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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling
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03 February 2005

Alternative Media Matters

Hang out here long enough and you’re going to discover that I don’t like the American media very much. That’s putting it mildly. The state of journalism in this country is an absolute shambles. There are a variety of reasons for this, ones that I’m not going to get into now. Suffice it to say, if all you do is watch the news on television and read the daily newspaper, you’re not learning what you need to know.

It’s been encouraging over the last couple of years to see alternative media sources become more popular. Blogs, alternative weeklies, documentary films, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, books, these are all good things. I hope that in the long run these rebel forms of media do inform, instead of becoming catch alls for people who agree with one another.

I’m particularly excited about blogging. The mainstream media has openly criticized blogging. Those who called the 2004 election results into question were called “Internet conspiracy theorists,” I guess it’s easier for journalists to denounce blogging than for them to, say, do their jobs. Investigating things is a lot of work and costs a lot of money. No wonder newspaper reporters spend their time rewriting press releases instead.

At any rate, the blitz of summer political documentaries isn’t quite over yet. There’s a new film coming out that examines the media’s compliance in this war in Iraq business. View the trailer here if you’ve got broadband and here if you don't.

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