This is a post that I’ve been meaning to write for a long time and as usual I procrastinated. However, I have just spent the last few weeks in and out of hosptials due to a nasty blood infection and dialysis catheter issues where the only source of news was CNN and other mainstream sources. This is really to say that I got NO news over that period unless you count the 24 hour bullshit of the Casey Anthony case. It really was all just noise. I could watch 2 hours of CNN and not have any better understanding of any issue they covered. Having had to turn the TV off in disgust, it really hit home just how much I relied on independent and public media to stay informed about the issues that affect my life.
But I’m broke. That is the excuse I used for years when the pledge drives came on my favorite NPR stations. When my favorite podcasts ask for money, in my mind I always make a note to give when I have the extra funds. I ease my guilty feelings of being an information leech by stressing my good intentions. Independent media has to ask for money a lot.
Then GritTV, a great progressive news source, announced that it would have to abandon it’s daily format and rework itself into a monthly, hour-long program that they are urging us to lobby our public TV stations to pick up. Other outlets can’t grow and expand because of lack of funds. Given the horrible choices out there that calls itself news, I have decided to find a way to help out these independent sources given my meager resources. I have decided to carve out $10/month to give to a variety of news sources. This post is to encourage you to do the same. While my list may not be the same as yours, I would hope that enough people care about actually getting facts with their news that it actually makes a difference. Below is my list for the year starting January 2012.
- Local Public Radio Station – I’m lucky in that I have at least three to choose from. WFCR/WNNZ is the one I listen to the most. Though it’s hard because WNNZ which has all of the talk is an AM station that I can’t get on most of my radios so I have to listen online. WFCR must get a lot of money from classical music lovers that that’s what plays all day. WAMC out of Albany, NY must be the best public radio station I’ve ever come across when it comes to local, informative programming.
- Local Public Television Station – Sometimes they may have a minimum contribution that is more than $10. Check and see. Also, they are constantly looking for less expensive programming than what is offered by the CPB. Feel free to lobby them to include shows like Democracy Now and GritTV to their lineup.
- Democracy Now – Speaking of “Democracy Now”. It is probally the best show to watch/listen to if you want your news unfiltered through corporate media and government propaganda. It deserves a much more prominent place on the American media landscape.
- Citizen Radio – If you want a hilarious, informative, accessible way to begin learning about progressive politics, this is the podcast for you. Their tagline: “Like CNN but with swearing” is dead-on. If you can make it through their 20 minute douchebag buffer, then this is the thing for you. Great for teens.
- Black Agenda Report – Sadly, the state of 90% of black media has devolved into little more than consumerist puke and profiles of personality cults. Black Agenda Report does it’s best to analyze and inform us about real issues affecting the lives of the vast majority of African-Americans.
- AlterNet – Another great resource to get facts and information on a variety of issues affecting the country and the world. Like “Democracy Now”, it’s one of the best resources for a well-rounded education.
This is just a partial list of the best stuff. If there is something I’ve missed, please leave a link in a comment. Remember, we are looking for news oulets, not (just) propaganda.