Goodbye Global

It is a bittersweet time here at the CQ Researcher, as we have just put the finishing touches on the last CQ Global Researcher (“Booming Africa”). For the past five years, in 94 reports, the Global Researcher covered topics that often go unexamined by inside-the Beltway pack journalists or foreign correspondents who parachute into a country to cover breaking news story on a one-off basis. CQGR reporters took a planet-wide lens to view such issues as gay rights, land ownership, piracy, child soldiers and wildlife smuggling.

It was not unusual for a reporter working on one of our stories to call and ask in amazement, “Can you believe that this is happening?”  Such as:

•    About 160 million Asian babies have been aborted or killed over the last 30 years — just because they were female, leading to a gender imbalance that over the next 20 years will leave 30-50 million Chinese men able to find wives. (“Gendercide Crisis,” Oct. 4, 2011)
•    “Transplant tourism” is thriving in developing countries. But the patients who travel from wealthy countries to obtain a new kidney or other organ at a fraction of the cost at home often don’t know the organ has been harvested from a poor laborer, often to pay off a debt, or worse, from a condemned prisoner whose organs were harvested without his consent after his death. (“Organ Trafficking,” July 19, 2011)
•    Of the 100 million tons of plastic waste generated worldwide each year, less than 5 percent is recycled. Much of the rest ends up in the world's sewers, oceans and rivers, where it chokes or contaminates animals, fish and shorelines. (“Plastic Pollution,” July 1, 2010)
•    The world’s large predatory marine species — such as sharks, tuna, grouper, cod, swordfish and marlin — are being decimated so rapidly that some scientists say the oceans are returning to an evolutionary time when they were dominated by algae and jellyfish.  (“Oceans in Crisis,” Oct. 1, 2007)
•    Laos is the most bombed nation on Earth. From 1966 to 1975, during its so-called Secret War, the United States dropped more bombs on Laos than were dropped on Europe by all combatants during World War II — the equivalent of a B-52 bomb load every eight minutes for nearly 10 years. Millions of unexploded bombs have left a third of the country uninhabitable -- a problem faced by more than 70 countries crippled by the deadly remnants of war. (“Dangerous War Debris,” March 1, 2010)

But long after such reportage has faded from memory, our readers will remember the haunting, stunning and inspiring photos that accompanied Global Researcher reports, showing people facing unimaginable adversity with dignity and resilience: the Chinese father weeping as he is reunited with his toddler rescued from human traffickers; two Pakistani women – their faces disfigured by acid attacks by spurned suitors -- staring bravely into the camera; and the tiny war-displaced Somali boy, standing beside his temporary desert home, a hut made of twigs covered by piece of cloth. Indeed, reading the Global gave one a whole new perspective on everyday “struggles.” Flat tires and leaky roofs become opportunities for gratefulness. At least we have cars, with tires -- and roofs on our houses. 

A terrific group of seasoned, talented journalists gave Global Researcher its credibility and impact, notably Brian Beary, Roland Flamini, Sarah Glazer, Reed Karaim, Rob Kiener, Jina Moore and Jennifer Weeks, among others.  Here are thoughts from some of the writers and others who have supported the Global Researcher:

          “In a world where well-researched, acutely edited international reporting is an increasingly rare commodity, the CQ Global Researcher offered its readers an invaluable window into a mind-boggling array of topics. From the latest political developments in Myanmar to an examination of the Euro crisis to recent developments in Islamic sectarianism, these reports offered readers the chance to explore foreign issues first-hand, complete with a multitude of international voices. And, for a writer, these global reports were an unparalleled opportunity to report and cover international issues with the backing of a talented, experienced editorial team.”
--Rob Kiener

          “Writing for CQ Global Researcher really stretched the writer, not just because of the length of the reports -- which in these days of journalism-lite was probably unique -- but also because each publication required a sound, real-time knowledge of the issues or country, a thoughtful approach and a clear way of expressing it. Nothing else passed editorial muster.”
--Roland Flamini

          “I always think about the very first description I read of Global -- I don't know who wrote this sentence – but it was something like, "Global will ask not what will happen if Iran gets the bomb, but rather should Iran get the bomb." That really captured the essence of the publication and its globalist -- as opposed to U.S.-centered -- perspective, which I felt made it a unique and valuable publication.”
--Brian Beary

          "For more than five years the CQ Global Researcher has been an amazing journalistic enterprise, extending the format and reach of the acclaimed CQ Researcher to international issues and perspectives. There hardly seems to be any corner of the globe (or of Space!) that the Global Researcher has not gone to bring its rare and exceptional long-form stories. In an age where American students have begun to peer beyond the borders of the USA to engage a wider world, the topics covered in the Global Researcher always been both ahead of the news cycle and yet more thorough and authoritative than any competing source. That's a neat trick! How did they do that?

          "Kudos to the dedicated and fiercely independent editorial team that produced, and the journalists who penned, these stories. I have had the pleasure to interact with many of them as they produced this body of work. I know what a hard yet passionate labor it was. Well done!"
--Doug Goldenberg-Hart, Senior Acquisitions Editor, Reference, CQ Press

Sincere thanks to all.

--Kathy Koch, Managing Editor
CQ Global Researcher

This Week’s Report: “Euro Crisis”

As Europe’s beleaguered eurozone struggles to keep the region’s spiraling debt crisis from dragging the global economy into recession, some analysts are asking whether the United States should help rescue the European economy, perhaps by pledging more money to the International Monetary Fund.

But others say that after years of reckless borrowing and profligate spending by such nations as Greece and Spain, Europe must solve its own problems. A rescue effort, they argue, is not in the United States’ economic interest.

One thing is clear, as London-based writer Christopher Hack explains in this important and timely report: In an “increasingly globalized world…, the economies of Europe and the United States are often said to be joined at the hip.”

“The European Union is the second-largest purchaser of American exports, and many U.S. banks do a large portion of their business either in Europe or in conjunction with European banks,” Hack writes. “The problems in Europe already have hit U.S. export income and forced banks to retrench.… Many economists worry that Europe’s problems could undermine Americans’ fragile confidence in the U.S. economic recovery.”

Along with graphics and several sidebars on the euro crisis, the report includes a map showing the status of countries in the European Union and eurozone, plus a lively pro-con debate on whether the United States should bail out Europe’s financial system.

--Thomas J. Billitteri, Managing Editor

This Week’s Report: “Supreme Court Controversies”

As the Supreme Court opens its new term on Monday, Oct. 1, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will be starting his eighth year presiding over a high court sharply divided on legal and judicial philosophies. That division was evident in the court’s landmark ruling in June upholding President Obama’s controversial health care law, and it could well play out this fall as the justices take up the hot-potato issue of affirmative action in university admission policies.

As Associate Editor Kenneth Jost writes in this comprehensive overview of the Roberts court, “Roberts joins four other justices appointed by Republican presidents to form a conservative majority on some of the most closely divided issues. Four justices appointed by Democratic presidents… form a liberal bloc that winds up in dissent in most of the court’s 5-4 decisions.”

Even so, Roberts surprised – and disappointed – conservatives by siding with the liberal bloc in affirming the health care law, notes Jost, author of CQ Press’ Supreme Court Yearbook and The Supreme Court from A to Z. Meanwhile, liberal activists decry what they see as the court’s right-leaning slant in a wide range of decisions, including those on gender pay equity and campaign finance.

Jost’s piece provides both a thorough preview of the court’s new term and deeply reported background on the Roberts court’s judicial legacy. The report includes profiles of the court’s nine justices, summaries of its key decisions and 2012-2013 cases, a sidebar on the   affirmative action case and a pro-con debate by outside experts on whether the court should prohibit racial preferences in university admissions.

--Thomas J. Billitteri, Managing Editor

This Week’s Report: Assessing the New Health Care Law

When a sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in June, the decision hardly spelled the end of controversy over President Obama’s signature health care law. Conservative politicians, including Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, vow to repeal the measure, while the ACA’s supporters say doing so would drive up medical costs and leave millions of Americans uninsured.

As veteran health care reporter and CQ Researcher staff writer Marcia Clemmitt explains in this important contribution to the law’s journalistic coverage, little is known yet how the ACA will affect medical costs and insurance coverage. “With implementation of the law’s major provisions more than a year away, much of the debate is still driven by theories rather than data,” she notes. But Clemmitt explores those theories and the underlying economic and legal principles in depth, offering a comprehensive examination of one of the most important pieces of legislation in a generation or more.

This report is ideal for classes and papers in law, health policy, political science and American government and is important reading for faculty and researchers seeking to understand the new health care law’s far-reaching implications.

--Thomas J. Billitteri, Managing Editor 

This Week’s Report: Solitary Confinement

Tens of thousands of U.S. prison inmates are locked in solitary confinement for months or years at a stretch, a practice that some prison officials defend as necessary but that critics charge is rarely justified.   

“Accounts of bizarre and self-destructive behavior by prisoners have multiplied as long-term solitary confinement has become commonplace in the U.S. prison system over the past two decades,” veteran journalist Peter Katel writes. And “questions about psychological effects are part of a larger debate in criminal-justice and human-rights circles over whether confining anyone for long periods in strict isolation is humane and whether isolation is effective in keeping order” in prisons.    

But supporters of solitary confinement and special “supermax” prisons say prisoner isolation is “essential for public safety and management of potentially explosive prison populations,” Katel continues. “Strict solitary keeps highly dangerous inmates in conditions in which they’re less able to harm prison staff or other inmates or induce other prisoners to commit violent acts.” 

This report is ideal for classes and papers on criminal justice, human rights, public safety,   psychology, mental health and general public policy.

--Thomas J. Billitteri, Managing Editor