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

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.

South Africa: Marikana

When South African police opened fire on striking miners at Marikana in 2012, the world saw an ugly side of the country's leadership. Can post-apartheid South Africa claim "liberation?"

'Platinum' Reaches Marikana Miners

Jack Shenker and Jason Larkin produced "Platinum" to reach the people in South Africa's platinum belt whose experiences and political struggles formed the basis of their reporting.

Indonesia: Dita's World

A young girl in Indonesia lives with the effects of an "uncommon disease"—mercury intoxication from gold mining pollution near her home.

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

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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