Posts Tagged ‘media’

Transition Free Press

December 2, 2013
Transition Free Press - Winter 2013

Transition Free Press – Winter 2013

Who other than a madman would launch a new newspaper?

Who in not only today’s economic climate but in the climate for newsprint, when newspapers are losing money, would launch a new newspaper?

Local and national newspapers are losing money.

A downward spiral, less news, less frequent, less reason to buy, shrinking income, fewer resources for news gathering and quality journalism.

It is into this climate Transition Free Press has been launched. A real newspaper, real newsprint, not a digital newspaper, like the recently launched Guardian Australia.

Transition Free Press was launched this year as an experiment, a toe in the water, a pilot of four quarterly issues.

Transition Free Press has proved to at least be sustainable. Whether it will continue into 2014 will depend upon securing funding.

I came across Transition Free Press in The Barn in Farnham, one of their fifty plus distribution hubs.

Why print and distribute a newspaper, with all the risks involved? Why not be like the Huffington Post or Guardian Australia, on-line only?

A newspaper is shareable, and yes, on-line is shareable too. Indeed, I would go further, when you find something interesting on-line, be it Transition Free Press, this article, music, then please share, tweet, re-tweet, recommend.

Transition Free Press is quarterly, it is not transient like a daily newspaper, it contains useful information, thus more likely to be valued, kept for future reference.

So what is in it?

Articles on self-sufficiency, local communities, alternative energy, local economies, carbon reduction, protest, local currencies, sustainability, art, music.

The very first issue, what could be called a pilot for the pilot, came out last year to test the feasibility.

I have read Transition Free Press whilst in The Barn, and have been suitably impressed. At the weekend I found the latest edition, hot off the press.

The front page of the current winter 2013 edition, out now, has a front page lead story on protest. Taking the lead from comments on not voting and the need for revolution from Russell Brand, communities are taking the lead.

Activists staged a mass work out at COP19 Climate Talks in Poland last month. The talks had been hijacked by Big Coal, Big Oil, and other big carbon emitters and polluters. The point the activists made with an impromptu press conference outside the talks, was that we can no longer trust politicians, if we want change, we have to take action ourselves.

That is what Transition Heathrow did, they squatted derelict nursery gardens and brought them back into productive use, ran workshops. Even the local police reported they had a positive impact on the local community, with reductions in low level crime.

With the collapse of the Co-op Bank, and the unfolding scandal, whereto ethical banking, and was it so ethical at the Co-op Bank?

Payday loan sharks, are not only screwing those they have got their teeth into, they are draining money out of our poorest communities, communities that should be plugging the leaks and recycling money within the local economy.

An evaluation inspired by the Reconomy Project of the potential to ‘relocalise’ Lambeth’s economy … switching just 10% of the borough’s supermarket food spend to local retailers would release £37 million (and “money spent in independent local businesses can create 2-4 more times as much real value as money spent in chains”), and retrofitting housing stock with solid wall insulation could payback in 15 years and generate £100 million of local employment.

And yet, we see the opposite. The Rotten Borough of Rushmoor, has been practising ethnic cleansing of local businesses in Farnborough and Aldershot. Squandering £1 million on repaving Queensmead will not attract people to Farnborough, any more than wasting £15,000 on a free wifi scam, a scam that will collect personal data, in order that locals can be bombarded with spam e-mail and spam sms text messages. Neither will demolishing the c 1720s Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s. The local economy will only benefit, when there are local shops and businesses to spend money in, local shops and businesses which then recycle money within the local economy.

The ConDem government, under pressure from the Big Six energy suppliers, are poised to axe or reduce the green and social levies on the Big Six, to reduce their commitment on green measures such as house insulation. Even if these levies were halved, at only 10% of the average bill, it would only see a reduction of 5%. On the other hand, if only 10% was knocked off the 90% of the bill the Big Six are responsible for, this would lead to a 9% cut in bills. The poor will save money if they use less fuel, they will use less fuel, we will all use less fuel, if our homes are better insulated. If we use less carbon-based fuel, we emit less greenhouse gases.

Money paid to the Big Six on fuel bills, is money drained straight out of the local economy. If we insulate, not only do we cut our fuel bills, reduce our greenhouse emission, that is money that is retained within the local economy, money, which if spent with local businesses, is money recycled within the local economy.

Transition Free Press is produced by a not-for-profit collective and supported, although not financed by, the Transition Network. You can help back the paper by signing up for an annual subscription, minimum £15 per year, though you can pay more if you wish.

You can also help, not only by buying a copy from a distribution hub, but chatting to your local indie coffee bar and similar local businesses, and suggesting they too become a distribution hub. It helps them, as they can bulk buy at a discount,and it helps them by bringing people into their coffee bar.

In a coffee bar, having a copy to read, or a pile on display helps. That is how I came across Transition Free Press in The Barn.

If there is not a distribution hub near you, you can find Transition Free Press on-line.

An edited version of a longer article published on Medium.

Who controls the message? – Noam Chomsky

December 1, 2012

Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky

December 1, 2012

In a totalitarian state you force people to do what you want through fear. This is not possible in a democracy. In a democracy you manufacture consent through necessary illusions for the elite, the top 20%. The bottom 80% obey orders. The bottom 80% dull their minds, feed them rubbish, the last thing you want is for them to think.

The corporate controlled owned and controlled media are the agenda setters. They filter what we are allowed to see, and that is our perception of reality.

In 1968 we carpet-bombed North Vietnam, then the surrounding countries. Today we us drones to bomb Pakistan and Afghanistan. The delivery mechanism may have changed, not much else has changed.

Stop Murdoch’s BBC robbery‏

February 11, 2012

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there are two types of News International managers: those who have been arrested and those who should be. — Mark Thomas

I find it offensive that every year the BBC is forced to hand over tens of millions of pounds of our money to Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB, under a hugely unfair law unprecedented in any other country.

These unbelievable regulations cost our public broadcasters up to £100 million a year. Rather than being paid for their valuable content, they actually have to pay BSkyB to show their programmes. This extortion is unprecedented in any other Western country, is a sign of Murdoch’s power and influence.

In the coming days, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will decide whether to renew this obscene deal. With daily exposures of his papers corrosive influence on British culture, do we really want him to be getting his hands on public money, especially at a time of public austerity and belt tightening? Our pressure has stopped Murdoch in the past and we can do it again, we can stop this BBC robbery. 

Pressure is mounting on Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to end this outrage. Please add your voice to the on-line petition objecting to our money going to line Murdoch’s pocket. 

- Stop Murdoch’s BBC robbery

These are our millions , handed over in license fees to fund British content, not to boost Murdoch’s profits. But an unfair system of “retransmission fees” designed by Murdoch leaves the BBC and other broadcasters with no choice. They are forced to pay BSkyB to show their channels, even though they add huge value to the satellite platform , accounting for 41% of all shows watched on BSkyB and vastly increasing customer retention.

Surely should it not be the other way on, Murdoch pays them to carry their channels? Is this not a case of a pirate being paid to pirate other companies intellectual property?

Murdoch is the first to bleat about piracy, but not it seems when he is lining his own pocket at our expense.

Amazingly, Murdoch has argued the exact opposite in the US . In the US, he charges cable TV companies over $250 million a year to show his content. With the same deal Murdoch gets in the US, our public service broadcasters would have hundreds of millions of pounds extra every year to invest in quality content. This money would allow the BBC to reverse its cuts to World Service, BBC Four and local radio overnight.

For years, Murdoch has had a sleazy, cozy relationship with our politicians. It is such an association that has won him this outrageous UK scheme, but his power is starting to crumble, and together we can end it. Labour has already registered their opposition to this deal, and Culture Secretary Hunt is about to make his decision in his communications review.

Send your message now to make sure he stops this outrage:

- Stop Murdoch’s BBC robbery

We have to once an for all destroy the Murdoch mafia. Last year public pressure blocked his proposed takeover of BSkyB, forced the closure of The News of the World, forced press inquiries he didn’t want, press inquiries which are daily exposing the sordid practices of the Murdoch Empire

Now, we can stop the BBC robbery. By continuing to challenge his corrupting influence where ever it appears, we can destroy the Murdoch Empire for good.

This morning several journalists working for The Sun were arrested in dawn raids.

- Sun newspaper ‘will continue’ says Rupert Murdoch

Good riddance News of the World

July 8, 2011
Murdoch answers critics

Murdoch answers critics

Ofcom ‘has duty to be satisfied on on-going basis that any person holding broadcasting licence remains fit & proper to hold such licence’ — John Prescott

The News of the World meltdown is progressing from “shit hits fan” toward “running Rolls Royce jet turbine lands in sewage works”. — Mitch Benn

Excellent news that News of the World is to close. A cause for celebration, but do not pop the champagne corks just yet.

Unbelievable, people power brings down the News of the World in less than a week. Murdoch must be hurting.

Well done everyone. Well done too the Guardian that landed the first blow and the Evening Standard, Independent and Telegraph for landing the follow up blows.

But do not celebrate too soon. We have won the first skirmish, we have a war to win.

Inside News International there are two secret projects: Project X, cut costs by 50%. Project Y, move to a seven-day-a-week newspaper.

A couple of days before James Murdoch with Rebekah Wade in tow, accompanied by security guards, told staff at the News of the World it was being closed, two web addresses were registered for The Sun on Sunday.

It is goodbye News of the World, hello Sun on Sunday.

We were told it was one rogue reporter, now we are told it was one rogue newspaper.

No, it is a rotten toxic organisation that has had a corrosive influence on British culture and politics.

We have gutless, spineless politicians who fight over who can brown-nose Murdoch.

Endorsement now or association with Murdoch would be the kiss of death.

Why is Rebekah Wade still there?

Today Andy Coulson, former NotW editor, was arrested for phone hacking and corruption. If he knew and authorised what was going on why not Rebekah Wade? And she has already admitted to a Select Committee of payment to police.

James Murdoch has said Rebekah Wade has high ethical standards. George Orwell would be proud.

Over £130,000 in bribes has been paid. And no one knew?

James Murdoch signed off massive sums in hush money to keep victims of NotW phone hacking quiet, but he claims he did not know what the money was for?

David Cameron showed appalling lack of judgement in employing Andy Coulson. Did Coulson employ NotW techniques when working from 10 Downing Street? Was Coulson not subjected to positive vetting?

John Prescott is one of many who warned Cameron re Coulson.

It is sickening hearing NotW hacks saying what a marvelous newspaper News of the World was. Have they no shame or integrity? Still they can now enjoy a life of luxury on the Dole as they are wont to tell us Benefit Cheats and Welfare Scroungers enjoy. If they had any integrity left they would put out a Not the News of the World exposing what has been going on at News International.

Plod of the Yard in his investigation of the phone hacking left no stone unturned. He could have tripped over a stone and fallen into a quarry and denied it was there.

Two companies refused to pull NotW advertising, Vodafone and Tesco. Like Murdoch, serious tax dodgers.

Murdoch is not a fit and proper person to own and control media in the UK. He should not be allowed to own and control BSkyB.

If Murdoch thinks he has silenced his critics and the matter is over he is wrong. The baying dogs have tasted blood. They will not now be satisfied until they have gone in for the kill.

Not one to miss a trick, British Gas has used a bad news day to bury their massive hike in gas prices.

- News of the World sinks to new low
BSkyB takeover plan receives flurry of late submissions
Phone hacking probe: Ex-News of the World editor Coulson arrested
Rusbridger: ‘I warned David Cameron over Coulson link’
Phone hacking: Police probe suspected deletion of emails by NI executive
Sun on Sunday set for launch following NOTW closure
End of the World: James Murdoch announces News of the World will close this Sunday

Is there any difference between China and USA?

December 8, 2010
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange refused bail

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange refused bail

“There is nothing so strong … as the simple truth.” — Charles Dickens

‘ … one of the major reasons for government secrecy is to protect the government from its own population.’ — Noam Chomsky

“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nothing hidden that will not be made known. Everything you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight; what you have whispered in locked rooms will be proclaimed from the rooftops.” – Luke 12:2-3

‘EVERY attack now made on Assange and Wikileaks was made against me and release of Pentagon Papers.’ — Daniel Ellsberg

“The corruption of the press is part of our sad reality, and it reveals the complicity of the oligarchy.” — Monseñor Romero of El Salvador

“What WikiLeaks has done is make people understand why so many Americans are politically apathetic … After all, the evils committed by those in power can be suffocating, and the sense of powerlessness that erupts can be paralyzing, especially when … government evildoers almost always get away with their crimes. …” — Pravda

‘Assange’s accuser wrote- “7 Steps to Legal Revenge” which explains how women can use the courts to get their own back on unfaithful lovers.’ — Jemima Khan

‘Rape is being used in the #Assange prosecution in the same way that women’s freedom was used to invade Afghanistan. Wake up!’ — Naomi Klein

In Freedom for Sale, John Kampfner looks at a number of countries where freedoms is for sale, China and the USA are in among his case studies.

The recipient of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be marked by an empty chair. That chair signifies more than any other symbol the committee were correct in awarding the prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. A far more worthy recipient than last year’s sick joke.

A number of countries will not be attending. They have been bullied and intimidated into not attending by the corrupt thugs who run China.

The US Diplomatic Cables (so-called Cablegate) released by Wikileaks reveals Russia to be a mafia fiefdom. Mafia intimidate businesses to get their way.

The Diplomatic Cables reveal US intimidated countries at last year’s climate talks.

The US has intimidated companies to shut down Wikileaks, hackers have tried to shut down the site. As I write, wikileaks is now mirrored on over a 1,000 sites around the world.

The latest has been Visa. This evening on BBC Radio 4 news The World Tonight I had to hear stomach churning garbage from Visa justifying their blocking of Wikileaks from the Visa payment system. Now correct me if I am wrong, but do not Visa facilitate and enable all manner of Internet scams? We all know how difficult it is to get companies to stop dealing with dodgy regimes.

Swiss banks will not handle money for Wikileaks. Quite though happy to handle money for Nazis, Third World thugs, mafia and and any number of corrupt and dodgy individuals and organisations.

Try searching Tiananmen Square Massacre in China. Try even mentioning the date. [see Eyewitness account of Tiananmen Square]

US has done its best to remove Wikileaks off the net, from servers hosting the site, from domains name servers needed to find the site.

Remember Scot Ritter, US weapons inspector who said Blair’s Dodgy Dossier was dodgy, that there were no WMDs, that we were being taken into an illegal war on a lie? Out of nowhere came sex allegations against him.

Remember David Mellor, a Tory Minister in the last Conservative Government? He launched a scathing attack on Israel. Next thing he knew he was embroiled in a sex scandal. She turned out to be an Israeli.

The Swedish lawyers say the extradition request for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has nothing to do with politics. Why then following his arrest did US Defence Secretary Robert Gates welcome his arrest!

Anyone who has read the excellent Millennium trilogy knows how dirty is Sweden when it comes to locking away dissidents who threaten the state.

Since when has a relativley minor alleged sex crime been at the top of Interpol’s most wanted list? A sex case that had previously been dropped as no case to answer. Do we now report all sex crimes to Interpol? Not political?

It is difficult to understand why the US is so upset about the release of the Diplomatic Cables. Most of it is tittle-tattle, more what you’d expect in Hello magazine than of diplomatic concern. The information of substance is nothing what is not already known to informed opinion.

But White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs suggested in somewhat Orwellian fashion that “such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government.”

What though this release does expose is the crass hypocrisy, governments saying one thing in public, another in private.

The US regards diplomatic secrecy as sacrosanct, and yet its own cables reveals it was spying on diplomats at the UN.

Julian Assange has been denied bail. Why? Thugs are let out on police bail. People of standing were prepared to vouch for him. He is not a danger to society. The very fact he has been denied bail says this is political. The establishment has had its tail tweaked and does not like it.

What is maybe more revealing about the Diplomatic Cables, if we put to one side the Hello magazine tittle-tattle is what they do not tell us, and here I quote Noam Chomsky in conversation with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! (30 November 2010):

One of the most interesting cables was a cable from the U.S. ambassador in Israel to Hillary Clinton, which described the attack on Gaza- which we should call the U.S./Israeli attack on Gaza- December 2008. It states correctly there had been a truce. It does not add that during the truce- which was really not observed by Israel- but during the truce, Hamas scrupulously observed it according to the Israeli government, not a single rocket was fired. That’s an omission. But then comes a straight line: it says that in December 2008, Hamas renewed rocket firing and therefore Israel had to attack in self-defense. Now, the ambassador surely is aware that there must be somebody in the American Embassy who reads the Israeli press- the mainstream Israeli press- in which case the embassy is surely aware that it is exactly the opposite: Hamas was calling for a renewal of the cease-fire. Israel considered the offer and rejected it, preferring to bomb rather than have security. Also omitted is that while Israel never observed the cease-fire- it maintained the siege in violation of the truce agreement- on November 4, the U.S. election 2008, the Israeli army invaded Gaza, killed half a dozen Hamas militants, which did lead to an exchange of fire in which all the casualties, as usual, were Palestinian. Then in December, Hamas- when the truce officially ended- Hamas called for renewing it. Israel refused, and the U.S. and Israel chose to launch the war. What the embassy reported is a gross falsification and a very significant one since- since it has to do the justification for the murderous attack- which means either the embassy hasn’t a clue to what is going on or else they’re lying outright.

The truth is always the first casualty in war and make no mistake this is war. It is a war between those who want an open society and those in power. We are seeing the first infowar for control of cysberspace. What we are also seeing is a dying empire lashing out at its critics.

For Julian Assange, a facebook suport group has been established Justice for Assange. How long before it gets taken down?

Nutters in the US may huff and puff, but has Wikileaks done anything illegal?

Also see

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange refused bail

Don’t shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths

Wikileaks: servant of democracy, enemy of hypocrites and liars

The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange

News Flash: 123 Americans Dead, No WikiLeaks Connection

“I Am Wikileaks” Campaigners Rally to Defense

Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal “Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership”

U.S. Climate Envoy Refuses to Answer Democracy Now!’s Questions on WikiLeaks Cables’ Account of Summit Manipulation

Pablo Solón Responds to Secret U.S. Manipulation of Climate Talks Revealed in WikiLeaks Cable

Glenn Greenwald on the Arrest of Julian Assange and the U.S. “War on WikiLeaks”

Guardian Environment Editor John Vidal on WikiLeaks Cables and U.S. Manipulation of Climate Talks

Live with the WikiLeakable world or shut down the net

Revealed: Assange ‘rape’ accuser linked to notorious CIA operative

Assange Beseiged: Making a Mockery of the Real Crime of Rape

Revealed: Assange ‘rape’ accuser linked to notorious CIA operative

Ellsberg: “EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

WikiLeaks founder jailed in London on bogus charges

Special Report: STD fears sparked case against WikiLeaks boss

Hackers take down Mastercard site after wikileaks donations are banned

Assange and Interpol

Julian Assange Protest

The WikiLeaks Case: IS ‘FREEDOM OF THE PRESS’ ANOTHER U.S. CATCH PHRASE FOR TOTALITARIANISM WITH A DEMOCRATIC FAÇADE?

Has WikiLeaks Actually Done Anything Illegal?

Johann Hari: This case must not obscure what WikiLeaks has told us

The War You Don’t See

December 5, 2010
The War You Don't See - John Pilger

The War You Don't See - John Pilger

John Pilger, himself a renowned war reporter, questions the role of the media in war. The War You Don’t See asks whether mainstream news has become an integral part of war-making.

Focusing on the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, John Pilger reflects on the history of the relationship between the media and government in times of conflict stretching back to World War I and explores the impact on the information fed to the public of the modern day practice of public relations in the guise of ‘embedding’ journalists with the military.

The War You Don’t See has its première at the Barbican, London on 7 December 2010 and at the Curzon Soho, London on 12 December 2010 and selected cinemas on 13 December 2010. It will go to air on ITV1 on 14 December 2010 at 10-35pm. Note the late showing on ITV. Crap on at peak times, good stuff always on late.

Aslo see

Interview with John Pilger about his new film

Media ‘beating the drums of war’

Palestine is still the Issue

Declassified: Massive Israeli manipulation of US media exposed

November 21, 2010

Files declassified in America have revealed covert public relations and lobbying activities of Israel in the U.S. The National Archive made the documents public following a Senate investigation. They suggest Israel has been trying to shape media coverage of issues it regards as important. You can download the files from the Israel Lobby Archive of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy.

Also see

Declassified Senate Investigation Files Reveal Clandestine Israeli PR Campaign in America

The Israel Lobby: Declassified Documents Expose Its Influence

Israeli Apartheid – A talk by Ben White


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 557 other followers