The Censored blog celebrates courage and boldness in the uncensored media
By Brenda Norrell
TUCSON – Celebrating the publishers of uncensored news for 2007, the Censored blog names Kahentinetha Horn, publisher of Mohawk Nation News, as publisher of the year. Kahentinetha Horn not only publishes the Mohawk Nation News and books, but acts on the words she writes. Kahentinetha was the guest of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez and Indigenous leaders in Venezuela in 2007.
While attending the Indigenous Border Summit of the Americas 2007, in San Xavier on Tohono O’odham land, Kahentinetha challenged the arrest of Indigenous Peoples walking to a better life, spoke out against the US Apartheid border wall and exposed the apathy for Indigenous Peoples dying in the desert. She urged sovereign Indian nations to produce their own passports and rise to the status of true sovereigns.
The top honor for uncensored online media for Indigenous Peoples goes to Victor Rocha at Pechanga Net's Native News, who shared articles that other publishers would not go near in 2007. Articles included those of grassroots people, support for Leonard Peltier, Navajos’ opposition to the Desert Rock power plant and issues of national interest, like the large number of National Guardsmen smuggling cocaine at the Arizona border.
Duane Beyal of Navajo Times is honored as managing editor of the year for 2007. Beyal chose to publish articles from grassroots people seeking justice, from the Indigenous Alliance without Borders and the Alcatraz Sunrise Gathering. Beyal also published a three-part series on justice for a Gros-Ventre man in Montana accused of murder who maintains his innocence. Beyal published an article on Indigenous Peoples’ opposition to gold mining, uranium mining and nuclear dumping in Indigenous Peoples’ territories, ranging from the Navajo, Acoma Pueblo and Western Shoshone Nations to Indian lands in Guatemala and Peru.
In international news, the Censored blog honors Paul Rafferty, publisher of the UN OBSERVER & International Report at The Hague for his commitment to the international rights of Indigenous Peoples. The publication also reports the truth from Iraq, including US corporate profiteering, the lust for oil, rape and murder by private security guards and the facts of depleted uranium. It publishes the truth of the Bush administration as it targets youths of color -- American Indians, Latinos and blacks – and poor whites, all considered expendables by the Bush administration, to fight and die in Iraq.
Narco News receives the top honor for publishing news on the Zapatistas’ struggle for dignity, liberty and autonomy, including the Other Campaign in northern Mexico. The coverage included the Cucapa (Cocopah) fishing rights struggle in Baja, Mexico, opposition to the hazardous waste dump that Mexico planned for the O’odham ceremonial community of Quitovac, Mexico and Indigenous Peoples struggling to survive after NAFTA.
Enlace Zapatista receives top honors for its Spanish language website, which includes audio downloads and extensive photos of Zapatista events.
CounterPunch is the winner of Censored blog’s Human Rights Award for 2007, publishing news that others would not go near. These articles included two priests sentenced to prison for protesting US torture while kneeling in prayer at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. CounterPunch also covered Apartheid in New Orleans and the Bush administration’s disposal of all US laws to build the border wall, including all environmental laws and those protecting the remains of American Indians. Further, it covered the fact that the Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems was subcontracted to create spy technology at the US border, now being protested as an invasion of privacy by residents of the border. CounterPunch covered the border wall’s impact on endangered Sonoran pronghorns in Arizona and the fact that the Wackenhut buses, waiting to be filled with migrants at the Arizona border, are owned by G4S in Europe.
IRC Americas continued to publish the truth from the US/Mexico border, including the voices of Indigenous Peoples opposing the US border wall at the Indigenous Peoples’ Border Summit of the Americas, organized by Tohono O’odham Mike Flores, and the US corporate profiteering at the border under the guise of national security.
Tim Gaynor of Reuters is recognized as the only national news reporter to cover the digging up of the graves of Tohono O’odhams' ancestors for construction of the US border wall in Ali Jegk on the Tohono O’odham Nation. Gaynor’s article, from an interview with O’odham Ofelia Rivas, was among the most censored of 2007.
The Atlantic Free Press had a dramatic impact on the aftermath of the Indigenous Peoples’ Border Summit of the Americas 2007, with its extensive coverage of the Apartheid US Border Wall. The Atlantic Free Press has distinguished itself with coverage of secret US torture flights and documentation for Bush-Cheney impeachment.
Aljazeera Americas increased coverage of Indigenous Peoples issues in the United States, ranging from the Western Shoshone to the US borders, including a recent news broadcast from the Arizona border.
For caring about the children, the Censored blog honors Jay Johnson-Castro at the Texas border for his news column, "Inside the Checkpoints," exposing the imprisonment of migrant and refugee infants and children at T. Don Hutto prison in Taylor, Texas. Johnson-Castro is also honored for his walks along the border as a "Border Ambassador."
For audacity and tenacity, the Censored blog honors Michael Lacey, creator of Phoenix New Times, who spent the night in jail after exposing Maricopa Country (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio's sinister and sticky political web, including the use of the courts to find out who reads New Times online and even their shopping habits.
On air, American Indian voices celebrate truth-telling. Chris Spotted Eagle, Lakota, is honored for his "Indian Uprising" program on KFAI Radio in Minneapolis. Larry Smith, Lumbee Nation, at American Indian Airwaves, is honored for his uncensored reporting and interviews on KPFK in Los Angeles. Tiokasin Ghosthorse’s "First Voices Indigenous Radio" at WBAI New York Radio is celebrated for coverage of the arts and news. Their broadcasts include issues of grassroots people, ranging from opposition to nuclear dumping at Skull Valley to news from the American Indian Movement, International Indian Treaty Council, Leonard Peltier and O’odham at the US/Mexico border.
Jaggi Singh receives the Badge of Courage Award for his online show, “No One is Illegal Montreal,” which includes interviews from the northern and southern borders. KPFA Berkeley, Pacifica Radio and the BBC World Service are also honored for their uncensored broadcasts of news, ranging from Alcatraz to the US/Mexico border. KXCI Tucson’s Amanda Shauger is honored for attending and reporting on the Indigenous Border Summit of the Americas and following with a program for BBC.
Indymedia.org receives the top honor for its self-publishing option and uncensored features of Indigenous Peoples issues. These include coverage of the Zapatistas, attack by the US Border Patrol of the No Borders Camp in Calexico, Calif., and the opposition of Dooda (No) Desert Rock, Navajos opposing the Desert Rock power plant. Indymedia also featured the Indigenous Peoples’ protests at the UN climate negotiations in Bali.
With timely and powerful circulation, Infoshop.org provided a valuable service by publishing news that was written by grassroots people, and otherwise censored, which appeared quickly on Google’s breaking news.
The Censored blog’s Humanitarian Service Award for 2007 goes to Govinda Dalton at Earthcycles www.earthcycles.net/ who once again this year attended the Indigenous Peoples’ Border Summit of the Americas and provided live online listening, along with archives of audio downloads.
In the Indigenous youths category, Jihan Gearon, Navajo, and Ben Powless, Mohawk, of the Indigenous Environmental Network are honored with the Indigenous Youths Media Award 2007 for their coverage of the UN climate negotiations in Bali and treatment of Indigenous Peoples at the summit.
For their boldness and action, the Indigenous Action and Save the Peaks Coalition, based in Flagstaff, Ariz., are honored for their struggle to protect San Francisco Peaks and all sacred lands from development, destruction and pollution.
The Medal of Honor for Courage goes out to the journalists in Mexico who risk their lives to report the truth. The Censored blog recognizes and remembers the news reporters who were tortured and murdered in their pursuit of excellence in journalism in 2007.
The International Hall of Shame Award for Rotten Media goes to the US mainstream media for manipulation of facts and production of false media reports in 2007. This includes censorship of the neutered Congress, US torture, US secret prisons, rape and murder in Iraq, the ruptured US voting process and corporate profiteering from medicines. The mainstream media failed to investigate the US drug plane that crashed in Mexico in 2007 or the Israeli and European corporations profiteering from US Defense contracts at the US/Mexico border and in Iraq. While failing its duty, the US mainstream media produced false news reports about the fires in California and distracted people with news of no value.
The Regional Hall of Shame for Biased Media goes to the mainstream media in Australia and New Zealand for biased reporting on Indigenous Peoples issues, including human rights issues of the Maoris and Australian Aborigines.
The Gold Medal for International Rotten Media goes to CNN for continuing to broadcast programs that advocate hate, racism, oppression, genocide, apartheid and xenophobia, while promoting the US agenda of puppet governments worldwide.
The Award for Extraordinary Citizens goes out to all of you, who read and listen to uncensored news and take action.
Photo 1: Kahentinetha Horn/Photo Brenda Norrell Photo 2: Hunter Day, Dakota, and Manny Pino, Acoma Pueblo, oppose mining on Indian lands in 2007 3. Subcomandante Marcos during Other Campaign in Sonora, Mexico/Photo Brenda Norrell 4. Ofelia Rivas and Angie Ramon, O'odham women with KXCI's Amanda Shauger at the Gate border on Tohono O'odham land for BBC radio/Photo Brenda Norrell 5. A Mohawk warrior interviewed by Amanda Shauger and Govinda Dalton of earthcycles.net at the Indigenous Peoples' Border Summit of the Americas 2007/Photo Brenda Norrell