If there is something I truly believe in to be true one-hundred percent of the time, it is that connections are how you move up in the world and how you also become a better person. Who you know and what you are a part of directly enhance your life and allow you to experience opportunities you never would have if you isolated yourself by blogging, posting articles independently, or trying to deal with the world all by yourself by talking into a camera for a YouTube video.
I was sitting at home on a Saturday typing an article in response to Taxi to the Dark Side, a documentary that everyone should see not just for its topic but also because documentary filmmakers depend on people like you to make sure their distribution privileges aren’t taken away (meaning if you don’t go see these documentary films in theatres, they won’t get made).
I opened my mailbox during my writing to find an email from a group I have been involved with called World Can’t Wait. (They recently dressed up in orange jumpsuits and paraded on the sidewalks through the Loop in Chicago.) The group’s primary function is to get people to support the call to drive Bush and Cheney out with impeachment and to also end this illegal war in Iraq.
The email called on me to go to a progressive media meeting where I could meet members of the non-corporate media in Chicago and get contacts for the publicity of future actions (like the one we will be holding on February 15th in solidarity with the city of Berkeley). I jumped at this immediately because not only am I an activist, but I, too, am part of the progressive media in Chicago and have the capacity to network with these people and enhance OpEdNews.com.
The meeting was held where every progressive media meeting should be held: in the back room of an alternative and revolutionary book store with books from liberation movements, union movements, war, elections, activists, etc.
Twenty people showed up who were all a part of the progressive media in someway. One lady ran a blog similar to OpEdNews,com in that her goal is to post what she thinks the corporate media has hid from the public each day on MakeThemAccountable.com. A guy from Democracy Now! and Chicago Indy Media was there showing his video programs he had put together. A gentleman detailed how he had taken his camera and televised debates between local politicians so people could see the truth and elect real progressive voices last Tuesday. A man detailed how he runs a secular religious group where people can gather and show their media to people who come weekly to his group to talk about politics, issues, life, current events, etc.
One person in particular struck up an interesting conversation with me. This was my opportunity to promote OpEdNews.com to him because he had no idea that it existed. (Actually, most of the people there had no idea but I did not get to have a private conversation with everybody.)
I started to talk to him about his plan and he was detailing to me the need for the anti-war movement to get more YouTube videos out on to the web that are tagged with “obama”, “clinton”, “election”, “iraq”, etc. He talked to me about the need for people to exact more pressure on politicians to end this war now.
I responded to him by saying that I had watched videos from Berkeley on the shutting down of the marine recruitment center and that they had been posted by right wingers who wrote details about the video so people watching it would already think it was something other than average Americans upset with this illegal war. He had no idea about what happened in Berkeley.
I proceeded to tell him about the incident. This came with an explanation o what OpEdNews.com is all about.
I realized at that moment that OpEdNews is the best on the web (care to donate?). I know of no other place where members can freely submit articles to be published by the editors on the site. I know of no other site where members who become “trusted authors” can freely submit articles to be published without the approval of the editor. I know of no other place that professionally divides pieces between professional opinion news editorials and diaries, which are more like blog entries anybody can write.
Let's say hypothetically a place does exist that I am unaware of or failing to mention---I want nothing to do with it because this site represents America better than any progressive site on the web. People of every age, color, shape, and size from all over America are here telling it like it is and I love it.
I told him how it worked and he was fascinated. I expect him to become a member soon. I was surprised that he did not know about it because he is from the M20 Coalition (M20Coalition.org). For the coalition to have not come across any anti-war pieces on OpEdNews yet, that was surprising.
Perhaps, that’s the one thing we need to enhance on this site. I believe he could have visited here and not known he was at OpEdNews (since a search on Google brings up OpEdNews articles). The site is plain. It’s all business and no play. I like it but perhaps we need something to jazz up the news site a little bit.
Wrapping up...when the meeting ended, we had all decided that there was a need to get out there and do what we could to make the media we create spread like a virus. Video productions, articles, music, art, and books we create or come across need to get out there to the public because the corporate media is keeping this media hidden.
A few suggested that we set up a progressive media think tank like the Cato Institute to represent the heartland of America --- the Midwest. I don't know if that's necessary but if you imagine the possibility of a think tank to combat the corporate media here in Chicago, it sounds pretty cool.