Issue

Global Goods, Local Costs

Behind almost every product we buy and the GDP numbers we worry over, there is a story whose trail crosses the globe. Every physical product starts as raw material somewhere, from the gold in our jewelry to the shrimp at our favorite restaurant and the minerals within our mobile phones and laptops.

The rapid industrialization of countries like India, China and Brazil and a voracious consumer culture in Europe, the United States and Japan mean ever greater demand for these raw materials—and ever greater pressures on the individuals, communities and environments that bear the cost of providing them.

These local costs too often remain hidden. They are obscured by companies and governments that put a premium on production and exports. They are little understood by consumers, whose concept of "price" and "value" does not include damage done to people and places far away.

Global Goods, Local Costs is an effort to make those connections plain, to show the true costs of producing the commodities that have become essential to our lifestyles but that we mostly take for granted. These reports touch on goods and challenges across the globe that share a common theme: the implications of a vision of endless prosperity set against the reality of a finite planet.

Global Goods, Local Costs

Ghanaian Workers Fight Pay Discrimination

In October 2014, Ghanaian workers at MODEC, a general contracting company, demonstrated against pay discrimination and were fired. Is this indicative of a larger trend within the entire industry?

Ghana: Fishing in Oil's Ocean

Fishing communities have been a major part of Ghanaian culture for centuries. Today, fishermen face serious challenges following the discovery of oil along Ghana's coast.

Loretta Tofani interviews with the Washington Observer

Editor in Chief Lily Chen interviews Pulitzer Center grant-recipient Loretta Tofani about her "American Imports, Chinese Deaths" series. January 9, 2008, the Washington Observer (Mandarin Chinese), a World Security Institute publication. Lily interviews Loretta Tofani, an American journalist, about her call for people's attention to Chinese workers' benefits and rights.

Note: This article is in Mandarin Chinese.

South America: Untold Stories

South America Discussion Series

October/November 2007

Presented by: Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting / Virginia Quarterly Review

South America : Untold Stories

Journalists Bring their Stories Home

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November 5 : Washington University in St. Louis

In partnership with Sigma Iota Rho, Washington University's International Studies Honorary Society, International & Area Studies and Latin American Studies