In a transaction that leaves its editorial and management team intact, The Village Voice was purchased from owner Leonard Stern by a group of investors led by a New York-based money management firm. The price for the Voice, and Stern's chain of six other weekly papers, including the LA Weekly, was said to be in the range of $150-160 million.
The WTO confrontation in Seattle was by any measure a huge media event worldwide, focusing attention on human rights, environmental destruction and child labor as major byproducts of unfettered world trade. But Seattle was also a watershed for the non-corporate independent media. Comprehensive, powerful and immediate coverage of the dizzying array of activities and clashes on the Seattle streets showcased, really for the first time, the independent media's capacity to provide multifaceted, in-depth coverage of a world-shaping news event.
A set of once-secret chemical industry documents -- exposing decades of fraud, lies and coverups about thousands of chemical-related deaths -- has sparked both an upcoming PBS report and a wave of activism across the nation.
Just when the drug war had started swinging into reform mode, the most conservative administration in years stepped into the White House. Will George W. Bush ignore the mainstream backlash against the drug war?
When Bill Clinton called Pacifica radio station WBAI on election day morning, he was expecting to help shore up voter support for Al Gore and his wife Hillary in New York City. There's no way he expected to engage in one of the most candid discussions about American politics in recent memory.
No issue has dominated lefty political debate more this election cycle than the Nader/Gore dilemma. But the choice between voting your conscience and voting for the lesser of two evils is a false one. Progressives can have their cake and eat it, too. Here's how.
The Democratic National Convention was a panorama of corporate excess set against a swirling, clashing background of festive protests and street anger, all under the scrutiny of 15,000 journalists and incomparable police power. In the end, a pretty clear list of winners and losers emerged from the heat of LA.
Claiming there was bomb in a nearby van, Los Angeles County Sheriffs temporarily closed down Patriotic Hall, home to the Indy Media Center and the Shadow Conventions, just as both were about to broadcast live reports from LA.
Chanting "Gore, Gore political whore" and "How much does democracy cost?" several hundred raucous demonstrators made life miserable for the Blue Dog Democrats attending an extravagant corporate sponsored event on the Santa Monica pier on Sunday night.
The already forbidding environment around the Staples Center, site of the Democratic National Convention, has been turned into an armed camp, encircled by a double set of tall, heavy-duty fences and thousands of cops. Even so, activists are kicking off a week of protests and fighting to make their voices heard.
Alongside the corporate media giants, the Philly Independent Media Center is weaving together a multimedia web of alternative news -- including live TV shows -- to offer Americans information often ignored or misrepresented by the mainstream.
If you smoke pot, you're less likely to get busted in Pennsylvania or North Dakota than in Alaska or New York -- and much more likely in certain Texas counties, where 1 in 15 people have been arrested for marijuana smoking.
No question facing the world today is more important than the decision as to which path should be taken to ensure both global economic stability and human rights. As the global economy takes shape, what are its values? Ultimately, what is the best way to foster human rights and democratization -- by linking them to economic concerns, or rigidly separating the two?
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Susan Faludi, internationally known for "Backlash," her bestseller about society's resistance to female gains, has returned to the public spotlight with "Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man." No stranger to controversy, Faludi has again raised eyebrows with this book. Discussing "Stiffed" in late September, just before embarking on her national tour, Faludi expressed the hope that if people take anything away from the book it's that they begin to realize that men and women are on the same side.
IAJ Executive Director and former Mother Jones Publisher Don Hazen takes an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into Greenpeace USA, the immensely popular and influential environmental organization that just announced plans to shut down its 10 regional offices across the country and slash its 400-person staff to a mere 65, a downsizing of unprecedented scope in the environmental movement.
After four years at the helm of Pacifica Radio -- which boasts 60 affiliates nationwide -- controversial Executive Director Pat Scott resigned on April 15. While many observers would agree that Scott fought the good fight, things at Pacifica are never simple, and it's unlikely that they are this round either.
Mark Hertsgaard, award-winning journalist and author, has stepped forward with a wake-up call for our environmental future. His newly released book, "Earth Odyssey," chronicles the six years he spent travelling around the world, surveying the damage humans are inflicting on our environment, and wondering whether humanity will survive its own short-sightedness. The news is not good -- but in Hertsgaard's words, "If things look too hopeless, and if that scares us off, then we are probably going to fail the evolutionary test." Hertsgaard speaks candidly about his experiences and impressions in this striking, provocative interview.
"The Hurricane," Hollywood's account of boxer Rubin Carter's wrongful conviction and death-row sentence, deals with issues of racism and institutional corruption in an often sanitized way, robbing the viewer of a more challenging cinematic experience. Although the film provides a fierce picture of Carter, it is far from accurate -- and could even be considered misleading.
The giant Oregon-based athletic wear and gear company Nike, one of the big growth, mega-corporations of the '90s many Americans have grown to hate, is encountering some hard times. From global job cuts and plummeting stock, combined with a growing avalanche of negative publicity provoked by the company's policies and practices, the retail empire is facing tough backlash.
The pundit class, especially the collection of 20 or 30 mouthpieces who dominate Sunday morning TV and cable shows, as well as the editorial pages of many newspapers, has evolved into a chattering class version of fundamentalist ministers -- the media Ayatollahs. It's but a tiny click on the metaphorical remote from Jerry Fallwell or Pat Robertson to the McLaughlin Report.
The September 22 announcement by Stern Publishing (publishers of (ital)The Village Voice(ital) and (ital)LA Weekly(ital)) that it is putting its stable of alternative papers on the block has sent shock waves through the alternative media industry. The pending sale raises serious questions about the survival of politically activist, advocacy journalism for wide audiences. Speculation has it that the most likely contenders to buy Stern aren't traditional media companies, but instead Internet companies such as AOL and Yahoo. Given Stern's likely high price, companies within the alternative publishing industry will probably not be able to compete.
Virginia Slims offered singer Leslie Nuchow exposure. But the price was too high for Nuchow's conscience. Now she is about to get more exposure than she ever expected as a result of taking a stand for what she believed in. Sometimes doing the right thing pays off.
It's too early into 1999 to have the first full-fledged journalist disaster story for the new year. But it shouldn't be long. Yet, we'll have to go a long way to top last year, when the practice of journalism became synonymous with the notorious. To test your media IQ, here is a matching test. Who were the most memorable fakes of 1998 ? What were the biggest media disasters? Try your hand and match the names in column A with the journalistic deed in column B.
The future of the Internet was radically redefined when AOL announced its impending purchase of Time-Warner for $184 billion last Monday. Whereas AOL was once the champion of the "open access" campaign (a movement trying to prevent cable operators like Time-Warner from controlling both the access to and the content of the Internet), they now have every incentive to fight open access. What are the other implication of this biggest media merger ever?
A new study by a University of Massachusetts research team reveals that the average American voter knows a lot when it comes to the latest scandals swirling around President Clinton, but next to nothing about his policies. And it seems -- surprise, surprise -- that the media system, in the way it frames issues, is responsible for this knowledge gap.
Al Gore may be in marijuana hot water. A new biography of Gore, which Newsweek magazine was going to excerpt in their January 18 issue, claims that Wooden Al smoked considerably more dope than he has publicly admitted. Lacking a sex scandal, this is the kind of scandal the media may sink its teeth into, like a stubborn bull dog. And unfortunately we'll all be the worse for it.
In this era of sex-crazed, gutter-mouthed celebrities and outrageous behavior at all levels of public and private life, it takes a lot to shock. But the shock meter was put to the ultimate test on the June 25 episode of the late-night talk show "Politically Incorrect." Former "Baywatch" babe and Playboy cover girl Donna D'Errico offered the following prescription for homeless people: "A lot of them don't want to work. They would prefer just to get handouts. And my take on that is, there's a dog pound and there should be a human pound.
Remember back 20 years or so when we saw films like "All the President's Men" and "Under Fire?" Then, journalists were heroes, and the media -- especially the Washington Post -- were bulwarks against the excesses of power. Not any more. The mirror that is Hollywood, reflecting back the image of our culture, has a new vision of the media and it isn't a pretty.
Experts say there are as many as 20 million men in the U.S. afflicted with ED -- Erectile Dysfunction -- as impotence is now officially called. Astonishingly, less than 10 percent of them ever seek help for this condition. For most, it is better to just not talk about it. But all this is lack of candor is about to change dramatically. ED is coming out of the closet with a flourish as a new array of drugs emerge designed to help men get their penises working, or working better as the case may be.