You're not getting the news:

     Before 9/11--and the Bush administration's attacks on constitutional freedoms following that disaster--American citizens had the option of whether or not to inform themselves.

      But Bush's attacks on our civil liberties now constitutes such a CRISIS that Americans must either inform themselves or they will soon find themselves without basic freedoms.

     If you're going to become an informed citizen, you're going to have to inform yourself! The so-called TV "news" shows don't even pretend to provide a balanced presentation of varying points of view. A Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) study of ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News in the year 2001 shows that 92 percent of all U.S. sources interviewed were white, 85 percent were male and, where party affiliation was identifiable, 75 percent were Republican.

     FAIR's exposť of the Bill O'Reilly program reveals the ugly visage of bigotry and egomania. TV only provides DIS-information and inane entertainment which it calls "news."

     In an insightful article, Mike Hersh makes it clear that "There is no media."

"What masquerades as a free press is largely the propaganda arm of the right wing of the Republican Party. Few brave souls still present the news in a balanced way. Most of them are "opinion" writers like Paul Krugman, Joe Conason and Molly Ivins.

"Few liberals get to speak out on television - where most Americans get their "news." When they do, it's on "roundtable shows" where right wingers shout down their comments. Bill O'Reilly, Joe Scarborough and other rabid right wingers pontificate without any counterbalance.

"The Mass Media Serves the Right Wing Agenda."





"If information is the oxygen of democracy, the United States has just been gassed, not by weapons of mass destruction but by a weapon of mass distraction."

"We may be moving toward a coronation instead of a reelection in 2004."

"The transformation of active citizens into passive consumers was enabled by the Federal Communications Commission under Ronald Reagan's Mark Fowler, who declared 'the perception of broadcasters as community trustees should be replaced by a view of broadcasters as marketplace participants.'"

"TV's Fox could not get away with its shameless shilling for the White House if the Fairness Doctrine were still in place, and radio's Clear Channel monopoly would not be able to impose wall-to-wall Limbaugh, Hannity and Savage, etc., on the public if broadcasters were accountable to public opinion rather than the dictates of plutocrats."

"Totalitarian regimes don't tolerate any distinction between journalism and propaganda, but in most democracies it is unprecedented for the free press to abandon Joseph Pulitzer for the methods of Joseph Goebbels."

"This undemocratic confluence of politics and propaganda has long been in the making as corporate media have been incrementally empowered while public influence, input and 'interest' have been eliminated."

Ian Masters, host of "Background Briefing" on KPFK-FM (90.7) in Los Angeles, in a recent commentary
in the Los Angeles Times


     Along with news, an informed citizen needs comprehensive analyses of information which allow facts to be understood from a larger perspective. Those long-range news analyses are just as important as the more immediate news sources.


     So how do you go about getting news and analysis for yourself?

Easy--you get your news and analysis from the Internet!

On any given day, if you want to know what is really happening--instead of the rabid right-wing spin given to every "news" item on TV--then go to the alternative Internet news sources. There you will find the real news--the information that's important for American citizens to stay abreast of. Fortunately for us, these outstanding alternate Web news sites sift through all the news daily and provide a digest of the most significant items, saving us a tremendous amount of time and energy.

     The best way to review these informational Web sites is in terms of layers:

     What news and analysis sources are important to you, individually, depends on your world view. This article only applies if you want genuine news about what's really going on--beyond spin and propaganda. If you are intellectually committed to a doctrinaire religious or political viewpoint and want to review news and analysis from only that perspective, then this article won't be of much use to you.

      What I'm examining in this article is a broader perspective--beyond ideological boundaries--which gets at what's really going on, not what ideological spin tries to make us believe is happening.

You'll need to re-examine your news sources periodically, because some sources simply disappear or change so radically that they're no longer dependable. This article is revised frequently so that only the latest, most reliable sources are recommended.

     You need to have information daily about what's actually occurring throughout the world, so these three Web sites are essential for you to review each day:

     Each of these essential information sources has its own idiosyncracies, but their digesting of news worldwide each day makes them invaluable. For example, Jeff Rense's site also contains all the latest UFO and cattle mutilations sightings, but his savvy in selecting important news items and long-term analyses makes his site one of the best on the Web. What Really Happened, and BuzzFlash select essential articles and also include items of long-term significance as well.

     One of the interesting facets of these three primary news digests is that they often find important news items in the mainstream newspaper Web sites. So if you review the news at rense.com, for example, you'll often find him linking you out to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, or even the Christian Science Monitor.

Penetrating analysis of news is provided by a few Internet journalists, most of whom have their own Web sites as well as write for newspapers or magazines:


     An important Web site that provides a comprehensive analysis of world events is the World Socialist Web Site. If you want to get a feel for the broader-based study of news the WSWS provides, I'd suggest this article, which examines the 9/11 atrocity and the Bush junta's fascist attacks on Constitutional rights.

By recommending the World Socialist Web Site as an outstanding source of news analysis, I don't suggest that their rather doctrinaire socialist perspective is sufficient for a full understanding of world events. And none of the news analyst journalists listed above will prove useful one hundred percent of the time. However, their ability to see current events in a broader perspective is exceptionally helpful in developing a deeper comprehension of current events.


     The Web sites I'd suggest you review at least once a week:


Cursor

 

Common Dreams

 

Independent Media Center

 

CounterPunch

 

Centre for Research on Globalisation

 

Online Journal

 

Mike Ruppert


     The Web sites I'd suggest you review at least once a month:


Liberty Hall

     If Americans are going to retain the democratic liberties our constitution provides us, we're going to have to keep ourselves informed. We can't expect the mainstream news sources to provide the information we need. Fortunately, we have an excellent source of essential news and analysis on the Internet. Now it's up to us to use it efficiently to become truly informed citizens.


By Norman D. Livergood

_______________

For a brief time, Phil Donahue on MSNBC courageously featured some progressive people and issues that need airing, till his program was pulled in February, 2003.

If you find that a print news and/or analysis source, such as The Nation, The Los Angeles Times, or the Jim Hightower newsletter, is exceptionally helpful, you might want to subscribe to that source to provide support.


I'd recommend the new book by McChesney and Nichols, Our Media, Not Theirs


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