Archive for ‘media activism’

24 September 2011

Twitter @discoursology

At least one of the Berlin-based discoursologists is now able to communicate in less than 140 characters…. @discoursology #discourse #media #ethnography #russia #theory

9 August 2011

Peace Poets Workshop at Bethanienhaus

Wednesday 10th & Thursday 11th August, 13:00-16:00

The Peace Poets

We are young artist educators committed to teaching with a focus on our collective liberation. Our goal is to create safe spaces that allow us to deconstruct race, class and gender as a community. Our workshops focus on Hip Hop, youth empowerment, conflict resolution, community healing and cultural identity through spoken word poetry, music and theater.

We use music and poetry in the service of our collective struggle for justice. Through performances and workshops we open spaces for all people to embrace their role as leaders and compañeros in the construction of more just local and global communities.

HIP HOP FOR HEALING:

As children of Hip Hop, we recognize its amazing potential to transform and liberate.
We also recognize how industries have exploited the culture and market appeal of this sacred force.
Our workshops focus on the true legacy of Hip Hop, its history and healing properties.
It’s roots in African and indigineous cultures.
It’s ability to tell the stories of the most marganilized and silenced in our society.
Through creative writing, performance and beatboxing, we take it back.. way back!“

The first studio on the right side, inside South Wing of Bethanien HOUSE…opposite playground, under the New york Squat.. MARIANNENPLATZ 2A, Berlin Kreuzberg…

8 July 2011

Big Loss for Big Media

Another success for Free Press in the US – and for the individuals who took action to save public media!

We won!

Today, in a sweeping victory for communities across the country, a federal appeals court overturned the Federal Communications Commission’s attempt to weaken media ownership rules.

Had these rules gone into effect, it would have unleashed a new wave of media consolidation across the country.

In 2007, the FCC ignored letters and calls from millions of Americans and tried to rewrite its media ownership rules to let companies own both newspapers and TV or radio stations in the same town. This change would have opened the floodgates to new media mergers, leading to even more layoffs in newsrooms while thinning out diverse perspectives from local news.

We sued the FCC for ignoring the public outcry. Today, we won. The court tossed out the FCC’s flawed rules, but also upheld all other media consolidation restrictions and told the FCC it needed to do better to support and foster diverse voices in the media – all crucial decisions for our fight to build better media.

This isn’t just our victory – it’s your victory, too.

The court pointed to public comments from people like you as deciding factor in overturning the FCC’s attempt to change its rules. Today it’s clear: Your voice and actions make a huge difference.

This court decision should send a wake-up call to the FCC: It must listen to the public and stand up against media consolidation in all its forms.

But the fight doesn’t end here. Right now around the country, local stations are using loopholes and backroom deals to get around media ownership rules and consolidate their coverage of local news. This court case makes clear that the FCC needs to strengthen their rules and address this growing epidemic as well. Click here to tell the FCC to stop this covert media consolidation.

Today’s victory is a big moment for the movement to build better media. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Onward,

Craig Aaron
President & CEO
Free Press

6 June 2011

Trademark on “radical media”

A corporate media group has apparently genuinely trade-marked the phrase “radical media”. The oh-so-radical media group has forced Peace news, New Internationalist, Red Pepper and others organising a conference to change the name of their conference (now: rebelliousmedia, London, 8-9 October 2011).

What is “radical media” and should there be restrictions on who is allowed to use that term? It seems fantastical that those actively involved in radical media, from UK indymedia to North African revolutionaries might be prevented from using an adjective to describe what they do, but this is exactly what a global media group is trying to do.

In September 2010 I was approached by the editors of Peace News with a proposal to mark the 75th anniversary of the newspaper with a conference. Anyone who works in print-media, no matter how main-stream the publication or how large its circulation, is exercised over what the future may hold. The rise of free, online news outlets challenges the public’s willingness to pay for a newspaper and as ever more people get their news stories from blogs, and social networking sites, newspapers have been left behind the curve, struggling to devise ways to turn a profit, or even cover their costs in the online world. This new media landscape is a challenge for Peace News as it is for Australian media barons. The conference, which will take place in London on the weekend of 8-9th October 2011 will be a chance to address these challenges and bring together a fragmented radical media community to learn from one another. It seems common sense that any media which reports on radical politics – setting out to serve that constituency – might naturally be referred to as “radical media” so, back in the autumn a small band of volunteers began working to assemble “The Radical media Conference”.

It wasn’t until six months in that the conference organising group received a threatening legal letter from the media corporation @Radical Media LLC, objecting to unlicensed use of the term “Radical Media”.

Our collective jaws dropped, how could anyone own an adjective? Yet in the closed-source world where intellectual property is hard currency, it appears that virtually anything may be trade-marked. We didn’t know whether to rant or cry. Our instincts told us that anyone with a radical bone in their body should fight this corporate usurpation of language, but the prospect of facing legal costs in line with house prices tempered this instinct. Even if we won such a battle we could only expect to recover 75 percent of these costs, leaving us tens of thousands of pounds down, money which – even if we had it – should be spent on more useful, more radical things than legal fees.

As a result, organisers of the newly renamed “rebellious media Conference” are calling for support to retain the URL www.radicalmediaconference.org and we would love to see anyone who supports our fight not only attend the conference but also get involved in truly radical media by blogging, tweeting, forwarding and linking to this story. Please tweet the hashtag #radicalmediafail, follow us on twitter and Join the Facebook group. We need to tell @Radical Media LLC that we are taking back “Radical Media” for free use by us all, why not email the CEO or corporate president? Groups working in open-source, non-hierarchical and other genuinely radical media projects must have the right to use the term “radical media” to describe what they do. See @Radical Media’s own website for more board members who you might like to get in touch with.

13 April 2011

Net neutrality under attack

From Tomothy Carr, Free Press Action Fund, US:

Late last week, the House voted to block the FCC from protecting our right to access an open Internet.

If this measure, called a “resolution of disapproval,” is approved by the Senate and the White House, the FCC would lose its authority to protect our free speech online. This comes at a time when phone and cable companies are already restricting our ability to connect with others and share information.1

We can stop the resolution in the Senate by getting 51 members to stand with us for online freedom:

Tell Your Senators: Defend Our Right to an Open Internet

President Obama has vowed to veto this resolution, but let’s make sure it doesn’t get that far. Take action now to urge your senators to stop it in its tracks.

If we don’t defeat this measure, the FCC will be barred from enforcing its already weak Net Neutrality rules, and from acting in any way to protect Internet users from corporate abuses by AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.

This is not a symbolic congressional exercise — it’s a scorched-earth campaign that leaves Americans at the mercy of a corporate Internet cartel.2

Imagine if these companies could do anything they want, ban any speech they don’t like, charge anything they can get away with, and hold innovation hostage to their profit margins. If this resolution passes, there’s nothing anyone could do about it.

The resolution is filibuster-proof. We need at least 51 senators to beat it. Will your senators stand with us?

Sign this letter to demand that Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand protect our Internet freedom. We will deliver it to their offices in Washington and provide you with tools to spread the word across New York.

Thank you,

Timothy Karr
Campaign Director
Free Press Action Fund
http://www.freepress.net
http://www.SavetheInternet.com

1. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps outlined the recent history of “real threats” to Internet openness during his opening remarks Wednesday before the House Commerce Committee (pdf).

2. To learn more about the impact this would have on all Internet users, read Monday’s Seattle Times editorial, “House GOP Sides with the ‘Haves’ on Net Neutrality.”

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23 March 2011

Springtime: The new student rebellions

New book linking together global rebellions and protests, from students in the UK to union rallies in Wisconsin and the revolutions in North Africa. Tania Palmieri & Clare Solomon (Eds.) (2011) Springtime: The New Student Rebellions. Verso.

First account of the momentous student movement that shook the world—in the voices of the students themselves

The autumn and winter of 2010 saw an unprecedented wave of student protests across the UK, in response to the coalition government’s savage cuts in state funding for higher education, cuts which formed the basis for an ideological attack on the nature of education itself. Involving universities and schools, occupations, sit-ins and demonstrations, these protests spread with remarkable speed. Rather than a series of isolated incidents, they formed part of a spreading movement that spans the entire western world: ever since the wall street crash of 2008 there has been growing social and political turbulence in the heartlands of capital. From the US to Europe, students have been in the vanguard of protest against governments’ harsh austerity measures.

Tracing these worldwide protests, this new book explores how the protests spread and how they were organized, through the unprecedented use of social networking media such as facebook and twitter. It looks, too, at events on the ground, the demonstrations, and the police tactics: kettling, cavalry charges and violent assault. From Athens to Rome, San Francisco to London, this new book looks at how the new student protests developed into a strong and challenging movement that demands another way to run the world. Consisting largely of the voices that participated in the struggle, Springtime will become an essential point of reference as the struggles continue and spread.

3 December 2010

Russian bloggers and political change

Via Global Voices, a community portal reporting on blog and citizen’s media around the world, I came across a story about Marina Litvinovich, blogger, civic rights and human rights activist in Russia. (Her Russian blog here.) She talks about the increasingly important role of blogs as investigative journalism in Russia.

First we have to talk about a special place that LiveJournal plays in the Russian blogosphere. LiveJournal blogs have a tremendous impact on politics and news agenda. Mainstream media are losing their foothold as a sole provider of information and blogs are stepping up. Bloggers are also independent interpreters of events. In many news events, the first interpretation is very important. When the blogosphere interprets the news, it is like a soup that is being cooked in front of your eyes.

1 December 2010

Attac and discourse analysis

Real live discourse analysis in action. Attac Berlin has a “language group”. Another language culture is possible.

Its aim is to analyse the language used by neoliberals, to explore the extent to which those metaphors, phrases, concepts, etc. pervade even the language of those contesting neoliberal practices, and to find ways of using language differently to open new possibilities.

The group meets on the first Monday of every month at 6.30pm in the attac-treff: Grünberger Straße  24, 10243 Berlin-Friedrichshain (U1 Warschauer Straße or U5 Frankfurter Tor).

10 August 2010

Dear Google, Don’t be evil

Freepress.net have some more news about the power of money to buy attention and shape public knowledge:

Google is about to cut a deal with Verizon that would end the Internet as we know it.

According to a front-page New York Times story, the deal allows “Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.”

It would create fast Internet lanes for the largest corporations and slow lanes for the rest of us.

That’s why we’re starting a mass protest by Google users to stop these two companies from joining forces to sell out millions of people like us who use the Internet.

If Millions Join Our Call, We Can Stop this Deal: Tell Google, “Don’t Be Evil”

Google’s motto is supposed to be “Don’t Be Evil.” But this deal puts the company in bed with the devil.

From the beginning, the Internet has been a level playing field that allows everyone to connect to one another and the world of content available online — whether it’s ABC News or your cousin’s wedding video. There’s only one Internet, and it shouldn’t matter who your provider is or whether you’re logging on from home or your cell phone.

This deal will change all of that, allowing Google and Verizon to pick what websites you can see over others. The result couldn’t be bleaker for the future of the Internet and for free speech and independent voices online.

Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin created Google to make information freely available to everyone online. But this deal is a complete reversal that abandons their core principles:

Sign this letter and tell Google’s founders:
“Your Verizon deal IS evil, and it must be stopped.”

It’s up to the millions of people who use Google every day to tell the company to do the right thing.

Google must walk away from this bad deal, and make sure Internet users everywhere can enjoy the entire open Internet wherever, whenever and however they want.

Thank you for taking action,

Josh Silver
President
Free Press
http://www.freepress.net
http://www.savetheinternet.com

P.S. Google and Verizon don’t make Internet policy. The FCC and Congress do. After you sign the letter, tell our public officials to step in and protect the public interest and not to be bullied by a few large corporations.

24 February 2009

Alternative Media and Resistance

In my search for politically and/or medially useful research (the pragmatic streak in me is growing stronger by the day), I happened upon an announcement for the book Alternative Media and the Politics of Resistance: Perspectives and Challenges, edited by Mojca Pajnik and John D. H. Downing (Peace Institute, 2008).

untitledThe book looks to be a wide range of both theoretical and more situated, analytical chapters, in which authors get to grips with what they call “nano-media.”  Contributors “discuss different “nano-media” forms and practices, which surface as tellers of truth, which serve as sites for fresh interpretations of our realities, and which often disrupt the frames and conventions of mainstream mediated communication.”

And after disrupting the frames and conventions of mainstream media, it seems to me that a signal strength of researching alternative media — or the fissures in the media — is to explore the possibilities to construct new frames and conventions in order to strengthen the politics of resistance.