Nobel Prize Lecture 2021

Maria Ressa is delivering her Nobel Prize Lecture and making an emphatic gesture.

Image credit: Rappler

Maria Ressa, in her 2021 Nobel Peace Prize lecture, states it bluntly and succinctly: “Without facts, you can’t have truth. Without truth, you can’t have trust. Without trust, we have no shared reality, no democracy.” Ressa has a rare ability to acknowledge and expose the horrors of the world and still inspire optimism; her address is a call to action, a call to conscience. We’ve excerpted it for you here. You can also read a transcript/translation of her complete speech on these sites: (in English or Filipino) or (in English, Russian, or Norwegian). 

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The Realities of WNBA Stars Who Play Abroad

A basketball player dressed in the lime green professional Czech team uniform dribbles a ball around a defender in a dark green jersey.

Why would they go so far from home to play the game? Well, many reasons. Opportunity. Adventure. Compensation commensurate with skill. And don’t forget love of the game. It’s not hard to understand. Still, it’s not for everyone, and there are plenty of challenges and drawbacks. What are we talking about? WNBA stars who play for teams in other countries during the off-season. In this extensive May 2022 report, Andscape (formerly the Undefeated) and Getty Images collaborate to profile four WNBA players who don pro-league uniforms in Turkey, Spain, and the Czech Republic.

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How to Fix Social Media

An open laptop leans against an old-style radio atop a table.

Social media, what a hot mess! Still, hard to imagine the world these days without them. They’re immensely useful in so many ways, and in just as many ways, they can be tremendously harmful. What can we—as individuals and as a society—do to reduce the damage that social media can cause while boosting their helpfulness? Best-selling author Nicholas Carr, whose work focuses on technology, economics, and culture, details his plan for resolving major social media problems in this Fall 2021 essay from the New Atlantis.

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Don’t Look Away: Photojournalists Are Documenting the Brutality of Russia’s War in Ukraine

A man and woman grieve over the casket of Andrii Tanulin, a victim of the bombing in Ukraine. They are accompanied by several other mourners.

War photographers’ jobs are more than just dangerous; they require deep sensitivity to the traumas of war to all of the people immediately affected. They must act quickly and decisively to position themselves and choose their shots. Editors and publishers don’t face the immediate danger, of course, but their decisions about which photos to include for their audiences requires plenty of delicacy and judgment. In this April 2022 Nieman Labs essay, Chloe Coleman, photo editor for the Washington Post, explains how images for publication are chosen, what factors are considered in the decision, and what, ultimately, is the goal of presenting such images to the general public.

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How Place Names Impact the Way We See Landscape

A highway in Arizona leads to a large, rocky cliffside. The signs on the highway read: "Exit 359, Grants Rd, 2 miles," and "Arizona Welcome Center Rest Area."

Image credit: Lupton, AZ. MARELBU, Creative Commons License

When we look at a familiar landscape, we automatically associate its features with the names that we’ve learned for them. What do those names mean? Are they personally meaningful to you? In this May 2022 essay from High Country News, Brian Oaster (they/them), investigative journalist and member of Choctaw Nation, argues that restoring meaningful Indigenous place names would carry a benefit for non-Natives and Native alike.

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“Qué lo qué, papi”: Giants Bridge Cultural Gaps with Spanish Classes

San Francisco Giants outfielder Luis González leaps up right at the wall to make a spectular catch of Chicago Cub Christopher Morel’s fly ball.

Nearly a third of Major League baseball players in 2022 come from countries outside the United States, and the great majority of them are from Latin America. (The Dominican Republic alone accounts for slightly more than 10% of all MLB players. We don’t know how many of the Latin American players are already Spanish/English bilingual when they arrive (many certainly are), nor do we know how many Latino US-born players are also Spanish/English bilingual. What we do know is that language and communication can’t be taken for granted on any team. Maria Guardado,’s staff writer who covers the San Francisco Giants, wrote this April 2022 report on an unusual effort being taken by the team to help bridge a language gap.

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A New Report Shows the Impact of Racial Justice Protests in 2020 on Three Local Newspapers

Demonstrators holding up a "No Justice No Peace" sign face a row of armed police officers.

When someone we know provides an account of an event, we generally know how to interpret their individual take; we probably know when they’re likely to get dramatic or when they’re likely to downplay something. We make our own adjustments to what we’ve heard in order to get closer to the truth. Do we know how to make the same kinds of adjustments with major news sources? We, as individuals, may not, but there are organizations and projects, such as Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, that monitor news media. They observe and analyze the reporting in order to inform and advise journalists and the general public about possible subtle slants in the coverage. In this January 2022 report, Nieman’s deputy editor Shraddha Chakradhar summarizes a report analyzing news coverage of 2020 protests against police brutality in the daily newspapers of three cities where major incidents have occurred.

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