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This year’s Harper’s Magazine Scholarship in Memory of I.F. Stone was awarded to Jonathan Jones, a post-graduate fellow of the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Endowed by Harper’s Publisher John R. MacArthur and friends, the scholarship is awarded by the Overseas Press Club, which says of Stone:
In a career that spanned more than 65 years, Stone, a veteran Washington reporter, is best known for publishing I.F. Stone’s Weekly from 1953 to 1971, a newsletter that printed the news that was overlooked in the mainstream press. His work almost single-handedly revived investigative reporting. He is remembered as a tough-minded but pacifist gadfly, a tireless examiner of public records, a hectoring critic of public officials, and a pugnacious advocate of civil liberties, peace, and truth.
Winners of the I.F. Stone Award of the Overseas Press Club receive a stipend of $2,000. Jones intends to continue his research on the role that Bridgestone Firestone, LLC, plays in Liberia, a country still recovering from a devastating war. As Firestone seeks to resurrect its rubber plantation to fill the world’s need for latex medical supplies, Jones views its impact as a “cautionary tale about the successes and shortcomings of global capitalism.”
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”