Letter to the Editor: Zeese on role of Independent Media

 EDITOR’S NOTE:   We receive so many brilliant private communications that henceforth we will be seeking permission to publish some, especially now that my attentions must be focused elsewhere and also on a special assignment. 
Independent media is also under attack in the US but it is a new approach to the issue. The “fake news” rhetoric is being used as an excuse to curtail social and independent media. It is not just government acting directly but also acting through corporations like Google and Facebook. Alrgorithms are being used to prevent left-leaning groups from being found in google searches and Facebook is now policing content and independent progressive news sites are being curtailed.
In addition, the attack on foreign media which began as an attack on RT over Russiagate is now expanding to attack Al Jazeera and Chinese media in the United States. I expect on other sources like Telesur as well. All of these changes give more power to the monopolized mass corporate media.
The undermining of net neutrality and allowing more commercial media consolidation by the Trump FCC are nother attacks on pluralistic media. For people trying to confront issues like the wealth divide, dominance of Wall Street banks, insurance-based healthcare, the military budget and military attacks among other issues the shrinking media landscape makes our job more difficult. 
It has always been an act of political activism to publish or write articles critical of government and economic policy as education is the foundation of all progressive change. The independent and social media that has developed in recent years has been having a significant impact on the political discourse and culture.
Recent research has shown that when independent media outlets work together they change the political dialogue so the crackdown on those communication systems is not surprising. See https://popularresistance.org/harvard-experiment-finds-large-effects-from-small-news-outlets/ We should not underestimate the impact of small independent media outlets. See https://popularresistance.org/why-science-says-you-should-be-reading-small-independent-media/. It is now becoming even more important for activists to retweet, re-post and share independent media stories that are being suppressed.
We are in the stage of social movement development where building national consensus around issues is the goal. The battle of ideas is a key ingredient to change. When a revolution of the consciousness occurs, transformational change is on the way. We have been making a lot of progress on a host of issues and are seeing super-majority support on them.  This puts the movement in the United States in Stage 6 of the Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements. Stage 7 is success and it occurs when issues become so popular that what was once seen as impossible change becomes inevitable. See https://popularresistance.org/the-tasks-of-the-people-powered-movement-for-2014/.  
We see the 2020s as a decade when the movement will have built national consensus at the same time that ignored or poorly handled issues reach a tipping point where they can no longer be ignored and people demand action. Of course, we will not reach this transformational change moment unless people continue to build political activism as well as national consensus. See https://popularresistance.org/newsletter-ensuring-justice-in-the-era-of-transformation/
Updated: March 23, 2018 — 9:12 am