War by media and the triumph of propaganda (December 5, 2014) Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what's called the mainstream media is not information, but power?
Germany and Britain: Memory and Myopia (October 24, 2014) Ernst Barlach was one of Germany's great expressionist artists of the early twentieth century. A virulent nationalist in the run-up to the First World War, Barlach found that his experience of the Western Front stripped him of his jingoism. Much of his subsequent work explored the sorrow and suffering that he saw as the human condition.
Eye in the Sky (October 17, 2014) Round about the turn of this century Arnold Mesches, who is neither monk nor medievalist nor Christian, began illuminating manuscripts from the world that long since had killed God but appropriated or accommodated to a version of His all-seeing eye. The manuscripts in question: Mesches FBI file, 1945 to 1972.
The Loneliest Library in the World (June 13, 2014) At 73, P.V. Chinnathambi runs one of the loneliest libraries anywhere. In the middle of the forested wilderness of Keralas Idukki district, the librarys 160-books all classics are regularly borrowed, read, and returned by poor, Muthavan adivasis.
Canadian group not dealing with major free expression issue (May 3, 2014) We need to address how corporate-owned mainstream news organizations restrict the freedom of journalists and prevent the public from having access to a wide variety of important news and opinion articles. This lack of balanced information affects everything from people having the information they need to decide how to vote to all of us better understanding how power is exercised in our communities. The censorship consists of banning some topics and discussions and filtering out stories and ideas that do not fit the current mainstream media agenda.
Bias Towards Power *Is* Corporate Media 'Objectivity' (February 13, 2014) Journalistic bias in favour of the orthodox Western-centric socio-economic perspective is often framed as "objectivity", and departures from the orthodox Western-centric socio-economic perspective are often dismissed as "ideological'. A review of the incidence and framing of climate change reporting illustrates this.
Propaganda (January 27, 2014) Today, it is clearer than ever to a growing number of people that there is something seriously wrong with 'the news'. The current system of planet-crushing propaganda relies on a mere façade of overall 'balance', 'reasonableness' and 'range of views'. In the UK, BBC News is the crucial foundation stone of this propaganda system, with the Guardian playing an accompanying role.
Online Survival Kit (June 12, 2013) This Online Survival Kit offers practical tools, advice and techniques that teach you how to circumvent censorship and to secure yo communications and data. This handbook will gradually be unveiled over the coming months in order to provide everyone with the means to resist censors, governments or interests groups that want to courntrol news and information and gag dissenting voices. The Reporters Without Borders Digital Survival Kit is available in French, English, Arabic, Russian et Chinese. Published under the Creative Commons licence, its content is meant to be used freely and circulated widely.
Django Unchained, or, The Help: How "Cultural Politics" Is Worse Than No Politics at All, and Why (February 25, 2013) On reflection, it's possible to see that Django Unchained and The Help are basically different versions of the same movie. Both dissolve political economy and social relations into individual quests and interpersonal transactions and thus effectively sanitize, respectively, slavery and Jim Crow by dehistoricizing them. The problem is not so much that each film invents cartoonish fictions; it's that the point of the cartoons is to take the place of the actual relations of exploitation that anchored the regime it depicts.
Memory as Resistance: Grassroots Archives and the Battle of Memory (October 14, 2012) CONNEXIONS and Beit Zatoun are spotlighting grassroots archives this November with an open house and networking event November 24, a talk and discussion November 27, and an exhibit (November 16-27). Grassroots archives play a valuable role in what has been called the battle of memory. Mainstream media and institutions of power consign inconvenient histories, struggles, and alternative visions to what George Orwell called the memory hole. Peoples history projects such as grassroots archives preserve and share stories of resistance, hidden histories, and alternative visions. Their role is particularly important as official archives are forced to restrict acquisitions, limit access and discard materials as funding is slashed.
Funding for Non-profit Media or Public Interest Activities (February 15, 2010) A group that launches, or even refocuses, an independent news media project - or raises money for just about any public-interest activity - will probably have success in fundraising if it does the proper research and targets a unique audience. It will need to demonstrate that it offers an important public service, such as providing in-depth coverage of local political, economic, and social issues not covered adequately by other media.
How Alternative Media Provide The Crucial Critique Of The Mainstream (January 20, 2010) The closeness of the mainstream to dominant economic, cultural and ideological forces means that the mainstream largely functions to promote the interests of the military/industrial/political complex. Yet within advanced capitalist economies, the contradictions and complexities of corporate media have provided certain spaces for progressive journalism.
Canwest latest 'media giant' to exploit news operations (December 8, 2009) Media corporations claim to care about quality journalism, but they've deceived Canadians for decades -- censoring news to protect their profits, pandering to the interests of the corporate world, and neglecting to invest adequately in their news operations. For decades powerful media corporations have decided what news Canadians should read, hear, and see. By reading just about any Canadian daily newspaper it's not hard to see how the values of corporate-owned media are quite different from the values and interests of the majority of Canadians.
Chomsky in Mexico (October 2, 2009) September has been a big month for La Jornada. To celebrate its 25th birthday, the National Lottery offered a commemorative ticket as did the Mexico City Metro subway system, rare mainstream honors for a lefty rag, and notorious U.S. rabble rouser Noam Chomsky came to town to help cut the cake - along with Gabriel Garcia Marquez (a founding investor) and the much-lauded Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano. The Jornada was founded in 1984 by itinerant journalists who had bounced from one short-lived left periodical to the next.
Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation (September 2, 2009) As members of the Canadian and international film, culture and media arts communities, we are deeply disturbed by the Toronto International Film Festival's decision to host a celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv. We protest that TIFF, whether intentionally or not, has become complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine.
Twitterers Paid To Spread Israeli Propaganda (July 21, 2009) Israel's foreign ministry is reported to be establishing a special undercover team of paid workers whose job it will be to surf the internet 24 hours a day spreading positive news about Israel. Internet-savvy Israeli youngsters, mainly recent graduates and demobilised soldiers with language skills, are being recruited to pose as ordinary surfers while they provide the government's line on the Middle East conflict.
The Left-Wing Media Fallacy (May 8, 2009) The issue is not complex, not esoteric: in a world dominated by corporate power we rely on media corporations for news about that world. Future generations will surely be aghast that so few people today are able to perceive the perfectly obvious problem, the very clear source of mass control, that this implies.
Intellectual Cleansing: Part 3 (October 15, 2008) The tendency to self-deception appears to be greatly increased when we join as part of a group. Groups create a sense of belonging, a "we-feeling", which can provide even greater incentives to reject painful truths.
Intellectual Cleansing: Part 2 (October 7, 2008) Most ambitious journalists start out on a daily local newspaper owned by one of a handful of large media groups. There one quickly feels all sorts of institutional constraints on one's reporting. As a young journalist, if you know no better, you simply come to accept that journalism is done in a certain kind of way, that certain stories are suitable and others unsuitable.
Jonathan Cook - Response to Intellectual Cleansing Part 1 (October 7, 2008) However grateful we should be to the tiny minority of dissident writers, their relegation to the margins of the commentary pages of Britain's 'leftwing' media serves a useful purpose for corporate interests. It helps define the 'character' of the British media as provocative, pluralistic and free-thinking - when in truth they are anything but. It is a vital component in maintaining the fiction that a professional media is a diverse media.
A pro-Israel group's plan to rewrite history on Wikipedia (April 21, 2008) Electronic Intifada exposes a secret scheme by a pro-Israel pressure group to infiltrate the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia to rewrite Palestinian history, pass off crude propaganda as fact, and take over Wikipedia administrative structures to ensure these changes go either undetected or unchallenged.
If I Can't Dance .... (March 25, 2008) Rovics asks, why is so much of the left in the US so attached to being so dreadfully boring? Why do so many people on the left apparently have no appreciation for the power and importance of culture? And when organizers, progressive media and others on the left do acknowledge culture, why is it usually kept on the sidelines?
Agreement on terms (March 16, 2007) I have come to accept that western journalists cannot accurately, let alone objectively, represent the Middle East and the Arab world. The problem is not that journalists do not always adhere to their own professional codes and methods, though that does happen. It is that even if correspondents strictly obey all the rules, they still present a fundamentally biased and skewed picture of the Middle East.
Journalism as a Weapon of War (April 14, 2006) On 14 April 2006, the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University in New York brought together John Pilger, Seymour Hersh, Robert Fisk and Charles Glass for a discussion entitled 'Breaking the Silence: War, lies and empire'. The following is a transcript of John Pilger's address - 'War by Media'
Media Manipulation (March 16, 2005) Media manipulation often involves government or corporate propaganda and spin. Sometimes organizations and governments can feed fake news or politically or ideologically slanted stories to broadcasters which depict them as quality news items and journalism.
News Media Stifle Ideas and Debate (July 1, 1997) Far from providing democracy's oxygen, as they claim, the news media today legitimize a fundamentally undemocratic system. Instead of keeping the public informed, they manufacture public consent for policies which favour their owners: the corporate elite.
Recovering the Sandinista Murals (1997) Obliterating the artifacts of the revolution is an important task for those who want to rewrite history. David Kunzle's book, The Murals of Revolutionary Nicaragua 1979-1992, is thus more than a catalog -- it's a weapon in the struggle to keep the promise of revolution alive.
Little Brother Watches Back (June 1, 1987) Perhaps the most exciting aspect of working in the margins is the effect on the mainstream. What innovation in radio, television, journalism, or, for that matter, any social institution or relationship has not first appeared on the margin, only to be adapted and adopted. Margin and mainstream in dialectic move society forward.
Politics and the English Language (1946) In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism., question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.
Media Education Foundation Analyzing worldwide trends in media ownership, commercial content, and the media element of commercial globalization's encroachment on and redefinition of public space.
Medialens Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media. MediaLens is a response based on our conviction that mainstream newspapers and broadcasters provide a profoundly distorted picture of our world. We are convinced that the increasingly centralised, corporate nature of the media means that it acts as a de facto propaganda system for corporate and other establishment interests. The costs incurred as a result of this propaganda, in terms of human suffering and environmental degradation, are incalculable. In seeking to understand the basis and operation of this systematic distortion, we flatly reject all conspiracy theories and point instead to the inevitably corrupting effects of free market forces operating on and through media corporations seeking profit in a society dominated by corporate power.
Publicity and Media Resources Resources and publications to assist your organization in getting more and better media coverage and raising awareness.
Reporters without Borders Defends journalists and media assistants imprisoned or persecuted for doing their job and exposes the mistreatment and torture of them in many countries. Fights against censorship and laws that undermine press freedom. Works to improve the safety of journalists, especially those reporting in war zones.
Spinwatch Spinwatch is an independent organisation which monitors the role of public relations and spin in contemporary society. Spinwatch promotes greater understanding of the role of PR, propaganda and lobbying through its website and through other outreach and campaigning activities, including media appearances, book and pamphlet writing, Spinwalks, and investigative reporting.
Other Links & Resources
Adbusters Adbusters magazine web site with spoof ads, anti-advertising messages, articles.
Arab Media Watch Our main activities include: - monitoring and analysing the British media - establishing a dialogue with journalists and editors - helping journalists and editors with research and information - fielding and arranging interviews - producing monitoring studies, reports, press releases, background documents and fact sheets - writing articles and commentaries for various newspapers, magazines and websites - getting letters published in the press - organising and speaking at topical events, universities and debates - encouraging our members to engage the media in a polite, factual and targeted manner
FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) Internet site U.S. media watch group that documents and criticizes media bias and censorship, scrutinizes media practices that marginalize public interest, minority, and dissenting viewpoints, and advocates for greater diversity in the press.
Fifth-Estate-Online Fifth-Estate-Online is an international, interactive on-line journal of radical media thinking and critical practice. It is a forum for all those who are deeply concerned about the historical and current role and power of the mass media in society.
Independent Media Center (Indymedia) A collective of independent media organizations and hundreds of journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage. Indymedia is a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth.
Resistance MP3 Left-wing political audio recordings of talks and discussions, primarily from a Trotskyist or neo-Trotskyist perspective, but also including some clips from speeches by people like Martin Luther King Jr. or Noam Chomsky.
Toronto Video Activist Collective Founded to counter-balance the mostly anti-activist media and to shamelessly promote social and environmental justice issues through the production and distribution of activist videos under no mask of journalistic objectivity.
World Comics Almost any issue, idea or fact can be expressed in a comic. This kind of visual storytelling is flexible, attention-grabbing and relatively inexpensive. World Comics promotes the use of local comics as a means for social change. On our pages you can check out Grassroot comics - a remarkable new NGO communication tool. You can also download or print out detailed instructions on how to make these comics. New! A book, "GRASSROOTS COMICS - a development communication tool", has been published. If you plan to make a larger information campaign with comics you can look at samples and solutions from a great variety of campaign comics. You can also find out what kind of workshops and exhibitions World Comics has arranged. Have a look at our videos, picture galleries and presentations (including Powerpoints).
All That Is Solid Melts Into Air The Experience of Modernity Author: Berman, Marshall Berman examines the clash of classes, histories, and clutures in the modern world, and ponders our prospects for coming to terms with the relationship between a liberating social and philosophical idealism and a complex, bureaucratic materialism.
Autonomous Media Activating Resistance & Dissent Author: Langlois, Andrea; Dubois, Frederic Essays written by media activists examining the efforts of communities and social movements to appropriate media technologies.
Avenge But One of My Two Eyes Author: Mograbi, Avi (director) Israeli director Avi Mograbi documents what he calls the "culture of death" in the psychology of Israel the occupier.
The Barefoot Channel Community Television as a Tool for Social Change Author: Goldberg, Kim How you or you group can use local community TV station to get your message out.
Beyond a Boundary Author: James, C.L.R. Part memoir of a boyhood in a black colony (by one of the founders of African nationalism), part passionate celebration of the game of cricket, this book raises serious questions about race, class, politics, and the realities of colonial oppression.
Control Room Author: Noujaim, Jehane (director) Shows the coverage of the 2003 Iraqi war from the perspective of Al Jazeera, the Arab world's most popular news outlet.
Culture Inc. The Corporate Takeover of Public Expression Author: Schiller, Herbert I. Schiller defends democratic expression and free access to information while demonstrating the ways in which public expression, public space, and public access to information are becoming increasingly limited and controlled.
Democracy's Oxygen How Corporations Control the News Author: Winter, James Winter shows that far from providing "democracy's oxygen," the news media legitimize a fundamentally undemocratic system. Instead of keeping the public informated, news organizations manufacture public consent for policies which favour the corporate elite.
The Empire God Built Inside Pat Robertson's media machine Author: Foege, Alec A profile of the demagogue who become one of the most successful media moguls in the world.
Film and the Anarchist Imagination Author: Porton, Richard A survey of the depiction anarchism in film - from the stereotypes of bearded bomb throwers, to the early cinema of Griffith and Rene Clair, to the work of Godard, Wertmuller, and Loach.
Global Media Megalomedia The voice of globalization New Internationalist April 2001 The effects of globa media in different parts of the world. Discusses how the media promotes globalization as well as how it is an integral part of the process. How news can get distorted by the structure of the media itself. The hidden history of Western media propaganda and how globalization has affected Singapore.
Inventing Reality The Politics of News Media Author: Parenti, Michael Parenti sets out to demonstrate how the news media distort important aspects of social and political life and why they do.
Inventing Tax Rage Misinformation in the National Post Author: Patriquin, Larry How the National Post created an agenda for the tax cuts that mostly benefits the wealthy.
Manufacturing Consent The Political Economy of the Mass Media Author: Herman, Edward S.; Chomsky, Noam Contrary to the usual image of the press and cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitious in its search for truth, Herman and Chomsky depict how an underlying elite consensus largely structures all facets of the news. They analyze how issues are framed and topics chosen, and the way in which the marketplace and the economics of publishing significantly shape the news.
Manufacturing Consent Author: Achbar, Mark; Wintonick, Peter (directors) A film about Noam Chomsky's ideas about the media, ideology, propaganda, and elite control of society's institutions.
Media Control The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda Author: Chomsky, Noam Chomsky begins by asserting two models of democracy: one in which the public actively participates, and one in which the public is manipulated and controlled. According to Chomsky "propaganda is to democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state," and the mass media is the primary vehicle for delivering propaganda in the United States.
The Missing News Filters and Blind Spots in Canada's Press Author: Hackett, Robert A.; Gruneau, Richard; with Donald Gutstein, Timothy A. Gibson and Newswatch Canada Asks a number of questions, including: How well do the news media filter reality, for what purposes, through what processes and in whose interests? How do newspapers and TV stations choose what news is printed or aired, which letters will be published, or who will be accorded credibility?
Necessary Illusions Thought Control in Democratic Societies Author: Chomsky, Noam An inquiry into the nature of the media and the role of intellectuals in "a political system where the population cannot be disciplined by force, and thus must be subjected to more subtle forms of ideological control."
The No-Nonsense Guide to Global Media Author: Steven, Peter Peter Steven aims to make readers realize the power and influence of dominant media but, at the same time, also understand that they are not "omnipotent" and that there are alternative forms available.
Sign Crimes/Road Kill From Mediascape to Landscape Author: Nelson, Joyce A collection of thirty short essays by Joyce Nelson, a writer specializing in the politics of the mass media.
Society of the Spectacle Author: Debord, Guy An analysis of modern society and how it can be changed, written in the form of 221 theses. The first thesis reads: "In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation." Translator Ken Knabb describes the book as "an effort to clarify the nature of the society in which we find ourselves and the advantages and drawbacks of various methods for changing it. Every single thesis has a direct or indirect bearing on issues that are matters of life and death."
Taking the Risk Out of Democracy Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty Author: Carey, Alex The twentieth-century history of corporate propaganda practiced by U.S. businesses and the ways in which such corporate propaganda was exported to, and adopted by, other western democracies especially the United Kingdom and Australia.
Traces of Magma An Annotated Bibliography of Left Literature Author: Knight, Rolf An annotated bibliography of left wing novels which deal with the lives of working people during the twentieth century.
Ways of Seeing Author: Berger, John Seeing establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it.
Weapons of Mass Persuasion Marketing the War Against Iraq Author: Rutherford, Paul Rutherford, an academic and media critic at the University of Toronto, tries to show how the marketing campaign for the war against Iraq was constructed and carried out with the aid of a compliant media.
Sources-A directory that enables journalists to find spokespersons of organizations. Organizations that list themselves in Sources signficantly increase their odds of getting called by reporters when they are doing a story of their issues..