Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Independent Media in a Time of War

Democracy Now

Check out this excellent questioning of whether we have a free, democratic media. This is a powerful documentary and is very disturbing/painful to think about.

(Website description) Part scathing critique, part call to action, "Independent Media In A Time Of War" is a hard-hitting new documentary by the Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center. This film is composed of a speech given by Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! illustrated by clips of mainstream media juxtaposed with rare footage from independent reporters in Iraq. The documentary argues that dialogue is vital to a healthy democracy. "Independent media has a crucial responsibility to go to where the silence is," says Amy Goodman, "to represent the diverse voices of people engaged in dissent." She makes
a compelling argument that the commercial news media have failed to represent the "true face of war."

Watch Independent Media in a Time of War

Watch other Democracy Now Videos

Similar questionings of the media can be seen in Spin (1995) by Brian Springer

The cumulative effect of this video is startling... we know this is how the mediatized world is produced and reproduced, but it is surreal and disturbing to step behind Oz's screen and see how the machine operates.

Video Data Bank description:
Pirated satellite feeds revealing U.S. media personalities’ contempt for their viewers come full circle in Spin. TV out-takes appropriated from network satellite feeds unravel the tightly-spun fabric of television—a system that silences public debate and enforces the exclusion of anyone outside the pack of journalists, politicians, spin doctors, and televangelists who manufacture the news. Spin moves through the L.A. riots and the floating TV talk-show called the 1992 U.S. presidential election.

Illegal Art description:
Using the 1992 presidential election as his springboard, documentary filmmaker Brian Springer captures the behind-the-scenes maneuverings of politicians and newscasters in the early 1990s. Pat Robertson banters about "homos," Al Gore learns how to avoid abortion questions, George Bush talks to Larry King about halcyon -- all presuming they're off camera. Composed of 100% unauthorized satellite footage, Spin is a surreal expose of media-constructed reality.

Watch Brian Springer's documentary "Spin":

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So then what we have to ask is do we have to become Propaganda Critics and Disinformation Experts in order to understand anything about the world?

For more information, opportunities and critiques check out the Indy Media Movement

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