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News
Tired of bland mainstream media?


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Illustration by Arnie Bermudez
By Jessica Lee
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday October 10, 2003

When it comes to radio, there is only one goddess Amy Goodman.

She is the host of the leading progressive national news program, Democracy Now!. Although the show is broadcasted live weekdays from a firehouse studio near Ground Zero in New York City, her sharp voice and bold questions can be heard daily at 3 p.m. through our local, community-run gem of a radio station, KXCI 91.3 FM.

For many Tucsonans, Democracy Now! is the light that guides us through the muck of corporate news and homogenous programming. As a special treat, Goodman is speaking this Sunday at 8 p.m. at Centennial Hall. If you have never listened to one of her shows before, this is your chance.

It's free. She's amazing. And you'll be hooked.

Photo
Jessica Lee
Associate Editor

The independent award-winning news program is aired by Pacifica radio, National Public Radio, public access cable television stations, on the Free Speech TV satellite radio channel, shortwave radio and the Internet. There is no way to not hear Democracy Now! that is, unless you choose to only get your news from mainstream television, radio and newspaper.

That brings us to independent media.

Amy Goodman is the Joan of Arc of battling the perpetual shortcomings of corporate-run media. She is a journalist who has survived massacres, taken on presidents of the United States, and is one of the leading voices of the anti-war movement.

"I think democracy starts at home, it begins at school it is about civic participation. Democracy Now! is an outreach because it is so hard to get information when we have media that beats the drum of war. Rather, independent media has nothing to sell, but everything to tell. Students do care about getting information, and grass roots media is where it's at. It is the people's media," Goodman passionately described in a phone interview.

This is why both KXCI and Access Tucson Television are co-sponsoring the event. "Independent media isn't being shaped by corporate influence," remarked Randy Peterson, interim general manager of KXCI.

What we now call independent media is what journalism is supposed to be. Investigative. Conclusive. Comprehensive. Bold. Unbiased. Unregulated. Thorough. Detailed. Diverse. Challenging.

Journalists, remember, are the invisible fourth entity that completes the cycle of checks and balances on the powers-that-be. And in Goodman's words: "It's the job of a journalist go to where the silence is."

For those of you who solely watch mainstream media television to gain information of the war on Iraq, listen up. A recently released study, "Misperceptions, the Media and the Iraq War" by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes, found that a majority of Americans hold severe misperceptions related to the war. The report found that the level of misperception varies directly with the type of news source. The viewers of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News channel had the highest frequency of misconceptions, with National Public Radio/Public Broadcasting Service having the least. And the margin is significant.

During the war on Iraq, Democracy Now! broadcasted the special two-hour War and Peace Report to expose their audience to, according to their Web site, "People and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S. corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts. In addition, the War and Peace Report hosts real debates debates between people who substantially disagree."

Many students are unaware of the intellectual noose that corporate media has on the majority Americans. "Media is to supposed to serve a democratic society. As ugly as war is, we need to see its gore. And when we do, people in the U.S. wouldn't accept war as an answer," remarked Goodman.

Goodman requested the event be held on the UA campus. "She wants students to be the target audience. Young people will be the ones who will take over the reigns and shape public policy in the future," said Peterson.

And it is our age group, after all, that is dying to continue the occupation.

Speaking of students, there will be no excuse if KAMP, our very own independent radio station, does not attempt to get permission to broadcast this event live to its campus listeners.

If you are a Democracy Now! virgin, take time Sunday at 8 p.m. to hear Amy Goodman tell it as it is. Following a half-hour video, Goodman will speak on the importance of independent media in a time of war, then take questions from the audience.

Democracy cannot function without educated citizens. As individuals pursuing a higher education, we have no excuse to pass up this valuable opportunity to hear the words of an award-winning investigative journalist. Sunday night is the time to glean information you might not ever hear otherwise.

Students: It is time to listen up.

Jessica Lee is an environmental science senior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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