Mechanical

A different point of view

I'm kind of a news junkie. I want to know what's going on, even if such things don't affect me. I really prefer to get "different" points of view, though. News in the good 'ol US of A is heavily censored. No, there's no government flunkie (yet) who puts a stamp of approval on our news. Instead, it's financial pressure by the large corporations who control virtually everything that we see and hear in this country. Much of the truly interesting news simply isn't going to get reported.

Case in point: Time Magazine. Did you know that their foreign editions report different news than the US edition? That might seem okay. After all, having regional news is rather typical. However, it strikes me as just a bit curious that one of the most widely read news magazines in the world will not allow its foreign editions to be subscribed to in the US. You can go to their Web site and check it out. Curiously, they are far more subtle about this now. About a year ago, I discovered that you could try to sign up for a foreign edition but when you entered your US address, they would switch you back to the US edition. It was very blatant. Now, it's not very obvious that there are foreign editions available. You enter your country and they forward you to the edition they want you to have (this might actually seem like a service to some folks, but I'm sure Asians living in the US might be annoyed at being denied Asian news).

Lately, to counter the US propaganda effort, I've been reading The Arab News (Saudi propaganda) and a variety of online British resources, such as The Guardian. I was disappointed, though, to see that Al Jazeera does not appear to have an English language version of their site, even though they are going to offer an English language news service soon. Of course, they might have a "Click here for English" link, but I certainly can't read it (reminds of the time in Amsterdam when I attended a meeting and one person said, in Dutch, "is there anyone here who can't speak Dutch?").

In the meantime, I would strongly suggest checking out Project Censored, but as of this writing, their Web site is not available. A quick search on Google for "project censored" listed many news sites that were no longer available. While I'm sure it's a coincidence, it's rather disturbing. In the meantime, you can read about Project Censored's most censored stories of 2001-02. That story is on the Guerrilla News Network which I just discovered. Time to do some more reading...

Al Jazeera
Until fairly recently on UK digital television it was possible to get Al Jazeera Television for free tucked away on channel 6-something-something, but of course as the terrorist threats started to unveil in London and other UK cities the channel was soon taken off and is now only available on subscription. (Which I guess is an easy way to get the names and addresses of everyone who is interested in Middle Eastern matters...) and though as you mention they didn't use English after a while of watching it I began to pick up some parts here and there...