The Best Progressive Media Rises to the Top
by jamesboyce, Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 11:40:45 AM EDT
Written with Tracy Van Slyke, The Media Consortium
As we head into the final days of this presidential campaign, one thing has become abundantly clear and perhaps it might even be the one thing people of all political parties could agree to - the coverage of the campaign and of the issues that matter the most to Americans has changed both dramatically and for forever.
Just think - in 2004, the online community of bloggers, political strategists and elected officials was just being born on a few small websites which hadn't yet grown into the mammoths they are today. Watch the latest ad on YouTube? Don't think so, it wasn't around either way back in 2004 when we all had to walk uphill both ways for five miles to get to our favorite sites.
However, as progressive and independent journalism has prospered and grown, the explosion of sources has created a different challenge for everyone following the races and their favorite issues - how do you possibly stay on top of all the top stories?
The Media Consortium, which Tracy is the Program Director of, is an organization that's bringing independent progressive media leadership together for the first time in years, to figure out how we can work together to help change the terms of political and cultural debate, to produce the kind of real journalism that's been all but abandoned by the corporate-controlled media, and to build healthy and effective organizations that are in the fight for the long haul. Their current members run the gamut from The Nation to Mother Jones to Free SpeechTV to Talking Points Memo to Brave New Films to, well, here's a complete list of the members.
But faced with the challenges of technology, it is technology itself that comes to the rescue. Approximately one year ago, James Boyce launched the very NewsLadder, for Burma where people literally from all around the world linked up all the top stories, articles and videos about the monks rising up to challenge the military junta. Within days, the Burma NewsLadder was the top source of Burma news, all aggregated and the top stories voted up by readers, clicks and comments. It even broke through into the top 1,000 sites inside Burma. Clearly, there was a need and the Burma NewsLadder met it.
Today, we are announcing The Media Consortium Mediawires, a partnership between The Media Consortium and NewsLadder. On all the NewsLadders, from Burma to Green to OurTroops, you will find top content and reporting from The Media Consortium members-the best independent reporting on the most critical issues of our time.
We are also launching three new ladders, with special emphasis on the work and reporting by The Media Consortium: John McCain, Immigration and Healthcare --critical issues and debates for all people in this country to be informed about. All of these NewsLadders then feed into the main NewsLadder, a wonderful aggregation of the top stories on the top issues that changes every minute.
All total there are now more than 20 NewsLadders, all day every day, people are posting links to stories, articles and more - the best of the best rise to the top and you can get the top stories Twittered to you or you can sign up for our email. You can also add a Facebook Application of your favorite NewsLadder to your Facebook page or add one of our widgets to your own blog or site.
Our world has changed and the political conversation has grown. We all have a voice and and a vote, not only in who wins in November but every day with what is really the top story of the day.
And just like democracy, if you don't agree with the top story of the day, link something else up and give it a vote. That's the power of technology, the power of democracy and the ability for all of us to decide what's important.