Thursday, June 7, 2012

Independent Media

Today I will profile two news media outlets that are not funded by governments or commercial advertising. Both are funded entirely by viewer donations. Although I do not have exact data on the sizes of their audiences, I have no doubt that both have a relatively small viewership compared to major US news sources. 

 I highly recommend both Democracy Now! and The Real News. They both catch stories that fall through the cracks at the major television news outlets.  

Democracy Now! and The Real News both have an almost uniformly liberal guest lineup. In the rare event that conservatives appear on either outlet it is in the context of a debate or discussion with a liberal guest.

Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! is hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales. It airs on public access, public radio, and public television channels across the nation. The show can also be watched on their website. Democracy Now! has done a tremendous job covering Bahrain. They have also done a great job covering Guantanamo. Democracy Now! has an impressive online archive stretching back to February 1996.

Amy Goodman and two other Democracy Now! journalists were arrested while covering the 2008 protests at the Republican National Convention. As a result, they sued the Minneapolis and Saint Paul police departments. A settlement was reached where the plaintiffs received 100,000 dollars and the Saint Paul police department agreed to set up a program to train officers on the first amendment rights of the public and the press.

The Real News

Paul Jay is the Senior Editor of The Real News. Their content can be viewed on their website and on YouTube.

The Real News did an outstanding job documenting the violations of the civil liberties of protestors by police at the 2010 Toronto G20.

Also in 2010 The Real News did an in depth story on the results of the environmental mismanagement of oil drilling in Ecuador by Texaco. In Ecuador, Texaco spilled oil and improperly disposed of wastewater. This poisoned the people of Ecuador and gave them health problems. Texaco was later bought by Chevron. Some of those harmed by the environmental disaster sued Chevron. This case thoroughly disproves Chevron’s claim that they look after the local communities where they operate. An update on the case can be read at

Jihan Hafiz produces news stories from Egypt for The Real News. Lia Tarachansky produces news stories from Israel for The Real News. 

Bill Black, a professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is a regular guest on The Real News. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief-of-staff, is also a regular guest.

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