Thursday, July 19, 2007

No hope for indymedia in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, what we need badly (and will never get) is an alternative, or independent, media. By that, I don't mean a newspaper, TV or radio that reports without 'fear or favour'. By that I mean newspapers (online as well as offline) that are small and that have integrity. Take the case of Tom Feeley's excellent newsletter, Information Clearing House (ICH). His blurb says that it provides "News You Won't Get On CNN", and he is absolutely telling the truth.

His is a heroic one-man show, and his is forever strapped for cash. Other online journals include, the Online Journal, OpEdNews.Com, GlobalResearch.Ca….

These are people dedicated to telling us what's really going on: they are not corrupt because they have no ties with corporations. They are plainly not in it for the money. An excellent offline magazine that recently went out of circulation was Altar Magazine, run by Mandy van Deven – it went bust because she could no longer pay for it. But that's precisely why these newspapers can "afford" to tell us the truth.

People are gaga over corporate media in Bangladesh, especially one known as the Daily Star. I have worked with these people, and I know what lying weasels they are.

I once submitted an article to Daily Star in 1994. The editor refused to print the last line, which raised the question that has been prominent from Greek times: can democracy and safety go together? First, the sub-editor called me and asked me to change the line. I refused. The sub-editor chuckled and said: "We know people want martial law, but we can't print that". If you know that, then it's your DUTY to print that. My article appeared, and instead of the last line, the editor supplied one of his own!

The lamestream media (as it is known in indymedia, or independent media) is the corrupt mainstream: over the last sixteen years, the lamestream media has done as much damage as the politicians by legitimizing our monstrous democracy.

Research by the Centre for Civil Society, London School of Economics, has shown that, while in the United Kingdom people who join NGOs accept a pay-cut, people who join NGOs in Bangladesh get a pay-rise: they are in it for the money, not for the conviction.

That's why I think there will never be an indymedia in Bangladesh, no matter how badly we need one.

Corruption, once again.

No comments: