Democracy Now, Uprising Radio, Free Speech Radio Network, Antiwar Radio, Uprising Radio, The Real News Network. What do these great sources of news all have in common? They are well produced, grass roots funded , with some excellent journalism and are all American. So where are the U.K equivalents?
Let me start this by acknowledging libcom and Indymedia as good sources of grass roots news. Now that is out of the way let's get down to it shall we?
Every morning I turn on my Laptop and begin looking through my bookmarked sites for the latest news that day. Only two out of ten book marked sites are UK based, and in all honesty, do not provide the high level of journalism and production that the other eight U.S based news sites provide. Why? ,
An attempt at a grass roots multimedia site was attempted in Edinburgh , Anarcho-TV I believe. A great thing to do, however, it lacks the level of professionalism and journalism which it greatly requires if it is ever to reach out to the wider population of Edinburgh, Glasgow or the UK. I would argue the same applies to Indymedia and Libcom, as well as the other UK sites.
We have considerably better news papers here than in the U.S, like the Gaurdian and the Independent. Well, that wouldn't be hard now would it, given the state of the mainstreme papers in the U.S? The same applies to the TV and radio news. With some beautiful exceptions in the U.S such Democracy Now,The Real News Network, Antiwar radio etc. We seem to have absolutely no equivalents that even slightly match the levels of in-depth reporting, analysis, on-the-spot reporters, and guests such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti...and so on.
Again I ask , why?
That I have to go through U.S independent media to find out about the U.K is ridiculous in this day and age of the internet and multimedia.
When I have raised this issue with fellow activists they often point out that we have Indymedia and Libcom, Varient Magazine, The Socialist Worker Paper etc. These do not reach out to a wider audience though, which is confirmed by the fact that most people who are not engaged in the left wing struggle here do not use these for news at all.
In the current climate and multiple crisis affecting us in the U.K I believe that a U.K equivalent to Democracy Now is essential if we are to truly bring the real news to the masses here. DM is entirely viewer and listener supported. So if they can do this, why can't we?
No, the real quiestion is when will we?
Even if it was purely internet based, it is a good start, but we need proper journalism in radio and video formats, that go out daily. I believe that this could be achieved through national cooperation through the UKs left media activists. There are some great journalists in the UK who barely get space in papers like the Independent or the Gaurdian and stand no chance in hell of getting on the BBC, ITV or Channel 4 news programmes, at least not without severe editing and time constraints placed on them.
If you are against this idea, then so be it, but if you are interested in making this happen, and you have connections which could be helpful in setting this up, then please contact me, or better yet, create a topic in the forum here in order to get the discussion going.
At the moment the people of the U.K have only a poor few options for news coverage: BBC,Sky or ITN, all outputs for state and corporate propoganda. Come on folks! Let's get this discussion going, what have we to lose in trying?