"I really think that independent media is the hope of the future," said Amy Goodman, Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now! host, during her Activities Board-sponsored lecture on Thursday, Nov. 18. "It's dangerous when [we see the world] only through a corporate lens."
Goodman hosts Democracy Now!, one of independent Pacifica Radio's most popular programs, which broadcasts daily on television, the radio, and the Internet. Pacifica Radio was founded in 1949 as a reaction to corporation-sponsored news sources that founder Lewis Hill believed benefited from World War II and thus could not provide objective news reporting. During her lecture at Carnegie Mellon to a crowd of both university and Pittsburgh community members, Goodman spoke extensively about the war in Iraq and the role of the media in the political arena.
The event began with a video called "Independent Media in Time of War," a half hour documentary created by the Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center which features entertainment activists Michael Moore, Ani DiFranco, and Michael Franti in addition to Goodman. Showing independently-shot photographs from Iraq, the documentary is meant to show a side of the Iraq War that independent news sources believe the corporate media is ignoring.
"Think about what the rest of the world sees and what we see here," said Goodman, focusing on her belief that American media coverage lacks images of casualties in the war in Iraq. "We don't see those people who are targets on the ground.... We are seeing romanticized photos of soldiers against the sunset."
"Compare it to the attention given to [the casualty photographs] around the world," Goodman continued, claiming that news media across the globe show significantly more of these photographs than are shown in mainstream American news media.
A particularly powerful example of this difference Goodman spoke of was featured in The Wall Street Journal, describing the difference between CNN and CNN WorldView's coverage of the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Whereas CNN in America showed only the statue falling down, CNN WorldView showed a split screen of the statue and photographs of the casualties of the Iraqi occupation.
"This is what we need to see day in and day out," said Goodman about photographs of the casualties in Fallujah, Iraq. "We need to see what's on the other end of a U.S. weapon."
Goodman also deplored televised news' sound byte clips, which are on average only eight to nine seconds in length, saying that it is impossible to say anything controversial — her example was to state that certain United States officials are guilty of war crimes — in such a short time without sounding "a little crazy."
"Independent bookstores are also a hope," said Goodman, going on to say that they are "sanctuaries of dissent." Goodman encouraged attendees specifically to purchase books at Pittsburgh's The Big Idea, which had employees selling books outside of Rangos before and after the speech.
The majority of the end of Goodman's speech was dedicated to speaking about the September 11th terrorist attacks.
"We were the closest national broadcast to Ground Zero," said Goodman about Democracy Now!'s coverage of the attack on the WorldTradeCenter. She added that they stayed in the evacuation zone as long as possible because they "saw the war machine gearing up in Washington."
"September 11th is not the first time terror has come to our soil," Goodman also said after talking about what she saw as a significant parallel September 11th event, the 1973 Chilean coup. "Ask any Native American about terror."
"9-11 united us with people around the world against terror," said Goodman, describing how the solution she sees to international terror is a global community. "[The United States is] part of a global community.... We can make such a difference."
Ending her lecture with encouragement for the support of independent media, Goodman said, "I see the media as a huge kitchen table across the country," continuing her emphasis of a need for in-depth dialogue and debate about important issues in America's news media.
Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! is broadcasted locally from WRCT 88.3 FM and PCTV channel 21.
No comments have been posted, yet. Be the first to post!
Share your opinion with other Pulse readers. Login below or register
to begin posting.