No Picture

Winning the Marathon

To succeed and thrive, we’ll need to make media and democracy the main issues

Those of us who have been in media for a while have seen the system’s transformation. We’ve seen the emergence of fewer and fewer companies, dominating more and more of the media spectrum. We’ve seen a merger between news biz and show biz. We’ve seen a dramatic cutback in news of the world.

On, we published a study that compares the extent of political knowledge in the US to six other countries, and finds that Americans are the least informed of any people in the world. The reason? US television. Americans depend increasingly on TV for their news and information, and US television increasingly doesn’t carry news and information. As a consequence, we’re in a process where politics itself has become politically incorrect. read more

No Picture

Seizing the Moment

Radio and the Internet offer affordable routes to new audiences

Solidarity begins at home. But too often we — and I include myself — may use this as a kind of rhetorical device, and yet don’t practice it.

I’m interested in concrete and practical ways of connecting with movement groups. I see my radio project as an audio vehicle for the movement to get messages out — be it Fifty Years Is Enough, Global Exchange, East Timor Action Network, Voices in the Wilderness, the Program on Corporations, Law, and Democracy, or numerous others. I’m really delighted to be aligned with them in this kind of audio venture. read more

No Picture

On the Barricades

Getting the stories out means assuming responsibility

The Washington, DC, mobilization to challenge the IMF was a truly remarkable experience. We had a press check-in, and ended up with a list of 996 journalists. Corporate media was being challenged, so many stories were getting out, and they wanted to understand what was happening.

If you think back to Seattle, the stories released by corporate media were supplemented, to a great extent, by other media people in the streets. Many media organizations missed Seattle. Activists call this the Woodstock Syndrome: "I wasn’t at Woodstock, but if it happens again I’m going to be there." So, as a movement, we’ve already done a great deal to educate corporate media. read more

No Picture

Making a Difference

In Boston, indy media takes simple steps and tests relationships

In Boston, many of us see indy media as a counter-institution, challenging the corporate press and forcing them to cover things that they normally wouldn’t. IMCs are beginning to force a perspective that is not necessarily corporate filtered. For example, reading the Boston Globe recently, I saw an entire article about puppets used by activists in Peru to challenge the government. I was shocked, but this is what we’re beginning to see. read more

No Picture

Blurring the Lines

Activist journalists confront tough questions in an era of doublespeak and spin control

Let’s look at the power of language. For example, let’s take the word mainstream, when talking about media, and replace it with corporate. It’s time to reclaim mainstream for ourselves — for "we the people" and independent media. That’s central to where we’re going. If we start thinking of ourselves in that way, people will start to look at us and the truth we bring as really the mainstream. read more

No Picture

Open & Unstoppable

A liberation front has opened in the cultural war

I don’t see myself as just a journalist or activist, but as someone sharing ideas and opening the boundaries that restrict ideas from moving. That brought me to the Web as a developer; I see it as a powerful tool, more powerful than some of the more traditional approaches to sharing ideas.

In the Vancouver IMC, we’re sharing space with a smaller, tighter-knit organization and with the Pacific Center for Alternative Journalism, and opening it to a broader community, including the Vancouver Direct Action Network and forest and housing activists. We’re blurring the line between journalist and activist, and trying to educate, empower, and facilitate communication. That’s inherent in the mandate for our space. We recognize the value in sharing these skills and resources, and trying to redefine what journalism is — who gets to tell stories or what stories are being told. read more