WIMN’s Voices: A Group Blog on Women, Media, AND…

Naomi Ishisaka

Naomi Ishisaka, 30, is the editor in chief of ColorsNW Magazine, a full-color, monthly publication about communities of color in the Northwest.

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Naomi Ishisaka's Blog Introduction

Women, Media, AND... Human Rights & Civil Liberties

In the years since 9/11, public opinion has swung from reflexive fear and animosity toward those the government has accused of aiding “terrorists” to a slightly more nuanced view of Muslims and Arab Americans that accounts for the many complexities of these communities and an interest in learning more.

Yet the most serious violations of civil rights in the U.S. have largely gone on without the full knowledge of the American public. The most chilling provisions of the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act, for example, function through the nature of their obscurity and secrecy. Communities of color have largely borne the brunt of this, making this issue intrinsically one of racial justice as well. According to a recent story in the Washington Post, the FBI has issued 30,000 so-called “security letters” allowing the government to access private phone conversations and financial data. This is a 100-fold increase over previous years. While media attempts have been made to crack into the world of secret judges and witnesses, tracking what is known about the controversial law can be time consuming and difficult. This lack of information (and the prevalence of conspiracy oriented response to it on the Web) should be of deep concern to people of conscience. Meanwhile, as our government moves forward to curtail our civil liberties at home in the name of security and democracy abroad, the fragility and urgency of our own social infrastructure was made painfully apparent during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Through this blog, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Post 9/11, I will cull through media sources – mainstream and alternative – for examples of work that illuminates these issues. I will review and cite credible and responsible news reporting as well as critique examples of media that inflames, is inaccurate or provides uncritical analysis of the impacts of our government’s policies. I will also chronicle the ongoing need for a more complete understanding of race, class and gender as they apply to civil rights in anti-terror work as well as in pressing current issues such as the Hurricane Katrina debacle. In this fashion, this blog will be a clearinghouse for sane reportage on these issues.

Naomi Ishisaka's Biography

Naomi Ishisaka, 30, is the editor in chief of ColorsNW Magazine, a full-color, monthly publication about communities of color in the Northwest. As editor, Ishisaka is responsible for all editorial content as well as the design of the magazine. Ishisaka is a Seattle native and has worked at several Puget Sound newspapers, including The Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The News Tribune and the Bremerton Sun. She was a Spring 2005 fellow of the German Marshall Fund and traveled to Brussels, Copenhagen, Rome, Budapest and Paris.

Ishisaka is a graduate of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and has a B.A. in ethnic studies and journalism.

Ishisaka’s journalism education includes editing training at the Dow Jones Copy Editing Program and she is a graduate of the Asian American Journalist Association’s Executive Leadership Program. Ishisaka is a frequent speaker at media workshops and community events. Launched in 2001, in its first four years of publication, ColorsNW won 29 awards in the Society of Professional Journalists Western Washington Competition and Ishisaka won first place two years in a row for editorial writing. ColorsNW received the 2004 Mayor’s Small Business Award as well as awards from the Minority Executive Director’s Coalition and Entre Hermanos, a Latino GLBT organization. Ishisaka was the 2003 winner of the Aki Kurose Peace and Justice award for community service by those under 30.

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