Saturday, May 23, 2009

Is There Any "Independent" Media Here?

"The pin-striped men of morning,
Are coming for a dance.
With pure Egyptian Cotton,
The kids don't stand a chance."
'The Kids Don't Stand A Chance', Vampire Weekend [2008]

F*ck national broadband and funding for digital, why not just retain the analogue signal?

Imagine if there was a degree of solidarity between Brisbane's so called independent and community media organisations such as 'The Westender', 'The Independent', Briz 31 (QCTV), high profile blogs such as 'Larvatus Prodeo' or FM radio 4ZzZ - not to mention the numerous small, suburban based, radio stations?

It obviously can't be concrete "solidarity" in the old union sense, it should be more like a finding of commonality between them: "Why are you 'independent'? What are you all independent from? Why can't you all share with each other and why is it impossible to mention each other?"

All of these supposedly fiercely independent media come with their own complex baggage, such as misplaced ALP, Rupert Murdoch or Developer allegiances (yes, we are specifically talking about you QCTV, Don Gordon-Brown, and Kerrod from the 'West-Ender'), which can hobble them from genuine independence. But if you are unwilling to actually be independent you should surely have trouble living with yourself wearing that label.

'So what', if most of them come with some smelly baggage? Well, everyone has baggage, but would it kill any of them to mention that they are not the only "independent" voice out there? Why can't they promote the independent (ie: non-mono-media-State Government-pro-business-crooked-'deal-is-done'-neo-con agenda) aspect of the world? Why?

Strike us pink and buy us a drink if we are the only genuinely "independent" voice in Queensland! And our only funding comes from our published papers emanating from the Pond's Institute (i.e.: fictional institute, fictional income! i.e. $zero).

"But why bother, if you aren't getting paid big bucks?" Well that is a really dumb question and one that could only be asked by a person who has no idea of how democracy and fascism dance a steamy and intimate tango separated at the hip by the slimmest of silky fabric - accountability for actions.

We think media organisations should be established to provide information to the community, not just to have a poke at your mortal enemies in the ALP and at Bowen Hills.

Idealistic? Unrealistic? Look around you. We are worried about the planet, our society and democracy, which are all going down the toilet. Is that perhaps the thread of commonality that "independent" voices share? We believe so.

On 4ZzZ today, Research Fellow from Swinburne University Dr Ellie Rennie said that the only funding the Federal Government allocated to community media in the budget was $2.5 million for a "national training program".

National broadband is not the solution and neither is funding multi platform, digital or online technology, or a national training program.

The airwaves are public, not private, property and access to information is a democratic right.

Perhaps it would be better to request that the government leave the analogue signal, and the community media outlets alone.

What does your "independent" local media say about it? Can you trust them?

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