Jul 28, 2008
Yesterday, in the piece on LaVena Johnson, we had occasion to mention Democracy Now!, an alternative media news source which—let’s face it—is as skewed to the left as Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and others of their ilk are skewed to the right. However, whereas the latter are profit-based, laughingly biased, anti-intellectual, bottom-feeding hypocrites (people as intelligent and well paid as they are can’t possibly entertain the beliefs and opinions they lavish on the poor, angry folk who make up their audience), Democracy Now! is non-profit, meticulously fair, intelligent, and heartfelt. They deserve our attention and support.
Their web site is at the link below. They have both audio and video podcasts available on their site or through iTunes (where I receive both versions to tote around on my iPod). Their one-hour Mon-Fri newscast is also available on over 700 radio stations and through a couple of satellite feeds. Amy Goodman is the principal host, teaming late in the week with Juan Gonzalez, who is also a columnist for the New York Daily News. Neither is as somber as their picture would lead you to believe.
Where have you gone, Walter Cronkite? In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of U.S. media.1 In 2004, that number was down to five. They are Time Warner, Disney, News Corporation (Rupert Murdoch's fiefdom), Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS). General Electric’s NBC is a close sixth. To anyone paying attention, the quality of our mainstream media’s news reporting has deteriorated to the point where we hear less and less about things that matter, while more fluff and outright propaganda become our daily fare.
As journalist A.J. Liebling so sagely noted, “Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.” Thanks to the Internet, anyone who has a point of view to put forward (lunatic or otherwise) can have a global presence for next to no cost. This is our answer to the decline of mainstream media, and Democracy Now! is a premier exemplar of the new powers granted us all by the Internet. There are others, and I will note some of them in future ATN entries. If you have a favorite news blog or alternative news site, podcast, or other media, let us know.
See Also, American Carnival: Journalism under Siege in an Age of New Media, by Neil Henry.
1Media Reform Information Center (Accessed July 26, 2008)
Copyright © 2008 All Together Now.