On the heels of an unprecedented 24-day labor strike late last year, around 20 journalists at the 117-year-old Fort Worth Star-Telegram have ratified the only union contract at a Texas newspaper. The union victory comes after more than two years of difficult negotiations and forms part of a surge in nationwide newsroom organizing since the mid-2010s as journalists have increasingly fought back against corporate predation in a struggling industry. Workers at two other Texas papers, in Dallas and Austin, are still bargaining for union contracts after roughly two years. Before launching the labor strike on November 28—likely the first open-ended newsroom work stoppage in Texas history—Kaley Johnson, a justice reporter at the Star-Telegram and vice president of the paper’s union, the Fort Worth NewsGuild, said negotiations were largely stuck in the mud.
Two years ago, the small, bi-weekly Iowa paper (circulation: 3,000) won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for taking on agricultural water pollution in the state. If it weren’t for vibrant local papers, stories like these might never come to light. Unfortunately, all over the country, private equity and hedge funds have been scooping up these cash-strapped papers — and looting them into irrelevance or bankruptcy. Here’s how it works. Investors put down a fraction of the purchase price and borrow the rest — and then saddle the company with that debt. Layoffs and cutbacks follow, which leads to a shabbier product.
STANDING ON SLAUSON AVENUE last month, Arianne Edmonds joined Angelenos who gathered along the 25-mile route of rapper Nipsey Hussle’s funeral procession. Thousands of fans thronged sidewalks to raise a fist or a camera toward his hearse as it passed through mostly Black and Latino neighborhoods in South Los Angeles. Even in mourning, they celebrated a local son whose murder only magnified the odds he defied to succeed. Edmonds is a fifth-generation Los Angeles native. Her family history in the city stretches back to the turn of the 20th century...
In an oft-reported exchange between Gertrude Stein, an American widely known for her wisdom and glittering 1920s Parisian literary salon, and one of her earnest admirers, the admirer asked her – “What are the answers, Madame Stein?” She replied “What are the questions?” Within our media/political/corporate culture of self-censorship and taboo topics, we should restate Ms. Stein’s rejoinder—what are the questions of gravity and relevance that are chronically unasked? Here are some questions that should be asked, until answered!
By Jason Alcorn for Media Shift - Even small publishers have a large effect on the national discourse, according to a new paper published in Science on the effects of news. “Exposure to the news media,” the study states, “causes Americans to take public stands on specific issues, join national policy conversations, and express themselves publicly.” The research aims to quantify the effect of news media. Put in terms that are increasingly common when talking about journalism: What is the impact of news organizations? The act of publishing news is influential in still-surprising and robust ways. The study by Harvard professor Gary King and collaborators found that a few, mostly small news outlets publishing simultaneously in a broad area of public policy concern increased the volume of conversation on social media by 19 percent the day after publication. Over a full week, the volume was increased 63 percent relative to the average day’s volume. The number of unique authors increased as well, and the composition of opinion changed in the direction of the published articles. News outlets it appears, even in the face of social media algorithms, the echo chambers of political polarization and a barrage of digital information, have a profound and measurable effect on national discourse.
By Rick Sterling for Consortium News - The new law mandates the U.S. Secretary of State to collaborate with the Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence and other federal agencies to create a Global Engagement Center “to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.” The law directs the Center to be formed in 180 days and to share expertise among agencies and to “coordinate with allied nations.”
By Roger Annis for Counter Punch - Western media is becoming unhinged as its anti-Russia propaganda struggles to keep a hold on its consumers. Two recent examples provide evidence. Pro-peace conspiracy emanating from Moscow. On August 28, the New York Times published an article by its Moscow bureau chief about the troubling news (from the Times‘ viewpoint) that the people of Sweden are not happy with their government’s wish to join up with the NATO military alliance.
By Carey Wedler for Anti Media - (ANTIMEDIA) In 2015, the iron fist of power clamped down on humanity, from warfare to terrorism (I repeat myself) to surveillance, police brutality, and corporate hegemony. The environment was repeatedly decimated, the health of citizens was constantly put at risk, and the justice system and media alike were perverted to serve the interests of the powers that be. However, while 2015 was discouraging for more reasons than most of us can count, many of the year’s most underreported stories evidence not only a widespread pattern that explicitly reveals the nature of power, but pushback from human beings worldwide on a path toward a better world.
By Dave Lindorff for Counter Punch - Are the American corporate media largely propaganda organs, or news organizations? Here are a few points to consider, and then you the reader can decide. Check out how one should objectively answer these questions below, and then check how the US corporate media generally answer them: 1. If ISIS or Al Qaeda deliberately attacks a civilian venue as in Paris, killing dozens of civilians indescriminately, is it terrorism? Objective answer: Yes US media answer: Yes 2. If the US deliberately attacks a a civilian venue as in the case of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing dozens of civilians indescriminately, is it terrorism?
By Robert J. Burrowes - I have just read Andre Vltchek's new book 'Exposing Lies of the Empire'. http://badak-merah.weebly.com/exposing-lies-of-the-empire.html Let me tell you something about this book of 800 pages. Vltchek writes with passion and poetry, describing the true horror experienced by the world at large, living at the gunpoint of the imperial powers, while also describing and drawing you into a world of progress, culture and refinement that exists in some places and, so we are tantalised, might exist elsewhere too and even, perhaps, one day for us all. If you want to begin to understand Vltchek himself, you should start with the chapter headed 'Solitude of an Internationalist: Our Leningrad'.
Videos Of Protests Against Israeli Attack On Gaza. "War Profiteering Is Obscene," "Code Pink Founder Speaks Against U.S. Supporting Israel," " Code Pink Holds "Die-In" Memorial Demonstration."
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in McCutcheon V. FEC, the court struck down a limit on how much cash an individual could give to all federal candidates during an election cycle. In the 5-4 decision, the majority of justices on the Roberts court ruled that individuals could buy elections. Or, in the words of Chief Justice Roberts, “government regulation may not target the general gratitude a candidate may feel toward those who support him or his allies, or the political access such support may afford.” In the dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Bryer, did not hold back in voicing the disgust felt by an overwhelming majority of Americans (if not by a majority of Supreme Court Justices) in writing that the majority’s “legal analysis is faulty: It misconstrues the nature of the competing constitutional interests at stake. It understates the importance of protecting the political integrity of our governmental institutions. It creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign.”