"What encourages me is the Internet. Freedom begins the moment you realize someone else has been writing your story and it's time you took the pen from his hand and started writing it yourself."
~ Bill Moyers.
~ Bill Moyers.
There's a fabulous, must-read interview with the American journalist, Bill Moyers, with The Christian Century, carried on Truthout, on the media and democracy.
Here's a teaser, on Moyers' assessment of the state of the media in the US today:
Unfortunately, a few huge corporations now dominate the media landscape. And the news business is at war with journalism. Virtually everything the average person sees or hears outside of her own personal communications is determined by the interests of private, unaccountable executives and investors whose primary goal is increasing profits and raising the company's share price. One of the best newspaper groups, Knight Ridder - whose reporters were on to the truth about Iraq early on - was recently sold and broken up because a tiny handful of investors wanted more per share than they were getting.
Almost all the networks carried by most cable systems are owned by one of the major media conglomerates. Two-thirds of today's newspaper markets are monopolies, and they're dumbing down. As ownership gets more and more concentrated, fewer and fewer independent sources of information have survived in the marketplace. And those few significant alternatives that do survive, such as PBS and NPR, are under growing financial and political pressure to reduce critical news content.
Just the other day the major morning broadcast devoted long segments to analyzing why Britney Spears shaved her head, and the death of Anna Nicole Smith got more attention than the Americans or Iraqis killed in Baghdad that week. The next time you're at a newsstand, look at the celebrities staring back at you. In-depth coverage on anything, let alone the bleak facts of power and powerlessness that shape the lives of ordinary people, is as scarce as sex, violence and voyeurism are pervasive.
At the same time we have seen the rise of an ideological partisan press that is contemptuous of reality, serves up right-wing propaganda as fact, and attempts to demonize anyone who says otherwise. Its embodiment is Rush Limbaugh. Millions heard him take journalists to task for their reporting on the torture at Abu Ghraib, which he attempted to dismiss as a little necessary sport for soldiers under stress. He said: "This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation. . . . You ever heard of people [who] need to blow some steam off?"
So we can't make the case today that the dominant institutions of the press are guardians of democracy. They actually work to keep reality from us, whether it's the truth of money in politics, the social costs of "free trade," growing inequality, the resegregation of our public schools, or the devastating onward march of environmental deregulation. It's as if we are living on a huge plantation in a story told by the boss man.
What encourages me is the Internet. Freedom begins the moment you realize someone else has been writing your story and it's time you took the pen from his hand and started writing it yourself. The greatest challenge to the conglomeration of the media giants and the malevolent mentality of the partisan press is the innovation and expression made possible by the digital revolution. I'm also buoyed by the beginnings of a movement across the country of people who are fighting to keep mammoth corporations from controlling access to the Internet as they managed to control radio, then television, then cable. To find out more about this, go to Freepress.net or Savetheinternet.com.
Exactly. Brilliant. Sayonara, goat-smelling, egg-sucking mainstream media; you're history.
Read the rest.
For those of you who are concerned about the situation of Kurdish women in Kurdistan, check out the article from the hevals at KurdishInfo on the recent stoning of a teenaged Êzidî girl in Mûsil. Video of this atrocity is available at Jebar.info, while another video is on Youtube.
That's just one more reason to hope for the spread of the women's activist work that PKK is engaged in.