Where I get my news

NYTimes just did a great article on DemocracyNow, which I paste below.

I get most of my news from the two most independent and objective sources I can find, which are Democracy Now and AlJazeera. DemocracyNow’s idea is to let the people speak for themselves, so instead of getting a bunch of talking heads to tell us about the world, they go directly into the streets to interview the actual people (and not just for 5 sec. sound-bites) caught up in whatever event is being reported on. DemocracyNow also refuses to allow advertising, so that no one can hang an agenda over their head (the corporate media, on the other hand, can easily be pressured by their advertisers).

AlJazeera is funded through the state of Qatar, but it was built up from the beginning with a strong ethos of journalistic integrity, which can be easily noticed by comparing its coverage of world events to the terribly biased or uninformed coverage on the American networks.

If you compare these two news sources to anything in mainstream America, the difference is night and day. It is stark, and depressing. Thankfully though, the internet allows us to be a little bit less controlled by the private owners of our television content and our news sources.

DemocracyNow: http://www.democracynow.org/
AlJazeera livestream: http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/
AlJazeera newspaper: http://english.aljazeera.net/
AlJazeera programs: http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/ (inside story, empire, people and power, and witness are especially good)

Here are excerpts from the NYTimes piece:

For Ms. Goodman, that exchange expresses both a shortcoming of the network newscasts that many Americans consume and a strength of “Democracy Now!,” the 15-year-old public radio and television program. The newscast distinguishes itself by documenting social movements, struggles for justice and the effects of American foreign policy, along with the rest of the day’s developments.

Operated as a nonprofit organization and distributed on a patchwork of stations, channels and Web sites, “Democracy Now!” is proudly independent, in that way appealing to hundreds of thousands of people who are skeptical of the news organizations that are owned by major media companies. The program “escapes the suffocating sameness that pervades broadcast news,” said John Knefel, a comedian and freelance writer who started listening about four years ago and now tries never to miss an episode. […]

The media, Ms. Goodman said in an interview last week, can be “the greatest force for peace on earth” for “it is how we come to understand each other.” But she asserted that the views of a majority of Americans had been “silenced by the corporate media.”

“Which is why we have to take it back,” she said, echoing the sentiments of many of her fans. […]

“What drove us was telling stories we felt were being ignored, misreported or underreported by corporate media outlets,” Mr. Scahill said.[…]

While many media outlets were faulted for playing down antiwar protests after the attacks, “Democracy Now!” covered such events extensively.

Some fans as well as critics describe “Democracy Now!” as progressive, but Ms. Goodman rejects that label and prefers to call it a global newscast that has “people speaking for themselves.” She criticized networks in the United States that have brought on professional pundits, rather than actual protesters, to discuss the Occupy protests. […]


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