Good Information - Alternative Media
If we are to make good decisions in our personal lives and as citizens of our greater community, we need accurate information and reliable communication. We need to hear differing and broad points of view. We need truth, scientific evidence and facts about our world. Democracy relies on good information and truth. Secrecy, "spin," sound bites, and the concentration of media ownership are the true enemies of democracy.
"Some journalists are stubbornly pursuing the truth despite growing monopolies, government secrecy, ideology, and public relations spin doctors--but it's getting tougher." Bill Moyers continues, "A profound transformation is happening. The framers of our nation never imagined what could happen if big government, big publishing, and big broadcasters ever saw eye-to-eye in putting the public need for news second to their own interests--and to the ideology of free-market economies."
Increasingly, Americans are becoming aware that concentrated ownership of media is bad for democracy and are taking action to stop media conglomerates from getting even bigger. At the same time, alternative, independent and non-commercial media are gaining support.
"If we are to have the kinds of public conversations essential to taking our serious dilemmas from climate change to criminal justice reform, we need forums for these conversations. The media can facilitate the conversations or shut them down. They can open up or constrain our beliefs about what is possible, what is desirable, who is deserving and which perspectives are legitimate. Our media are where we create our future. Our hope lies in the scrappy, independent writers, publishers and broadcasters who have something to say and will not be silenced, and the activists who are insisting that media have the independence to give us the real stories of our time." (Sarah Van Gelder, editor of YES! Magazine, which did a comprehensive issue on "The Media that Sets Us Free," in Spring 2005.