Media

Joshua Stephens
Joshua Stephens is a well-known and beloved anarchist and activist.

Indyreader at Schools Not Jails! action 2012. Photo By: Ashlie Kauffman

It is remarkable that Indyreader, as an all-volunteer organization with a shoestring budget, could produce a variety of fresh, quality online content from a radical perspective on a weekly basis.

Arun Gupta. Image from: www.capitalnewyork.com

On Friday, August 2nd, 2013, Arun Gupta came to Baltimore for two events: "The Importance of Independent Media" and "The United States of Fear." Gupta argues a path forward towards directly challenging the types of fear the state, corporations, and police use to repress the population, including: identifying our fears, having honest dialogue, and build real relationships and communities of trust and solidarity.

Thousands gathered this weekend for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. (Photo by Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)

As Americans commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of The March on Washington, our nation will reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream, a utopian vision which placed emphasis on one's character, not color.

Many will make the journey to relive this historic moment, envisioning what America was like fifty years ago when Dr. King gave America’s version of The Sermon on the Mount.

Glenn Greenwald. Image source: https://www.nytexaminer.com

Recently, the journalistic integrity of the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald has been called into question. The reason: he has stepped "outside that framework" through his impressive and highly valuable journalistic work on the Edward Snowden NSA leaks, which revealed a "worldwide, ubiquitous electronic surveillance apparatus" that Washington has erected in near total secret. Unsurprisingly, some proponents of elite media doctrine have felt compelled to defend the boundaries of the narrow framework that Greenwald crossed, as he has consistently done during his career. Below, Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer critically respond to one of the proponents and in doing so draw our attention to the actual difference between journalists who stay in-bounds and those who feel a duty to go out-of-bounds, like Greenwald and the writers featured on Indy Reader.

The DOJ and FBI hope to increase surveillance of online communications. Source: infowars.com.

A recent article in the Washington Post details the first measures of potential legislation known as CALEA 2. The FBI and Department of Justice want to fine companies for noncompliance with surveillance orders. The death of privacy has been a popular trope in establishment media lately. Unfortunately, pitiful displays by establishment journalists like Tom Brokaw encourage Americans to comply with expanded state surveillance measures. But the facts of the reporting are usually true: our privacy is under attack from almost all authorities we are trained to trust.

Indyreader member Dan Staples presenting at the Mobilizing and Organizing From Below Conference in Baltimore in 2012. Photo by: Casey McKeel.

I first started noticing the Indypendent Reader papers at local cafés and businesses around the time that the State of the Media issue was out. I was always impressed by the topics and perspectives presented in the issues, as well as the professional look of the paper itself. It was certainly not the kind of thrown-together aesthetic I saw in many of the local political zines I was used to. The articles were interesting, critical, and presented a side of Baltimore you never saw in the mainstream press.

Baltimore Central Booking, 300 E. Madison Street. Photo source: commons.wikimedia.org

James MacArthur, the “Baltimore Spectator”, gives a firsthand account of how the City's detention system moves inmates from Central Bookings to the courtroom. His handwritten letter describes the overnight ritual of sleep deprivation and degrading treatment that precedes a detainee's appearance in court. MacArthur himself, repeatedly denied bail for misdemeanor charges, has been held in Central Booking since his arrest on 1 December 2012.

By the time you read this I will have been held prisoner for four months... on misdemeanor charges! This fact being one the popular press conveniently chooses to omit. Continually we see the government (via police statements, State's Attorney, even judges) attempt to convey things in a more alarming depiction than reality holds. Their co-conspirators in the press do little to counter these deceptions. If it wasn't for the fact that these sort of omissions are quite selective, my protestations could readily be dismissed as mere whining, but pay attention and observe.

Image source: www.bartcop.com

The word “entitlement” had prestige and dignity before the party of “no” got its hands on it. The point is that these programs are being hotly debated and politicized in the deficit reduction melee on Capitol Hill. The racialization of the issue is a common strategy to turn serious discourse on its head and rally irrational support by appealing to embedded racial stereotypes.

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