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Fuck the corporate media. Here's the News. Report on Women in Black vigil.

Brief account of today's Women in Black demo, with media analysis.

Every Friday near Pioneer Square you will find a Women in Black demonstration against the occupation of Palestine by Israel. What you'll never find in the next day's bOregonian or on that night's Channel "X" news or hear on the drive-home radio news is a story about this event. The tiniest tid-bit of government-spun propaganda about "terrorism", "security", or "protecting freedom" will be front page above-the-fold in the daily corporate rag or narrated earnestly by some blow-dried paperdoll on the boob-tube, but you won't hear a word about what real people think about it. Corporate media presents itself as balanced, objective and factual, but this stance is a cold conceit. "The fourth estate" is a telling label; these lie-mongering institutions are part and parcel of the powers-that-be, distinguished only by the method of oppression they employ. Laws and pepperspray are for governments and the police; disinformation is the media's big gun, and they use it well.

Why is it not "news" that dissent is expressed publicly on the street on a regular basis? Why do the Women in Black deserve no mention? Because they are not stuffing the pockets of the media owners, and because their message runs contrary to the worldview of the ruling establishment, of which the media owners are members. We live in a culture that is increasingly controlled through fear and as far as I'm concerned, it's news every time anyone stands up bravely in this climate. That's why it's so great to see Women in Black there every Friday, and that's why it's news every time they're there.

Every time the Women in Black gather they interact with people walking by during the busy lunch hour. Sometimes the interactions are heated or brief, other times they'll go on and on. Either way, it is obvious that people are hungry for such interactions, which they're not getting it by reading the paper, watching tv, or listening to the radio. The views espoused by the people who choose to stop and talk with the Women in Black are not always the "mainstream" views, either. The Palestinian conflict brings up a lot of emotions and is not easily shortened to a soundbite. The nuances that emerge in people's thinking through these conversations betray the inaccuracy of the corporate media's portrayal of opinion.

Fortunately, people are standing up and sharing information in a variety of ways outside the corporate media. This woman is a recently retired teacher who taught history at West Lynn High School. She brought the truth into her classroom, sometimes incurring the anger of parents. Today she was sharing a piece of curriculum she used. It is comprised of eleven quotations and asks the student to indicate the source of each. The choices given for sources are "The Old Testament", "The New Testament" and "The Quran". She said that most students would fill in Old or New Testament for nearly every every quotation because they sounded "Christian". Afterwards, she would tell them that every quotation was from the Quran. Students were quite surprised.

What a wonderful tactic to use; academically sound but truth-telling nonetheless. It is in these little ways, on our jobs, with our friends, and on the streets with strangers, that we can fight the corporate media's lies and get the real facts out there. Of course there's indymedia, too, where a story like a Women in Black demo is "news". So get out there, stretch, report what you see. Publish it here. We can make a difference.

That Last Guy is Right... 02.Aug.2002 18:42

Varro

There will never be peace with Sharon and Arafat in charge. Sharon is a mad general who cannot govern in peacetime, so he maintains a state of constant war.

Arafat is a passive-aggressive terrorist; he is impotent to stop Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade's killing of Israeli civilians.

An older solution should be in order....giving the Palestinians most of Jordan, a country which they are a majority in, and encourage an economic and military alliance between Israel and Palestine/Jordan. (It would never work, as the Palestinians are used by Arab extremists to collect money and converts for their cause.)

corporate media is lies 02.Aug.2002 22:40

water

repeat after me

corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies
corporate media is lies

"corporate media" missive 02.Aug.2002 22:58

Mediaelite mediaelite@hotmail.com

So, if I understand you correctly, I should produce a story on these people every Friday? And I should produce a story on every peace demonstration even if they all say the same thing? That's not "news" that's "olds".

Do something aside from "raise awareness" and you will find more coverage in the mainstream media.

The meek may inherit the earth (eventually) but, in the meantime, they won't be covered on the nightly news.

news 03.Aug.2002 08:21

devil's advocate

i'm not siding with the corporate media but i agree that reporting on the same events week after week is not new news. inspiring maybe but nothing new. i say maybe inspiring because nothing is really changing or improving, everything remains the same. so where is energy best spent? parading in the street with a tired sign or helping to make a difference in the lives of the misfortunate by doing good deeds in the community?

and there are stories out there worthy of being told. why not dig for them?

olds thinking by mediaelite 03.Aug.2002 08:51

the future

The only reason you produce a story is for money and because you are told to.

You have lost all sight of what is news or not, what is important to Life. You have become meaningless, and that is why you come read indymedia to regain a bit of Life spark.

It does not matter what you cover or not. Mainstream corporate media is corrupt and is being replaced.

the future

re: devils advocate 03.Aug.2002 09:26

deva

history will show that efforts to change something generally take time. . .just because you do not see an obvious effect from one demonstration, does not mean it did/does not have an effect. . .if nobody had gone out over the past year to demonstrate, perhaps the world would be far worse off. just because the world has not instantly become paradise, does not mean that peoples efforts have not positively shaped the world.

the modern mind now is so trained to instant gratification, demanding instant results. many people thus run from thing to thing, flailing about and lacking focus, determination and staying power.

the modern mind is also trained to get entertained. . .if it is not some shocking or glitzy thing, then it is no longer of interest. . .this degrades into a voyeuristic sense gratification

i often see a false dichotomy set up where it is questioned the fruitfulness of protest and that people should be doing something else. . .generally the people who protest are also doing something else as well. . .

beware of despair. . .many youth of today have inadvertantly succumbed to it. . .this is a technique of control

instant gratification, despair, nihilism. . .these are clever means to divert and nullify focused creative action.

Women in Black are certainly worthy news. . .and you are wrong, it is new everytime, fresh everytime, with new enthusiasm and different conversations. . .this is not about passively getting entertained like corporate media, this is about reporting what is going on in the community and the world and is one means to empower people.

lastly, yes, there are many good stories out there to discover. . .go dig for one. . .

cheers,
deva

p.s. 03.Aug.2002 09:31

devil's advocate

the media person is suggesting that if rallies become more than "awareness raising" which basically means if they become violent, they are then newsworthy.

this is the sort of drama that most people are addicted to and want. the adrenaline rush adds spark to their 'quiet lives of desperation'. and this is what corporate media responds to, because it sells. people like dirt and juice, whether they are reading the oregonian or indymedia. it's unhealthy either way you stack it.

Mr. Mediaelite 03.Aug.2002 10:16

spark

Mr. Media Elite

You are a user. Asking people to go out and get in trouble so you can have a story to make money from.

At the WEF, corporate media wanted to do a story about the protestors, and activists. When no violence occurred the story was canceled.

Corporate media is bankrupt. It has no soul. Working for it has sucked away yours. Get out and discover real life while you still have the chance.

re: the future 03.Aug.2002 15:28

mediaelite mediaelite@hotmail.com

I come to IndyMedia because I like to get information from a variety of sources.

Also, I choose my stories and I make the same amount of money regardless of the content. Many reporters choose their stories--the ones who can't come up with ideas are the ones who get assigned stories.

Mainstream media is based on greed--it follows the lead of the people by giving them what they will watch, read or listen to in order to sell ads. If you want mainstream media to change then perhaps you should find ideas that will catch on with "the people". Then I guarantee the communication outlets will change too (or go out of business, which might not be so bad).

Finally, protests were news when they were new. These days everyone protests--you even have furniture stores that are going out of business paying people to stand on corners as if they were protestors.

If you want to change the world (or just your city--seems like a good place to start) perhaps it would be worthwhile to come up with something new to lull people out of their collective stupor. I'm not advocating violence just invention.

invention 03.Aug.2002 16:49

einstein

good point re the masssive amount of protests that happen, even to sell shit. car lots are famous for that. it is indeed time to invent some new stradegies folks.

re: Media Elite 04.Aug.2002 01:17

the future

You are in deep denial. There are all sorts of creative actions that happen, and the corporate media does not cover it. Your arrogant dismissal of peoples efforts, because they cannot make money for you is transparent here. Corporate media is only interested in chewing up people in the name of profit. It is a relentless machine designed to suck up peoples creative energy and shape it to the ends of its masters. You are a parasite.

I have zero interest in getting corporate media to change. That is a fools hope. It will never be a force for positive change. It is corrupt and practically speaking, beyond redemption. It is the very mouthpiece of oppression. U.S. corporate media is a disgusting display of lies and propaganda. Today's corporate media is as slimy and low as it can get.


To paraphrase John Swinton, former chief of staff NY Times:

"The job of the journalist is to destroy the truth. We are the tools of the rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks. They pull the strings, and we dance."



That sums it up well. Time to face the naked truth bub.

the future is here

Reply to Mediaelite 04.Aug.2002 01:19

Jeremy David Stolen fellowtraveler@riseup.net

You say: "So, if I understand you correctly, I should produce a story on these people every Friday?"

You do *not* understand me correctly. I don't care what kind of stories you produce. I have no interest in reforming corporate media. If other people want to make that effort, and pound their head against that brick wall until its bloody, that's their choice, but I'm not going that way. I was simply pointing out the gross inadequecies of corporate media, which will be lost beyond any hope of redemption as long as it's filled with people like you.

You also say: "And I should produce a story on every peace demonstration even if they all say the same thing? That's not 'news' that's 'olds'."

The corporate media produces a story every damn time Ari Fleisher or some other government hack opens his mouth, even though they're always saying the same thing. None of what they have to say is new. But they get covered because they're "important" or "in charge" or whatever. But they wouldn't enjoy these positions if they were not propped up constantly by the corporate media. It's a choice that you and your industry have made, to elevate one set of people above another and call their words and actions news regardless of whether they are even true. These people represent a distinct minority and many people in this country of all political stripes know that they are liars and thieves. How often do y'all mention that? Almost never. You grovel at their feet. It's disgusting.

You say: "Do something aside from 'raise awareness' and you will find more coverage in the mainstream media."

Again, I don't care if the mainstream media covers important things or not. I certainly don't speak for all activists when I say that. Many activists still make the choice of spending hours and hours and hours massaging their message and tactics for the corporate media only to find that it doesn't work: either they still get ignored, or their message gets skewed. Every once in a great while an accurate story slips through, but is it worth all the work and headaches? I don't think so. What I want people to do is unhook from the corporate media altogether and communicate in better ways. Indymedia is one tactic for such communication but there are many others, and the non-electronic ways are best.

You say: "The meek may inherit the earth (eventually) but, in the meantime, they won't be covered on the nightly news."

Absolutely true. And you've made your choice about who's side you're on by being in that business. For your sake, I hope it stops feeling good for you soon. Drop out. You'll find some warm welcomes down here on the other side if you do.

You say: "Mainstream media is based on greed--it follows the lead of the people by giving them what they will watch, read or listen to in order to sell ads."

This is one of the most popular lies about corporate media -- that it is giving people what they want -- and it is easily exposed by looking at ratings. TV news ratings have been plummeting for some time now, and newspaper readership continues to decline. As corporate media has become less community-focused and more gossip-centered, it has lost audience.

The increasing centralization of corporate media ownership has also caused this. Back when every big city had at least two major dailies, or even three or four, all the papers were better and more interesting. They had to be to compete with each other. They were also avowedly partisan, and aimed to reach particular audiences. More people read back then (40-50 years ago and more) not only because TV had not yet seduced them, but because newspapers were legitimately informative. Blandess and junk-news has spread to fill more column inches as newspaper ownership has narrowed.

Corporate news is not news. It doesn't cover what people care about, it isn't factual, and it isn't relevant. It's time for people who care about the world to expel it from their brains and get everyone they know to do so as well.

Produce whatever the hell you want, Mediaelite. I won't be reading it, and I'll be working to create alternatives (Indymedia and otherwise) that will seduce other people away from reading it. I'm not interested in making corporate media better -- I want to put corporate media out of business.

re: "mediaelite" 06.Aug.2002 23:25

grantlyinc grantsjunk@hotmail.com

Even as the name "mediaelite" suggests, this self absorbed (media)whore is clearly over impressed with him/herself. so special!

This elitest is just sooo elite that he/she/it doesn't realize how shallow he/she/it really is by counciling, "If you want to change the world...perhaps it would be worthwhile to come up with something new to lull people out of their collective stupor. I'm not advocating violence just invention."

Just how do you reckon people have become 'lulled into a colective stupor'? Let's see, maybe watching breathless newsreaders gasping the latest but still vapid teaser before admonishing the viewer to "come back at 11, and WE'LL tell you WHY!" Or maybe after being bombarded day after day, year in and year out, with one-liner sound bites that supposedly "inform" us on complex issues. The term Idiots is not an exaggeration for people who count on mainstream media to inform them on ANYthing! They walk away thinking they must know all the facts after being slathered with so much excess verbage, and in fact they still don't know shit. You media wannabe elite types are forced to rely on violence just to punctuate your typical boring uninforming spewage of drivel. Funny you would advocate 'invention', because indeed, that is the other thing you mainstreamers do so well: invent "news"! After you've milked a sensational story for all it's worth, you come back for days afterword to run it into the ground, work every possible angle, stretch the feablest local connection, and all while ignoring truely gruesome, and more newsworthy events, because it doesn't serve your media mogel's bottom line.

If there's a grissly murder, cover it. (Maybe even find out if Vera's boys did it) Then get over it.
But when, week after week, suicide bombers and air force bombers take turns blowing each other (and innocent bystanders) to bits, I'd say covering the women in black every Friday isn't asking too much. Hell, just give them your spittal soaked microphone or notepad ONCE!! Since they're sincere enough to keep showing up every Friday (and I'm only using them as one example) maybe they actually have something more worth while to share than, say, some fucking sports yap.