Maura Stephens

Retired Associate Director, Park Center for Independent Media, Journalism

Selected Articles

A few recent publications:

Undercover Corporate Work Lures Underemployed Actors and Underpaid Workers. In a country where the arts have never been well supported and unions are under constant assault, it's no surprise that people in devalued professions become especially vulnerable to exploitation by the rich and powerful.

Imagine Being Really, Really Proud of IC. Maura Stephens's cautionary farewell letter after 19 years at Ithaca College.

Kunduz Massacre Is a Brutal Reminder of US Militarism's Civilian Victims, Past and Present. Taxpayers may assume the military that operates thanks to their tax dollars has a permanent, blanket order to not bomb schools, clinics, places of worship, community centers, neighborhoods and other civilian structures -- like hospitals and bomb shelters. Seems reasonable. But . . .

New York Does Not Have a Ban on Fracking, despite media and other contentions that it does. Let's not perpetuate this myth.

False Accusations Against Human Rights Champion Should Not Influence School District. Op-ed in Ithaca Journal in response to Ithaca Schools superintendent's capitulation to political pressure from apologists for one government’s subjugation of a population.

Five Major Pipeline Ruptures in January 2015. "Maura Stephens created a factual companion narrative (and commentary) providing background information on each of the incidents. She also shows how this 3-minute montage [from The Rachel Maddow Show] may be used as an organizing tool."

Big One Down! But More to Go . . . The Coalition to Protect New York celebrates the state "ban" on fracking, but knows it's only a small victory. The fossil fuel threat, with massive infrastructure buildout, continues. (with CPNY)

American Lung Association Contradicts Its Own Mission. The ALA acknowledged that fracking causes massive amounts of cancer-causing air pollution. But, after receiving hefty donations from a fracking company, it switched to falsely promoting gas as "cleaner than other fossil fuels." (with Ronald Saff, MD)

"Walmart's Not the Bargain You Might Think It Is" (Truthout, 7 December 2013) People flock to the megacorporate store for perceived bargains and convenience. Here are some facts that might keep them from adding their hard-earned cash to the profits of a company that's squashing lives and worker rights worldwide.

Don't Assume Fracking "Won't Happen Here" (NewNY23rd, 3 November 2013) On the eve of an important election in New York State municipalities, Stephens points out how misleading it is when some claim "it's unlikely to happen here."

Fracking: We Know What We're Against. But What Are We FOR? (Sustainable Tompkins, 22 October 2012) Antifracktivists are sometimes accused of being hypocritical for using fossil fuels, or of not offering up alternatives to "natural" gas. Show detractors this.  

More Media Madness--This Time It's CBS. (Blog, 20 August 2012) An egregiously poor "journalism" piece on fracking and New York State by CBS goes out of its way to try to make even a brilliant scientist and luminous advocate for environmental sensibility look bad.This is slimy and shameful, CBS.

Don't Thank an Antifracktivist. (Sustainable Tompkins, 17 August 2012) If you sit by and wait for others to stop this massive industrialization, we've already lost.

Higher Ed's Role in Occupy and Related Social Justice Movements. (Truthout, 16 April 2012) A call on faculty, staff, administrators, and students to get involved, with concrete suggestions. Because to not get involved is to be complicit in our own oppression.

Are There Prospects for Democracy in Burma, Iraq, and the USA? Ties between Occupy and counterpart social movements on other continents. A talk written for the Asian American Heritage Conference at Northeastern Illinois University, April 12, 2012 (PDF).

"Public" Media Joins "Gang Green" in Colluding with Frackers. (Truthout, 9 March 2012) NPR's serenades to the gas industry are getting more and more blatant. Let's pick apart some of these egregious transgressions from journalistic integrity. 

How Mainstream Media Fuels Rabid Anti-environmentalism.  (OpEd News, 14 February 2012) The corporate-state collusionist framing is working. It's not just a few "Tea Party crazies" in Virginia who now think sustainable development is a plot against "the American way." And MSM isn't helping. 

Fracking Industry Colludes With Pennsylvania Legislature; Dangerous New Law Heads to Governor's Desk. (Truthout, 14 February 2012) Pennsylvania's state legislature has effectively signed a death warrant for some number of residents, who knows how many. Corbett’s about to make it official. (In fact he did.)

Bill McKibben, Take Heed: Why are you playing footsies with Obama and his big polluter pals? (Counterpunch, 23 January 2012) Let's not waste time on appeals to a president who's colluding with the enemies of the people and the environment. Direct action is the way forward.

A Wakeup Call for Burma's Parliamentary Democracy Party.  (Blog, 2 December 2011) There's something wrong with a party that claims visitations by spirits and instigates interparty warfare while purporting to want peace, equality, and democracy.

Why Are We Letting Fossil-Fuel Billionaire T. Boone Pickens Write Our Energy Policy? (Alternet, 18 April 2011) Corporate tycoon Pickens, unelected to public office, has essentially written a bill to require "natural" gas in some vehicles, even as communities across the country are protesting the dire impacts of drilling.

"Frack Attack" Columns in No Frack Almanac (PDFs): Caution: Fracking Puts American Dreams at Stake (2012, Vol. 1, Issue 3, p. 12); Join Up: The Antifracking Movement Needs You (2012, Vol. 1, Issue 4, p. 11); It's a Crime (2013, Vol 2, Issue 1, p. 12); New York's Already Being Fracked (Vol. 2, Issue 2, p. 12)