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Can Our Media Survive?

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NEWS DISSECTOR June 1, 2007

Special Blog: Can Our Media Channel Survive?

HOPING FOR THE BEST, PREPARING FOR THE WORST

Yes, it is painful for your news dissector to come to the point that we have with Mediachannel.org and find, after seven years in the web trenches, that the cupboard (ie. our bank account) is bare. And so we are forced to send out an SOS with no certainly that there is enough time for us to save and strengthen our internationally acclaimed website in just one month. (Don't rule us out. We have been the "comeback kids" well before that term was applied to Bill Clinton, but 30 days goes tres fast!)

Perhaps with your help, or with unknown rabbits to be pulled out of unseen hats, we will live to fight another day. We know our work is needed. And we know we are better at making media than financing it

I am off tonight on one more foreign trip?speaking at an international student conference in Germany. As an old timer whose first trip to Deutschland took place in the l960's, I am thrilled to still be wanted by younger people, and know that this invitation is a tribute to the respect that the Medichannel has achieved globally.

I was invited to a film festival in South Africa at months end and because of a scheduling conflict can't honor an invite in South Korea by the fabulous Oh My Citizens journalism newspaper. My partner Rory will go to blog and represent us in my stead, as I am sure you noticed, we are not just bloggers or web people but actively involved in the world as media creators and critics.

I am still chugging along (jet setting some might say) but the "challenges" of keeping our company and Mediachannel alive may be more than we can handle. Costs are up while energy goes down when you feel your banging your head against unreceptive walls. We still belie in the potential and promise of this effort and are proud of what we have achieved despite the odds. We never thought we would get the Mediachannel up and going or keep it going as long as we have.

My media work has had it cycles almost like a business cycle. I was in radio at WBCN for 8 years, at ABC News for eight years, and so far with Media Channel for nearly 8 again. Are the media gods sending me a message? Is it time to hang up my scalpel? All of these stints are no small accomplishment considering how volatile the media world can be as well and how hostile it has become to our values. Hugo Chavez is said to be shutting down an "opposition-aligned" main channel in Venezuela. We don't even have one in the US of A.

So, alas, if we do have to "pull the plug" on a media outlet we love, we'll know we gave it our best shot in a very dark time and actually succeeded beyond our expectations. Nothing lasts forever.

Also, I may be breaking my newsy, counter-narrative blog format this month to share some of my "greatest hits" and reflect on what a strange and exciting journey this has been and still is.

I had hoped to publish a tenth year anniversary edition of my first book, THE MORE YOU WATCH THE LESS YOU KNOW (Seven Stories) that called for a Mediachannel way back in l997. But the Press couldn't/wouldn't do it and I had no other takers, Nevertheless, I wrote a special introduction for the edition that was not to be, assessing what's happened to me and to us in this eventful decade. (This is, to be sure, only one version of what was and may yet be.)

So as the month of June begins, culminating in a big birthday for me on the 27th, and with Mediachannel's future on the line, please join me for some walks down memory lane.

And, if you like what we are doing, and want to be part of it, invest some energy and money, if you have it, keeping this unique experiment in global journalism alive.

Comments to: dissector@mediachannel.org

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.

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