Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Guide to MEDIA ACTIVISM by Guest Writer Sayeed Khan

It’s clear that mainstream news media is consistently biased in certain matters relating to foreign policy. Coverage of the recent attacks in Gaza are yet another example of info that is one sided or simply wrong. The growth of social media has given people a chance to present alternative news and influence public opinion. Public opinion influences public policy, and the views of the masses should never be underestimated.

In addition to social media, there is another way to have a direct impact on mainstream news. “Media Activism” is how I refer to the aggressive monitoring of all forms of media through online comments, radio call ins, and letters to the editor.

Media Activism is a democratic way to monitor--and even influence--news media and the opinions of those who read or view it. This is something that everyone can participate in, and there are no excuses not to.  Instead of simply complaining about biased news media, why not do something about it?  If there were thousands of comments in support of Palestinians, for example, this would influence other readers, as well as producers of news content.

The current focus is on mainstream news media sources which have an online presence. TV Networks such as CNN and ABC News and newspapers such as Chicago Tribune and New York Times all have online comments after each article. The following explains how commenting on these articles can make a big difference.