David Edwards, one editorial half of the ever-challenging Media Lens, asks today at the ML board:
Time to abandon the corporate media?
It's something we've proposed in the past. Imagine if all our favourite dissident commentators - Chomsky, Pilger, Greenwald, Hedges, Moore, Klein, Weisbrot, Jay et al - deprived the corporate media of their support and worked under a single cooperative umbrella sending out everything completely, 100% free, as we do. How much global public interest and support do you think they'd generate? I think it would be huge.
It might persuade other corporate dissidents to 'defect'. And here's the real thing, because none of them would need to worry about upsetting corporate gatekeepers, they could all be totally honest in their analysis, notably about the media (even the best of them are not, currently, for 'strategic' reasons relating to corporate inclusion). That would make their analyses even more honest and interesting. People would love it even more, attracting even more support.
And when you look at climate inaction, it's clear that the attempt to change the world through corporate inclusion has been a spectacular failure on even the most obviously crucial issue. Does anyone really believe it's going to improve?
And bear in mind that the working foundations for it are all essentially in place with already vibrant non-corporate online media outlets like Real News, Democracy Now, ZNet and, of course, Media Lens itself.
The fact that the most substantive part of public exposure to news, information and comment is also online, rather than in print, suggests a massive new opportunity for shifting decisively now to something truly radical in its independence and outreach.
While it's good to read, for example, a Greenwald or Milne piece at the Guardian, dissident output is still carefully policed and compromised by corporate-liberal constraints.
And that process of token media inclusion and incorporation is vital in maintaining popular control and passive acceptance of the whole system.
Consider the alternative: the same kind of writers and even less inhibited analysis coming from a 'Free Media Co-operative'. Why would that have any less of a global following and impact?
And just think of the radical publicity in itself as corporations and advertising-dependent media tried to take it down.
As the forces driving war, poverty, austerity and, most pressingly, climate change continue their rampant destruction of people and planet, the need for real citizen journalism should be seen as an emergency task.
Alarming times. Exciting times.