Friday, February 25, 2011

Dinner with Amy

The socialist Appeal to Reason newspaper offered yachts, fruit farms and motorcycles as premiums to bring in revenue and subscriptions. Democracy Now! has offered "Dinner and a Show" with host Amy Goodman.

After meeting Amy at a dinner party, Regis (and Kelly) acknowledge their TV show is about "nothing." (Is that a parody of Morning Latte skit on Saturday Night Live?)

Ida B. Wells Anti-Lynching Legacy

In last dozen years, Northwestern University journalism students and their professor have been instrumental in proving the innocence of many prisoners, several of whom had been sentenced to death.

Lynching prompted the classic Billie Holiday song, "Strange Fruit," which she recorded in the late 1930s over the objections of her record company: "Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

First Indy Publications -- NOT Reader-Friendly

Check out the crowded layout of William Lloyd Garrison's abolitionist publication, The Liberator: here and here. Not exactly HuffingtonPost. No half-naked actors. Cady Stanton's/Anthony's feminist publication, The Revolution, was a tiny bit less dense. Content was king (or queen) back then.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tunisian rapper El General....

...put out this widely-circulated song and video attacking Tunisia's U.S.-backed dictator Ben Ali and urging folks into protests in the streets. El General was arrested for it. Soon after, the dictator fled the country. (H/t to Steve Zunes.)

After Tunisia dictator fled, the bizarre allied dictator in neighboring Libya, Qaddafi, made a speech denouncing the Internet, WikiLeaks, Twitter and Facebook, which he blamed for Tunisia events.

Back in 2007. citizen journalists/bloggers had documented the tourism/shopping trips of the dictator's wife aboard the presidential plane. (H/t Global Voices)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why is U.S. Public Badly Informed?

A 2008 academic study compared the level of public knowledge about current events in Denmark, Finland, England and the U.S. It found that the countries with TV/radio dominated by public broadcasting -- Denmark and Finland -- were the best informed. Our country, dominated by corporate media, was the least informed. The study's authors suggest that differing media systems play a role in those results.

In a related item: A 2003 study of U.S. public knowledge of facts related to the Iraq War found that misperceptions were greatest among those whose primary info source was Fox News, least among those whose primary info source was public broadcasting. (A Pew poll taken in Aug. 2010 found that almost 1 in 5 Americans believed President Obama to be a Muslim; only 34% knew he is a Christian. 43% chose "don't know.")

French President to Citizen: Get Lost, You Idiot!

President Sarkozy caught on Net video. French politicians having difficulty tolerating the scrutiny from new media, Internet, YouTube -- especially compared to coverage they'd received from traditional media. A conservative cabinet member was videoed dancing with young folks to Black Eyed Peas tune. Our ex caught on video.

Video & Blogging for Human RIghts

The nonprofit group,, distributes video cameras in hopes of minimizing human rights abuses. Their slogan: "See it. Film it. Change it."

Vancouver Film School students created an inspiring video, "Iran, A Nation of Bloggers", and put it online months before the tech-fueled protests over Iran's disputed 2009 election.

Global Voice Online

Global Voices offers interesting news from other countries posted by bloggers/others who live or hail from there. In protest, Chinese professor (and blogger) offers himself up as a slave. Bloggers in Nicaragua advocate for same-sex marriage.

Egypt: Bloggers/Net laid groundwork for today's uprising

With the state in control of all major media in Egypt, brave Egyptian "citizen journalists" have risked imprisonment and torture to blog or tweet about human rights abuses. Renowned Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas interviewed annoyingly by elitist BBC anchor. Over the years, Abbas has been harassed, censored and assaulted by authorities, and was briefly detained during the current demonstrations.

I've been showing this fascinating 2008 video (with not-great English translation) -- "Internet Freedom in Egypt" -- since it appeared online.

Last June, 28-year-old Khaled Said was beaten to death in public for the crime of Internet use. His martyrdom inspired protests and Internet organizing that sparked some of the current uprising. Google exec and activist Wael Ghonim is believed to have set up the powerful Facebook page "We Are All Khaled Said."

Blogger Marwa Rakha, born and raised in Egypt, posted about a mass detention of bloggers, including Wael Abbas, who tried to cover the aftermath of a massacre of Egyptian Christians.

"Rantings of a Sandmonkey" blogger -- who recently revealed himself to be Mahmoud Salem -- had also posted videos of police torture (along with Wael Abbas and others). The icon on his blog doesn't quite resemble blogger.

One of biggest voices in U.S. media...

...explains Egypt, and how an Islamic Caliphate is ready to take over much of the world. GLENN BECK excerpted on Daily Show. Fuller Beck excerpts here. Beck in full on Egypt and the coming global insurrection.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Voices That Must Be Heard

Various ethnic media flourish on this website, giving voice to people and issues often ignored in mainstream -- a good source of article ideas for journalists in urban or multiracial locations.

Monday, February 7, 2011

AOL/HuffingtonPost merger

I haven't been this personally saddened by a corporate merger since Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream was acquired by the Unilever conglomerate. I'm stunned that an independent visionary like Arianna -- with such strong personal and political sentiments about societal reform -- would push her child into a marriage with another corporation.

A fairly optimistic take on the merger is offered by TJ Gunther in this well-argued post.

An angry reaction to the merger -- "Why I've Removed My Journalism from HuffingtonPost" -- comes from drug war expert and legendary journalist Al Giordano, formerly a HuffPost blogger.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Izzy Award-Winners Glenn Greenwald and Amy Goodman

Soon after accepting their Izzy Awards in Ithaca, NY, Greenwald and Goodman were interviewed about independent media by Bill Moyers.

Nonprofit local online news sites . . .

. . .are sprouting up as local dailies shrink or fold. These nonprofits include
well-funded, well-staffed and Baltimore's much smaller

Egyptian Bloggers...

...including the briefly-detained Wael Abbas, blogging/vlogging from Tahrir Square in Cairo, as reported by NY Times.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Beware Internet Hoaxes

Are young people, raised on the Internet, LESS likely to be taken in by hoax emails such as Obama as "radical Muslim" than Jon Stewart's 80-year-old aunt?

A You Tube Star Is Born

"Juju's Message to Mubarak" (H/t Carly S.) Let's hope Juju or her dad are not arrested by Saudi government, Mubarak's ally.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Indy Video Short Impacts 2008 Election

This 2008 Brave New Films video short "McCain's Mansions" (with over 600,000 views) boiled up through the media food chain to become part of the mainstream diet. It impacted the campaign, as shown by the behind-the-scenes promo video, "The Making of McCain's Mansions."

Need for access to newsmakers...

...undermines truthful, unfettered journalism, says indy TV host Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks. The L.A. Times quoted Uygur as saying his web-based TV show brought in a million dollars in revenue last year.