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Focus on Arts, Media, Culture
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to arts, media and culture in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as media, culture, arts, music, film, censorship, media criticism,
and alternative media.
- Django Unchained, or, The Help: How Cultural Politics Is Worse Than No Politics at All, and Why (February 25, 2013)
On reflection, its 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; its 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.
- Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
Working together to secure a future for the past
- Milton Rogovin: Portraitist to the People (January 24, 2011)
His photography did not turn people into victims, nor did it make them heroes.
- 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.
- Independent media advocates must develop creative news sites (February 1, 2010)
We should be able to come up with two or three practical models that can be used to set up sustainable news and information production and delivery systems.
- Could a 'mini-paper' nip at the heels of mainstream press? (January 21, 2010)
A mini-paper would be incredibly inexpensive to publish. There would be no requirement for newsprint, a huge printing plant or large delivery system.
- 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.
- Creation of Sustainable Free Media Would Be Huge Breakthrough (January 12, 2010)
Independent media organizations would approach news differently compared to the coverage provided by corporate-owned media.
- Canadian Media in Crisis (January 10, 2010)
How so-called "business journalism" is often biased and tends to give readers a distorted picture of the news.
- Grassroots media relations (2010)
A media relations guide for organizers and activists.
- Why Canada must limit the influence of corporate media (December 16, 2009)
Traditional news departments follow unwritten but well-understood guidelines concerning what they should not cover. Most people in the newsrooms have been so thoroughly indoctrinated in corporate ideology that they seldom suggest a story that falls outside of the guidelines.
- 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.
- A Comparative Review of Flat Earth News and Newspeak (November 20, 2009)
A comparative review of two recent books about the media, one a mainstream view, the other using the propaganda model of media control.
- Connexions Archive seeks a new home (November 18, 2009)
The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based library dedicated to preserving the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a new home.
- 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.
- Media Capitalism, the State and 21st Century Media Democracy Struggles (August 9, 2009)
Robert McChesney talks about contemporary media capitalism and 21st century media democracy struggles to understand and change it.
- Mainstream Media And The Propaganda Machine (July 24, 2009)
Mainstream media, especially the American media plays a vital role in shaping the world public opinion.
- 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.
- Resistance in Gaza: Young Palestinians Find Their Voice Through Hip-Hop (June 10, 2009)
Making music is a form of resistance to war and occupation, and also a tool to communicate the reality of life in Palestine.
- 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.
- The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers (March 18, 2009)
Journalism is collapsing, and with it comes the most serious threat in our lifetimes to self-government and the rule of law as it has been understood here in the United States.
- Justice in the News: A Response to the targetting of media in Gaza (February 20, 2009)
A mission to Gaza found that media were subject to intimidation and direct military assault and deliberately prevented from working freely. The findings confirm evidence of frequent targeting of media during the operations.
- Operation Cast Lead: News control as a military objective (February 17, 2009)
Control of news in time of war has become a military objective.
- Turn off the Canadian Media, Please (January 9, 2009)
If you want to have the first idea what is happening in Israel/Palestine (or most of the rest of the world), the best thing to do would be to turn the Canadian media off completely.
- Top 25 Censored Stories for 2009 (2009)
Provides a list and indepth analysis of the top 25 stories that were censored throughout the year in 2009.
- 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 5, 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.
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with arts, media and culture in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as media, culture, censorship, media criticism, and alternative media.
- Bureau of Public Secrets
Articles from a Situationist perspective.
- Canadian Association of Labour Media
A network of union publications and editors that provides labour-friendly stories and graphics and training for labour communicators.
- Center for Media and Democracy
Investigates and exposes public relations spin and propaganda, and promotes media literacy and citizen journalism, media of, by and for the people.
- Friends of Canadian Broadcasting
An association of Canadians who share a commitment to expanding the quality and quantity of Canadian programming on our nation's airwaves.
- 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.
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 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.
- Toronto Public Space Committee
We are dedicated to protecting our shared common spaces from commercial influence and privatisation.
Other Links & Resources
Adbusters magazine Internet site with spoof ads, anti-advertising messages, articles.
- Alternative Press Center
Annotated links to alternative points of view available on the Internet.
- 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
- Arts Culture Media Communications Topic Index in Sources Directory
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to arts, culture, media, and communicatins in the Sources directory for the media.
- Banned Books Online
A sampling of books which have been censored or subject to censorship attempts.
- Center for Democracy and Technology
Addresses issues of Internet censorhip and privacy.
- Comrade's Socialist Songbook
Revolutionary and trade union songs, mostly from the The Socialist Songbook.
- Design Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to design in the Sources directory for the media.
- 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 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.
- Fine Arts Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to fine arts in the Sources directory for the media.
- Graphic Arts Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to graphic arts in the Sources directory for the media.
- 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.
- Journalism & Writing Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to journalism and writing in the Sources directory for the media.
- Journalists for Human Rights
Human rights organization which seeks to harness the power of the media as a tool to combat human rights abuses.
- Literature & Language Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to literature and language in the Sources directory for the media.
- Media (News & Entertainment) Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to news and entertainment media in the Sources directory for the media.
Reports, opinions and links on media issues, including media news and links to hundreds of media issues organizations around the world.
- Mental Engineering
Web site of the TV program that critiques advertising and television.
- Music Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to music in the Sources directory for the media.
Tracking efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy.
- Performing Arts Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related tothe performing arts in the Sources directory for the media.
- Publishing Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to publishing in the Sources directory for the media.
- 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.
- The Sources HotLink
A website and newsletter dealing with media relations strategies.
- Sources Select Resources
Reviews and information about print and online resources for journalists and researchers.
- 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).
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books anf films related to arts, media and culture in the Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
media criticism, and
- 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
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
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."
- Newspeak in the 21st Century
Author: Edwards, David; Cromwell, David
Revealing the lethal bias in 'balanced' reporting.
- 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.
Learning from our History
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists.
Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada's print and broadcast media. (CX5857).
AK Press - A worker-run collective that publishes and distributes radical books, visual and audio media, and other mind-altering material.
Alternative Press Center - Dedicated to providing access to and increasing public awareness of the alternative press. Publishes the Alternative Press Index. .
Brave New Theaters - Provides world changers with films and organizing tools to bring attention to, raise money for, and take action around the issues you care deeply about. .
PeaceButtons.info - Buttons, posters and signs promoting peace and justice..
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..
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