The News is Good! Stories of Hope and Change

Stories of Hope and Change You Didn't Hear About in 2007 and 2008. Project Censored 2009 highlights a new form of journalism: one that looks for the places where real change for the better is already underway. Here are their 10 featured stories...

Communities take on corporate power

Cutting Corporate Power, YES! Magazine graphic
Small town citizens are claiming the right to govern themselves by adopting laws that protect their voting rights and their natural resources while challenging the laws stacked in favor of corporations. The courts have not yet ruled on some of these measures. If they are challenged, no one knows what the outcome will be. But these new activists point to the abolitionist and women's suffrage movements, which also were viewed as radical challenges to well-settled law. In the best tradition of the patriots of the 13 colonies, these communities are asserting their right to govern themselves and to make sure their votes count.

Communities Take Power

Doug Pibel, “Communities Take Power” YES! Magazine #43, Fall 2007

Humboldt County, California, first to abolish “corporate personhood”

Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, “Democracy Unlimited” YES! Magazine #43, Fall 2007

YES number2
The environmental movement: Now there is a place for everyone

Eco-Equity, photo courtesy Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Since the blockbuster success of the 2007 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” the attitude toward global climate change has turned a corner. It seems like everyone is suddenly, and ostentatiously, “going green.” Mainstream media programs are promoting “environmental alternatives” and even Fortune 500 CEOs are talking about their efforts to reduce their companies’ “carbon footprint.” What isn’t making it into the national conversation is a core cause for the global crisis: the inequality of wealth, power, and consumption. Yet millions of environmental activists know that the climate crisis can’t be solved without also taking on the poverty crisis. These hard-working groups from all parts of the world aren’t waiting for the mainstream to catch up. They’re putting these issues on the agenda now.

Social Justice First at Climate Negotiations in Bali

Tom Athanasiou, “Global Fairness” YES! Magazine #45, Spring 2008

The Green Economy Can Carry All

Ian Kim, “Green Jobs for All” YES! Magazine #45, Spring 2008

Retooling for Green Jobs that Serve the Poor and Working People

Doug Pibel, “Unions, Churches, and Schools” YES! Magazine #45, Spring 2008

Young People with a Passion for Climate Protection

Shadia Fayne Wood, “Youth Feel the Power” YES! #45, Spring 2008

A Global Water Movement

Maude Barlow, “Life, Liberty, Water” YES! Magazine #46, Summer 2008

YES number3
Food: Consumers say yes to local agriculture; no to GMO

Logo of GMO Free Europe
A consensus is building around the world about the dangers facing our global food chain. The small farmers at the front lines of this historic struggle are beginning to make important headway—for which we may all owe them a debt of gratitude.

Europe's Patents Office Revokes Monsanto’s Monopoly on Genetically Modified Soy

Hope Shand, “Challenging Monsanto’s Monopoly”, Z Magazine, July/Aug 2007

Saskatchewan Farmer Reaches Settlement with Agribusiness Giant Monsanto Canada Inc.

Barbara L. Minton, “Small Farmer Wins Moral Victory Over Monsanto”, April 01, 2008

World's Largest Rice Exporters, Processors, and Retailers Won't Purchase GE Rice

Rik Langendoen, “No to Genetically Engineered Rice” YES! Magazine #42, Summer 2007

Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza Declared a GMO-free Zone

“Spanish Islands Go GMO-Free” YES! Magazine #44, Winter 2008

YES number4
Indigenous peoples: The fight for recognition bears fruit

Herding llamas in the southwestern Bolivian Altiplano. Photo by Michael Bollino.
The global movement to recognize and respect the rights of indigenous peoples took a dramatic step forward in 2007 with the adoption of the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights. Many corporations and governments continue to exploit and appropriate the lands of native people—including some of the world’s most biodiverse and environmentally productive regions. But the recognition of the rights of first peoples is growing, and the indigenous peoples of the world are joining forces.

United Nations General Assembly Passes Indigenous Rights Declaration

Poka Laenui, “U.N. Declaration on Indigenous Rights” YES! Magazine #44, Winter 2008

Bolivia’s New Constitution Fully Recognizes Indigenous Sovereignty

Juliette Beck, “Bolivia Adopts New Constitution” YES! Magazine #45, Spring 2008

Indigenous Nations Call on the World to Adopt a Culture of Life

Jallalla Indigenous Pueblos and Nations of Abya Yala, “Declaration of La Paz” YES! magazine #42, Summer 2007

YES number5
Energy alternatives take hold

Wind turbines in Denmark. Photo by Doug Murray.
While the “pain at the pump” is allowing the debate about energy to broaden once again in the mainstream media, think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute are working hard to position nuclear and coal as the only “alternatives.” Commuters, school districts, home owners, and others who are paying the financial, security, and environmental costs of oil dependence are “getting it” though. Real alternatives and opportunities are taking hold around the world, and even here in the U.S.

Solar Industry Poised for Rapid Growth

Alisa Gravitz, “Solar Power Surge” YES! Magazine #43, Fall 2007

Enough Wind, Solar, Geothermal, and Tidal Power to Power the U.S.

Guy Dauncey, “Electricity: an Astonishing Abundance” YES! Magazine #45, Spring 2008

Kansas Secretary of Health and Environment Blocks Two Coal-fired Power Plants

Margit Christenson, “Blocking Big Coal” YES! Magazine #44, Winter 2008

“I won’t buy another new car unless it has a plug on it.”

Sherry Boschert, “The Secret Life of Plug-in Hybrids” YES! Magazine #45, Spring 2008

How Can All U.S. buildings Be 100 Percent Carbon Neutral By 2030?

Guy Dauncey, “Smart, Green Buildings” YES! Magazine #45, Spring 2008

YES number6
Altering the media landscape

Bullhorn, YES! Magazine graphic
As the corporate media increasingly acts as stenographers and spinmeisters for the status quo; people are looking elsewhere for reliable sources of information. Independent media outlets are becoming the news source of choice for many. Meanwhile, people power and citizen pressure are beginning to chip away at the monolithic structure of big media multinationals.

Maine's Legislature First in the Nation to Protect Net Neutrality

Jon Bartholomew, “Maine Leads on Net Neutrality” YES! Magazine #43, Fall 2007

Crackdown on Fake News

Margit Christenson, “FCC Fines Comcast for Fake News” YES! Magazine #44, Winter 2008

The People Speak Out at FCC Hearing

“The People Speak Out at FCC Hearing in Seattle” YES! Online

YES number7
Real health care solutions are on the table

Sick George Washington. YES! Magazine graphic.
The debate about healthcare is receiving more diverse coverage in the media than it has in many decades. It cannot be denied that the much-maligned Michael Moore documentary “Sicko” created an opportunity to change the conversation. Programs like the PBS series “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?” and Frontline’s “Sick Around the World” are digging deep into the reality of the situation. Healthcare activists are building on this national movement.

Michael Moore’s Film, "SICKO” Opens Door to Community Organizing

“Sicko Paves the Way” YES! Magazine #43, Fall 2007

San Francisco First to Offer Health Care for All

Brooke Jarvis, “San Francisco's Health Care for All” YES! Magazine #44, Winter 2008

Has Cuba Got the Cure?

Sarah van Gelder, “Health Care for All; Love, Cuba” YES! #42, Summer 2007

YES number8
Developing countries take charge of their economies

For years, “developing nations” in Africa and South America have been challenging the neocolonial economic policies that have hindered their growth and autonomy. In 2007 and 2008, many countries pulled away from the old models with a speed that left transnational corporations, multi-lateral agencies (and the US media) speechless.

Latin America Goes Dept Free

Sarah Anderson, “IMF: Paid in Full” YES! Magazine #42, Summer 2007

Reclaiming Corn and Culture

Wendy Call, “New Light in the Sky” YES! Magazine #46, Summer 2008

African Countries Stand Up to European Union

Ignacio Ramonet, “Africa Says No” Le Monde Diplomatique, January 2008 and
Tom Knudson, “Promises and Poverty” Sacramento Bee, 9/23/2007

Ethiopia Wins Battle With Starbucks Over Trademark Entitlement

Matthew Clark, “In trademarking its coffee, Ethiopia seeks fair trade” The Christian Science Monitor

YES number9
Moving beyond war

No Nukes sign
While the Iraq conflict sparked large protests throughout the world, the larger “war on terror” has had a quieter, more profound impact that has grown largely unnoticed in recent years. Now, even the hawks of yesterday are recognizing the worth of the anti-war movement and its call for a move beyond war.

Nuclear Abolition More Urgent Than Ever

“George Shultz Calls for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons,” an interview with Sarah van Gelder, YES! Magazine #46, Summer 2008

A Responsible Plan to Exit Iraq

Erik Leaver, “Candidates for Congress Show the Way Out” YES! Magazine #46, Summer 2008

Has Your Town Declared Peace Yet?

Ben Manski and Karen Dolan, “Cities Declare Peace” YES! Magazine #46, Summer 2008

Shifting Our Defense Budget

Miriam Pemberton, “Raiding the War Chest” YES! Magazine #46, Summer 2008

YES number10
Seattle: The beginning of a new culture of activism

WTO protests in Seattle, photo by Kevin Sharp
The “Battle in Seattle” against the WTO was but a single event in an ongoing struggle to take back power from global corporations and finance agencies. Nonetheless, the 1999 mass protest, direct action, and popular education events marked a turning point in activism. People around the world are taking notice.

WTO Protests in Seattle Sparked Biggest Global Movement

Paul Hawken, “Remembering the Battle of Seattle” Ode Magazine June 2007

Another World is Possible—Another U.S. is Necessary

Sarah van Gelder, “We Saw Another World in Atlanta” YES! Magazine #43 Fall 2007

Taking On Corporate Power

Michael Marx and Marjorie Kelly, “Who Will Rule” YES! Magazine #43, Fall 2007

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