Friday, June 22, 2007

Democracy now?

One of the benefits of reading student papers is learning more about subject I'm interested in. A recent student paper on the effects of terrorism (economic benefits to some corporations), cited the book The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oil Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them, by Amy Goodman with David Goodman (New York: Hyperion, 2004). The comments cited intrigued me enough to get the book on inter-library loan and read parts. One of the claims is the as a journalist, Amy Goodman tries to visit places that have been silenced, places that have no democratic voice in the news, whether due to government censorship and control or to stifling competition by global media corporations. Goodman mentions one free radio network for dissent: Democracy Now through the Pacifica network.

I had thought that NPR was fairly liberal - at least that is what the conservatives always complain - but one of my colleagues (see the previous post) claims that NPR is not very liberal, being required to have 2 conservative guests for every liberal one. He says that NPR is mostly just centered, with a very slight liberal slant. Goodman says the same thing: "On any given day, you can listen to the news on CNN or National Public Radio, then tune in to a Pacific station. You would think you were hearing reports from different planets" (5).

This Democracy Now, however, is supposedly an alternative to the media conglomerates and a place where the real truth can be heard, where dissent is not muzzled, and where the reality is free from the official line (255). Goodman says "people are so hungry for independent media -- and are starting to make their own" (7), which is about what Al Gore is saying.


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