Is the Future Bright for Progressive Media?
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Many of these topics will be on the agenda today and tomorrow in New York City, at the Hudson Hotel where the Media Consortium, an organization designed to improve the capacity of progressive media and made up of many of the media groups cited in Beyond the Echo Chamber, and in this article. Tracy van Slyke is the director of the group.
What follows is Chapter Eight of Beyond the Echo Chamber, titled "Assemble the Progressive Choir." This chapter features the work of FireDogLake,and includes elements of an interview with me, in which I attempt to describe the thinking behind AlterNet.org.
If you want a comprehensive view of the many successes of progressive media over the past eight years, please buy a copy of Beyond the Echo Chamber.There are huge challenges ahead, which Van Slyke and Clark know full well. Nevertheless, the authors insist there is much success to build upon, and by using the new tools that have emerged online -- Facebook, Twitter and many others -- progressives can move to the next level in our long-term struggle for a better society. -- AlterNet
Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media
Copyright 2010, reprinted with permission by The New Press.
The trial was in full swing. The defendant: Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr. The witnesses: Judith Miller of the New York Times , Matt Cooper of Newsweek, and Tim Russert, host of Meet the Press , among others.
As 2007 began, Libby was facing five counts, including perjury, for his role in leaking the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson to conservative pundit Robert Novak, who revealed the agent's name in a July 2003 Chicago Sun-Times column. But while Libby was the only person formally on trial, the establishment media was also under public indictment for its role in the resulting quagmire.
Throughout U. S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the leak, it became clear that the establishment journalists' many connections to Washington political elites had muddled their reporting decisions. Their reluctance to accurately report on conservative think tanks' and commentators' spin jobs in the lead-up to the Iraq war -- much less the role of former Vice President Cheney's office in the leak -- was under the microscope. As Michael Massing, the author of Now They Tell Us: The American Press and Iraq , wrote in the New York Review of Books :
The Plame leak case has provided further insight into the relation between the journalistic and political establishments. It's now clear that Lewis Libby was an important figure in the White House and a key architect of the administration's push for war in Iraq. Many journalists seem to havespoken with him regularly, and to have been fully aware of his power, yet virtually none bothered to inform the public about him, much less scrutinize his actions on behalf of the vice-president. A search of major newspapers in the fifteen months before the war turned up exactly one substantial article about Libby -- a breezy piece by Elisabeth Bumiller in the New York Times about his novel The Apprentice .
Simultaneously forced to cover the trial, explain their role to the public, and testify on the stand, mainstream reporters were also looking askance at a group of six unlikely individuals who attended the trial every day. Sharing two press passes, they rotated to enter the trial each morning, transcribing the proceedings almost word for word. Throughout the trial, these unconventional observers provided daily, sometimes hourly, analysis of the proceedings and offered critiques of establishment media coverage.