Stories We Didn’t Allow to Slip Through the Cracks

Silhouette Capitol
As 2017 comes to an end, take a look back at the year’s most notable stories. Photo credit: Jean Beaufort / publicdomainphotos.net
Reading Time: 4 minutes

At the end of the year, we want to highlight some of the many stories WhoWhatWhy published this year. Some of them didn’t get the attention we thought they deserved while others showed that we were once again ahead of the curve on many issues.

What they all have in common is that they show the wide range of topics we cover.

And don’t worry if you feel that our podcasts and cartoons are underrepresented or that stories on the environment or election integrity are missing. We will have separate lists for them in the coming days.


media bubble

Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Wayne Silver /Flickr (CC BY 2.0) and Becks /Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Danger of News Bubbles

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Americans increasingly seem to get their news from outlets that confirm their existing political beliefs, rarely allowing themselves exposure to alternative viewpoints. No wonder the country is so divided. WhoWhatWhy conducted an experiment to examine life inside the news bubble.

Drone Sunrise

Airmen perform maintenance on a MQ-9 Reaper in the early morning hours. Photo credit: US Air Force

The Drone War Under Trump: Killing More People, Hiding More Facts

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While President Donald Trump seeks to dismantle almost everything put in place by the Obama administration, one area where he stays the course is the drone war.

Earle Cabell, Dealey Plaza

Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza, Dallas. Former Dallas Mayor Earle Cabell (inset). Photo credit: Anita & Greg / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)US Government Printing Office / Wikimedia and CIA / Wikimedia.

Dallas Mayor During JFK Assassination Was CIA Asset

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Earle Cabell, mayor of Dallas on the day of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and brother of the former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, was himself a CIA asset when JFK was murdered.

Puerto Rico, debt

Mural by David Zayas at the Museum of the Americas in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo credit: damian entwistle / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Puerto Rico is Bankrupt: Is the Worst Yet to Come?

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Remember Flint, Michigan? Congress has appointed an all-powerful board of emergency managers that threaten to ruin the lives of three million Puerto Ricans.

Colorado River

Diversion dam on the Colorado River, north of Needles, May 1972. Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives / Flickr

Deadline Looms for New Water-Sharing Deal Between US and Mexico

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Rivers are not affected by border walls. Instead, they are subject to complicated treaties between countries. One such deal involving the US and Mexico now has to be urgently renewed. President Trump’s tough talk against Mexico does not make things easier.

Black Hawk, helicopter

US helicopter as it flies over a Mogadishu residential area, December 1992. Photo credit: US Air Force / Wikimedia

Did Inflated Stories on Aid Theft Lead to Black Hawk Down?

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On the 25th anniversary of the US mission to Somalia that led to the Battle of Mogadishu, a veteran reporter tells how the whole episode was predicated on a lie.

Vietnamese Refugees

South Vietnamese refugees walk across a US Navy vessel. Operation Frequent Wind, the final operation in Saigon, began April 29, 1975. Photo credit: U.S. Marines in Japan / Wikimedia Commons

The Boat People’s Long Shadow

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Many of the reasons why Americans want to keep Syrian refugees out of the US will sound particularly familiar to the Vietnamese boat people who have heard it all before and proved the critics wrong.

Trump White House Swings Machete Against Rules

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When it comes to cutting regulations, President Donald Trump’s White House is focused and on message. Critics charge the results could harm the American public.

Crises Hidden in Plain Sight: Homelessness and Housing Affordability

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Millions of Americans are living in poverty or from paycheck to paycheck; they are homeless, undergoing eviction, or are burdened with underwater mortgages. Why does the “recovery” look so hopeless?

Trump, supporters, selfie

Trump supporters taking a selfie. Photo credit: Cody Brooks / WhoWhatWhy

Tales in Transit: Trump’s True Believers

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One of the main complaints of Trump supporters is that they are being ignored, so we decided to ride a bus with a group of them to the inauguration and listen to what they had to say.


Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from poinsettia (Martin Howard / Flickr – CC BY 2.0).

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