New Internationalist

Rid yourself of media toxins

Issue 333

DECLARE YOURSELF A DECOLONIZED ZONE

The Viewers Declaration of Independence ‘We declare our independence from a system that has drifted out of democratic reach. Our cultural environment movement offers the liberating alternative: an independent citizen voice in cultural policy-making, working for the creation of a free, fair, diverse and responsible cultural environment for us and our children.’ Cultural Environment Movement, P.O. Box 31847, PA 19104, US http://www.cemnet.org

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’ Find the People’s Communication Charter, and other manifestos for resistance online at http://www.mediachannel.org/manifesto

JOIN THE MEDIA REBELLION

Media Channel ‘As the media watch the world, we watch the media.’ A media issues supersite, featuring media criticism, news, reports, resources, research and perspectives from hundreds of organizations and contributors worldwide. 1600 Broadway, Suite 700, New York, NY 10019, US http://www.mediachannel.org

Media Foundation ‘A global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age.’ Projects include Adbusters magazine and the Culture Jammers Headquarters website. 1243 West 7th Avenue,Vancouver, BC,V6H 1B7, Canada Tel: +1 604 736 9401; Fax: +1 604 737 6021 adbusters@adbusters.org http://www.adbusters.org

Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom 8 Cynthia Street, London N1 9JF, Britain Tel: 020 7278 4430; Fax: 020 7837 8868 freepress@cpbf.org.uk http://www.cpbf.org.uk

Bushfire Media Progressive media, investigative journalism, alternative news and media analysis. PO Box 9, Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia Tel: +61 2 9660 1804; Fax: +61 +2 9660 1804 bfmedia@peg.apc.org http://members.optusnet.com.au/bfmedia/

Social Alternatives An independent, quarterly refereed journal. It is committed to the principles of social justice, commenting on important social issues of current concern or public debate. This has included articles on peace and conflict, racism, Indigenous rights, social justice, human rights, inequality and the environment. barbara@socialalternatives.com http://www.socialalternatives.com

World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters ‘Community radio is not about doing something for the community but about the community doing something for itself’. http://www.amarc.org

Next 5 Minutes A forum for alternative and tactical media from around the world. http://www.n5m.org

BEAT IRRITABLE BRAIN SYNDROME

Suffering from irritable brain syndrome? Critical Art Ensemble is concerned! ‘Patient complains of 30-year history of alienation, depression, and isolation.’ ( http://www.critical-art.net ) So is White Dot! They’ve found a remedy: ‘an amazing machine that will make you happy, excited and energetic, just by flicking a switch. It’s called television – and all you have to do is turn it off.’ TV Turnoff Week 22-28 April 2001

White Dot, PO Box 2116, Hove, East Sussex BN3 3LR, Britain http://www.tvturnoff.org http://www.whitedot.org

FREE YOUR MIND

Stay Free! US magazine taking apart the culture of media, commerce and advertising. Hilarious, obscure and only a little way short of genius. Stay Free! PO Box 306, Prince St Station, NYC 10012, US http://www.stayfreemagazine.org stayfree@metalab.unc.edu

Financial Crimes This familiar yet strangely off-message newspaper was handed out to surprised commuters across London last September. Get hold of a copy by writing to: Financial Crimes, PO Box 9656, London N4 4JY, Britain tellme@financialcrimes.com

TONE YOUR MENTAL MUSCLE

Let’s Get Critical: A Media Literacy Toolkit For Parents, Kids And Teachers A comprehensive toolkit for media self-defence for kids. Media literacy trains kids to read media messages, particularly commercial ones, with a critical eye. Includes a fantastic lesson bank for teachers. http://www.mediachannel.org/getinvolved/teachkids.shtml

We Interrupt This Message Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) Media Activist Kit. 130 W. 25th Street, New York, NY 10001, US Tel: +1 212 633 6700; Fax: +1 212 727 7668 fair@fair.org http://www.fair.org/activism/activismkit.html

Books to read: Toxic Sludge Is Good for You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton (Common Courage, 1995). Basic reading for those who want to understand corporate spin. And funny.

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media by Edward S Herman and Noam Chomsky (Pantheon, 1988). Exposé of the propaganda role of the mass media. Not funny at all. Or see the video by Peter Wintonick and Mark Achbar.

The Global Media: The New Missionaries of Corporate Capitalism by Edward S Herman and Robert W McChesney (Cassell, 1997). Comprehensive profile of the global media.

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