The New Red: The Journey from Activist to ‘Eco-Terrorist’ and a contributing author of The Next Eco-Warriors, to be published by Red Wheel.
Press Action Reporter/Activist of the Year 2010
Using all sorts of media tools, reporter, media relations expert and political activist Lacy MacAuley reported on important issues and events across North America in 2010. She traveled to New Orleans to cover environmental and economic activism in the wake of the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and then shortly thereafter headed north of the border for the anti-G-20 protests in Toronto, where she was arrested and assaulted by Toronto police while reporting on events in the city. More recently, MacAuley traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa., to raise awareness of the potential dangers of drilling for natural gas using a technique called hydraulic fracturing. If they value freedom and seek a livable future, all reporters would aim to adopt MacAuley’s fearlessness of authority and passion for justice.Share