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Independent Media And The Internet Essay

4624 words - 18 pages

Independent Media and the Internet

Independent Media has long existed across the globe. As the voice of dissent it is often repressed by governments and corporations that look the hide the truth. Indy Media began as print newspapers that often faced high production cost and difficult means of expanding beyond local circulation. They did not have the established means and financial backing that major news corporations had. Indy newspapers were often hard to obtain, quite expensive, and unable to cover all major topics due to resources. Journals such as The Nation and The Progressive managed to obtain nationwide circulation, but were often unknown outside of politically left leaning groups.

Sources such as The Nation actually began as a way to promote leftist ideals and views. Most mainstream media was fairly well balanced due to government restrictions on ownership and responsibility. The population of the United States was receiving fairly unbiased information. Then came the Clinton Administration and the decision to deregulate the Broadcast Industry. Almost all major media outlets were swallowed up by a few large corporations. In several years following the deregulation the whole industry would be controlled by seven enormous corporate conglomerates. They would come to favor profits over journalistic integrity. As advocates of big business the unspoken policy has been that the news should also be portrayed with conservative slants. In 1995 only 7.5% of quotes on television programming were from progressives (Myths).

At approximately the same time that media was being engulfed in corporatism came the internet boom. The first organization to really take initiative with this new medium was the Indy Media Center (IMC). The network consisted of independent activist and journalist across the globe who felt oppressed by major media outlets. The shining moment for the IMC was the World Trade Organization protest in November 1999 that took place in Seattle. People from across the globe logged on to see streaming video, up to date reports, and organize the protest. The IMC was essential to providing information without a biased view for corporations. Most importantly it was able to network millions of activist together for the first time.

By the end of 2000 the IMC had over 30 locations across the globe. Just one year later by the end of 2002 the organization had over 60 operations spanning the face of the world. Learning from the success of the IMC many traditional independent newspapers began to log on. Counterpunch, a left leaning paper that centers on issues of humanity and justice, now logs 60,000 visits a day to its site. The paper was a virtually non existent local circulation before the revolution of the internet. The Nation is now posting major articles to their site and offers subscriptions online. Commondreams.org is a progressive network of established journalist who posts their...

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