Thursday, 22 December 2011

This Christmas Give the World a Gift That Truly Will Keep On Giving

If you've been following this little blog of mine (thank you for that) then you'll no doubt be aware that one of the biggest and never ending sources of irritation to me is that the Mainstream Media (MSM) whether Corporate or State is so lacklustre. Whether incompetence or deliberate policy I've come to find depressingly little accurate information in the papers and the news channels. Hell many times to me it seems like someone high up the Journo food chain is deliberately withholding information that is very important or at least potentially very important, like a long running Peasant Revolt in India.

There are a couple of exceptions, the BBC documentary wing can and still does commission and broadcast programs made with some investigative journalism and occasionally offer something against the grain of the usual wisdom were spoon fed. And theres BBC Four's World News Today which not only covers important stories from around the world but will also instead of just summarising the latest development it'll also actually make an attempt to explain the context of the story whose on which side and why they're there and what the future will hold. Channel Four and its sister More Four will also have some intelligent discussions and documentaries from time to time.

And of course theres my long standing love affair with the Socialist Daily Morning Star (that's the Morning not Daily Star).

Many who feel the same way as I do have moved on, unfortunately the greener pastures are often the result of fresh paint rather then ethical tending. What am I talking about with that tortured allusion? well I'm talking about the moving from Western media to its main competitors, non western state run or funded news services, like Russia Today, Press TV, Al-Jazeera and CCTV. Now theres nothing wrong with vary your sources of information far from it thats a mature and healthy thing to do. The problem I have is that so many of there new audiences seem to have become so jaded with the poor standards of western news that they'll happily embrace any opposition and be blind to its failings.

Services like Russia Today, and Press TV are good at digging up dirt about the West, however they are even worse apologist (hell they don't actually apologise but you get my meaning) for there paymasters in Tehran and Moscow. These governments are not exactly soft and delicate. For example I have on Press TV seen coverage of Trade union struggles, you know strikes and worries that even more repressive legislation will come into effect, and thats good however I have not seen much coverage of the much worse repression that Trade Unionists in Iran. Which from my support of Labour rights sites like Labourstart I know includes imprisonment assault, death threats wholesale banning etc. And thats not even mentioning the hypocrisy of being sympathetic to UK civil liberties organisations when your pay check is written by the executers of Atheists and Gays.

Russia Today is on balance better then Press TV if only because the Russian government hasn't committed such extreme crimes against its own people. However it is still very much a United Russia rubber stamp outfit. During the Presidential elections I was shocked how brazen they were being, they aired Medvedev's speeches in full several times, whereas the opposition's were routinely cut to a few sound bites. Furthermore the RT teams "analysis" was to ask if UR's platform would be popular, the short answer? yes. Whilst for the other candidates they would question there policies as just absurd and then mock there parties, the CPRF where an old mans club, the liberal (not liberal democrat) candidate was a weird kook wasting there time etc. They also refuse to cover any opposition groups in detail only cutting to them to dispute there claims (often with little evidence).

The point I'm laboriously trying to get at here is that if we really do won't to see the back of the monopoly on information are most important resource after water food and shelter is that we on the "radical" alternatives wing should make a concerted effort to back as much truly independent news sources as possible.

There are some very good sources of information out there however in order to really challenge the MSM stranglehold on the worlds political discourse they require financial support to keep spreading the word. I feel its only fair to state that every time I've advertised donation or funding links on this blog its been for things I myself have already contributed to (another nagging sore of mine is seeing self satisfied celebs touting for donations from the proletarian masses while they give proportionally nothing and in some cases actually get a wage for the pot shaking) myself as I think it would be hypocritical to persuade/pressure others to give if I haven't.

A couple of reasons why you should support the Real News Network from its Big Boss Paul Jay.

And for those who like Radio I can recommend the non-profit group Free Speech Radio News (FSRN for short). This station was born out of a strike at another radio station when the staff objected to censorship imposed on them by the Board of directors. That was in 2000 giving the group of global freelancers over ten years of independence.

Like with Real News I've embedded more then a few videos of there work but if you'd like a sample of why this group is worthy of support here you go.

Report on the ongoing violence in Syria.

And a special documentary on the devastation being wreaked in Mexico as the War on Drugs continues.

Well thats it for me (probably.... maybe) see you year, Merry Christmas to one and to all good day.

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