The Park Center studies media outlets "that create and distribute content outside traditional corporate systems and news organizations." According to [Jeff Cohen], the center's founding director, "Our purpose is to bring attention to the growing sector of independent media. Independent media is breaking stories, and bringing down corrupt officials around the country. We needed an award and we couldn't think of anyone better to name it after than a guy who, in the depth of the anti-communist frenzy of the 1950s, started his own weekly newsletter."The award is named for Isidor Feinstein "Izzy" Stone, who belonged to the era before the term "media" was canned and learned the craft without the benefit of journalism school. He called himself a newspaperman and relished the role of outside critic of the powers that be. His credo was simple: "All governments are run by liars" and his list of subscribers (the weekly accepted no ads) grew to 22,000, including the likes of Albert Einstein."The center's mission," according to Cohen, "is to engage media makers and students in conversation about career paths in independent media, and financially viable ways to create news and information for various kinds of geographic or issue-based communities. We examine the impact of independent media institutions on journalism, democracy and a participatory culture."
what’s shakin’ Alternative Universe W ith the rash of newspaper closings traditional corporate systems and news Greenwald wrote and self-pub- and the gobbling up of news out- organizations.” According to Cohen, the lished the books How Would a Patriot lets by corporate interests, it might center’s founding director, “Our purpose Act? Defending American Values from appear to be a good time for graduating is to bring attention to the growing sector a President Run Amok (May 2006) college students to select “corrupt politi- of independent media. Independent media followed by A Tragic Legacy (June cian” as their career choice. It’s enough is breaking stories, and bringing down 2007), which examines the fallout to make one wonder who will be minding corrupt officials around the country. We of the Bush presidency. Both books the store if the papers that make it their needed an award and we couldn’t think of rode a groundswell of Web enthusiasts business to poke into the dark corners of anyone better to name it after than a guy to a place on The New York Times government and commerce find them- who, in the depth of the anti-communist bestseller lists. His latest book, Great selves turning out the lights. frenzy of the 1950s, started his own week- American Hypocrites: Toppling the But according to an Ithaca-based expert ly newsletter.” Big Myths of Republican Politics on alternative media, the much advertised The award is named for Isidor Fein- (Random House/Crown, 2008), exam- decline in print publications is being offset stein “Izzy” Stone, who belonged to the ines manipulative electoral tactics by the rise of a robust muckraking alterna- era before the term “media” was canned used by the GOP and accepted by the tive. Jeff Cohen, a longtime media watch- and learned the craft without the benefit mainstream press. Greenwald’s blog dog and director of Ithaca College’s Park of journalism school. He called himself “Unclaimed Territory” can now be Center for Independent Media, believes a newspaperman and relished the role of seen on Salon.com, although he con- that the alternative media has grown up to outside critic of the powers that be. His tends that he maintains full editorial the point when it needs to officially recog- credo was simple: “All governments are control. nize its leaders and champions. run by liars” and his list of subscribers Amy Goodman has been a pioneer The newly founded Park Center has (the weekly accepted no ads) grew to in alternative media since the early announced the winners of its first annual 22,000, including the likes of Albert Ein- 1980s. In its release announcing her as Amy Goodman: Independent Media center Izzy Award, named for the iconoclastic stein. the co-recipient of this year’s award, will fete host of Democracy Now! next Tuesday muckraking journalist I.F. Stone, who died “The center’s mission,” according to the Park Center called her radio Cohen, “is to engage media makers and program Democracy Now! the larg- at Ithaca’s State Theatre. in 1989 after six decades of afflicting the comfortable with his prescient questioning students in conversation about career paths est public media collaboration in the and vivid prose. This year’s winners are in independent media, and financially country. Saturdays, 9 to 11 a.m., on Time Warner Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, and viable ways to create news and informa- Democracy Now! offers a cutting-edge Cable’s Channel 98. Glenn Greenwald, an independent blogger tion for various kinds of geographic or broadcast featuring issues, experts and Amid the gloom in the newspaper busi- whose work appears at Salon.com. issue-based communities. We examine the debates rarely heard in corporate media, ness, Cohen finds hope. “No doubt the The Park Center studies media outlets impact of independent media institutions including the voices of both policymakers Internet has caused upheaval and hardship “that create and distribute content outside on journalism, democracy and a participa- and those affected by policy. It remains in journalism,” he said, “but it has helped tory culture.” independent of any party or sponsor, in the independents to bring their work to a Cohen added that one of the inaugural I.F. Stone tradition.” broader audience. The good news is that prizewinners exemplifies the potential of Goodman will be remembered by many we had a tough decision becaus
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