Media Channel

Media Channel
Media Channel

Media Channel has over 90 international advisors: journalists, academics, media professionals, media critics, and activists. Our advisors serve as Media Channel’s eyes and ears around the globe. They keep us informed about important issues and events, contribute commentaries and columns, and help us reach out to media organizations worldwide. We’re grateful to our advisors for their guidance, input, and insights.

Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.

AFRICA

Fackson Banda, Regional Director, Panos Institute of Southern Africa – Zambia Guy Berger, Professor and Head of Department, Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes University – South Africa

Kondwani Chirambo, Director, Democracy and Governance Programme, Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC); Chairman, Commonwealth Press Union (CPU), Zambia section; Member of the Governing Council of the CPU – Zambia

Tracy Cohen, Policy Analyst, LINK Center, Graduate School for Public and Development Management – South Africa Shuller Habeenzu, Managing Director, Zamnet – Zambia

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Chief Correspondent for National Public Radio – South Africa

Ted Iwere, Publisher, Business Nigeria – Nigeria Pallo Jordan, Former Minister of Information – South Africa

Tawana Kupe, Media Scholar, Rhodes University – South Africa Gwen Lister, Editor of The Namibian – Namibia

Sundie Sinkala, African Regional Co-ordinator, OneWorld Online; Information and Research Officer, Zambia Independent Media Association – Zambia Keyan Tomaselli, Director, Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, University of Natal – South Africa

INDIAN SUBCONTINENT

Binod Agrawal, Director, TALEEM Research Foundation – India

Zafaryab Ahmed, Journalist, first human rights fellow of the Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights at Colby College – Pakistan

Nitya Jacob, Indian Regional Co-ordinator, OneWorld Online – India

Sevanti Ninan, Media Columnist – India

MIDDLE EAST

Nissim Calderon, Political analyst, literary critic, Tel-Aviv University – Israel Thomas Goltz, Journalist, Author, Lecturer – Turkey

Khaldoon Tabaza, President of Online Services, Arabia.On.Line; Faculty Member, World Paper International – Jordan

ASIA

Zhuge Hungyun, Director, SkyArc Productions; Television Producer – China Vijay Menon, Secretary-General, Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) – Singapore

Mitsuko Shimomura, Journalist – Japan

Masaki Tajika, Senior Editor, Sapio Magazine – Japan

Zhou Xiao-Pu, Director, Broadcasting Section, Journalism Department, Renmin University – China Satoshi Yoshida, Chief Editor, Economic News Section, Kyodo News – Japan

LATIN AMERICA

Carlos Castilho, Editor, Revista Empreendedor – Brazil

EUROPE

Patrice Barrat, President, Article Z, Television Press Agency – France Mariano Benni, a member of the board of directors, Manager of journalistic personnel and external relations, Missionary Service News Agency (MISNA) – Italy Anna Cataldi, Journalist, UN Messenger of Peace – Italy

Stephen Coleman, Director of the Hansard Society, London School of Economics – England Countess Albina du Boisrouvray, Founder, Association Francois-Xavier Bagnoud – France

Thomas Dillen, Documentary Filmmaker & TV Journalist – Sweden Ms. Divina Frau-Meigs, Professor of Media – France

Serge Halimi, Media Editor, Le Monde Diplomatique – France

Miklos Haraszti, Social Scientist and Media Critic – Hungary

Max Kaase, Political Scientist, 1st VP of International Political Science Association (IPSA) – Germany

Ann-Britt Kaca, Senior Producer, YLE, Finish Broadcasting – Finland

Pat Kane, Associate Editor, Sunday Herald – Scotland Remy Le Champion, Associate Producer, University of Paris; TV and Webcast Producer – France

Jake Lynch, Consultant/Conflict & Peace Forums, Sky News correspondent – England Veran Matic, B92 Radio Belgrade, Annam Independent Media Association – Serbia

Tessa Mayes, Freelance Journalist, Media Researcher – England Ziba Norman, Prospect Magazine – England

Umit Ozturk, Vice-Chair, Amnesty International Journalists’ Network – England Gregory Palast, Business Columnist, The Observer – England

Greg Philo, Professor of Media Studies, Glasgow University – Scotland

John Pilger, Journalist – England

Helge Ronning, Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo; Former member of the Norwegian Public Service Broadcasting Council; Former member of the Government Commission on Freedom of Expression – Norway

Arne Ruth, Journalist/Editor – Sweden

Naomi Sakr, Research Director, Centre for Media Freedom – Middle East and North Africa (CMF MENA) – England

Jan Servaes, Dean, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Chair, Department of Communication, Katholieke Universiteit Brussel; Director, Research Centre, “Communication for Social Change” (CSC) – Belgium

Daniel Singer, European Correspondent, The Nation – France

Sava Tatic, Managing Director, Center for Advanced Media, Prague; Publication Director, Transitions – Czech Republic Barbara Thomass, School of Media and Politics, University of Hamburg – Germany

Carole Tongue, former member of the European Parliament – England Stefaan Verhulst, Director, Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, Wolfson College; Editorial Board, International Journal of Communications Law and Policy; Chair in Communication, UNESCO – England

Granville Williams, Division of Media, University of Huddersfield; Editor, Free Press – England

NORTH AMERICA

Jack Balkin, Director, Yale Information Society Project – USA

Roy Eugene Boggs, Jr. , Professor of Law, University of West Los Angeles; Member, Board of Directors, Screen Actors’ Guild – USA Nolan Bowie, JFK School of Government, Harvard University – USA Farai Chideya, Author, Journalist – USA

Linda Fuller, Professor, Worcester State College Communications Department; Media scholar and writer – USA Irene Gendzier, Professor, Boston University – USA

George Gerbner, President, Cultural Environment Movement; Bell-Atlantic Professor of Communications at Temple University; Dean Emeritus of the Annenberg School, University of PA – USA

Todd Gitlin, Professor, Department of Culture and Communication, New York University – USA Danny Glover, American Actor, Human Rights Activist, Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) – USA

Christopher Harper, Professor, Park Distinguished Chair, Department of Television-Radio, Ithaca College – USA Victor Harwood, President, Digital Hollywood – USA Hazel Henderson, Author, Futurist – USA

Patricia Ireland, President, National Organization for Women – USA Roland Joffe, Film Director – USA

Timothy Karr, Editor-at-Large for The World Paper – USA Alan Kay, President, Americans Talk Issues Foundation for Social Innovation – USA

Joan Konner, Former Dean, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism – USA Stephen Marshall, Creative Director, Guerrilla News Network – USA

Robert McChesney, Associate Professor, Institute of Communication Research, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – USA Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Media Ecology, New York University; Director, Project on Media Ownership – USA

Al Perlmutter, Veteran Award Winning Producer – USA

Monroe Price, Professor, Cardoza Law School, Cornell University; Co-director, Programme of Comparative Media Law and Policy, Oxford – USA Robbie Romero, Native American Artist and Activist, Eagle Thunder Enterprise – USA

Jay Rosen, Professor of Journalism, New York University School of Journalism – USA

Dr. Nancy Snow, Center for Communications and Community, UCLA – USA Jerold Starr, Executive Director, Citizens for an Independent Public Broadcasting – USA

Barry Steinhardt, Associate Director, American Civil Liberties Union; Co-director, Global Internet Liberty Campaign – USA Roger Trilling, Magazine editor and TV producer – USA

Shalini Venturelli, Professor, International Communication, School of International Service, American University – USA Karen Lee Wald, Journalist – Cuba and USA  John Wallach, Director, Seeds of Peace – USA Jon Wiener, Professor of History, University of California at Irvine – USA

Ian Williams, UN Correspondent, The Nation; UN Bureau Chief, foreigntv.com – USA Ellen Willis, Professor of Journalism, New York University School of Journalism – USA

Become A MediaChannel Affiliated Site

Become A MediaChannel Affiliated Site
Become A MediaChannel Affiliated Site

Don’t have a Web site? Want to get involved? Click here!
Or, jump right to the the sign-up form.
MediaChannel is the world’s first Internet supersite devoted to global media issues. Media Channel is a not-for-profit public interest project of The Global Center and OneWorld Online.

For more about MediaChannel, click here.

We’re excited about your interest in MediaChannel. Participation in the MediaChannel network offers:

Global Distribution: MediaChannel will link to your site, spotlight your content and drive traffic to your pages. Your organization will be featured in our directory, a guide to the largest online network of media-issues groups.
Advanced Searching: our advanced search engine indexes associated sites daily. This leading-edge technology will summarize and keyword every new document added to your site, enabling MediaChannel visitors to make the most of your valuable resources.
Community: our online forums bring together an international community of media producers and consumers concerned with media issues. Community features — including discussion forums, bulletin boards and a media marketplace — offer a way for your organization to connect with other groups worldwide and engage with our audience about the stories, issues, projects and proposals that you are working on and care most about.
There are two ways for organizations to participate in MediaChannel:

… BECOME A MEDIACHANNEL ASSOCIATE

MediaChannel operates autonomously from OneWorld Online, with its own board of advisors, and with full respect for credibility, accuracy, and journalistic standards. Groups who are not OneWorld Partners are invited to join as MediaChannel Associates. As a MediaChannel Associate, you will be part of the MediaChannel network, with full access to MediaChannel services. Your content will be featured on the site and you will be able to participate in MediaChannel community activities. To join MediaChannel, click here. (Participation is currently free)

… BECOME A ONEWORLD PARTNER

OneWorld Online (www.oneworld.net) is a global network of over 900 NGOs and not-for-profit organizations dedicated to human rights, sustainable development and the environment. Many groups working on media issues have become OneWorld Partners, such as Index on Censorship, Media Institute of Southern Africa and the Committee to Protect Journalists. OneWorld Partnership includes MediaChannel association, as well as a range of special services and the opportunity to have content showcased on the popular OneWorld supersite. To learn more about becoming a OneWorld Partner, click here.

For any questions about taking part in MediaChannel, please email

Mission Statement

MediaChannel.org is a nonprofit, public interest Web site dedicated to global media issues. MediaChannel offers news, reports and commentary from our international network of media-issues organizations and publications, as well as original features from contributors and staff. Resources include thematic special reports, action toolkits, forums for discussion, an indexed directory of hundreds of affiliated groups and a search engine constituting the single largest online media-issues database.

MediaChannel is concerned with the political, cultural and social impacts of the media, large and small. MediaChannel exists to provide information and diverse perspectives and inspire debate, collaboration, action and citizen engagement.

More than ever before, we are living in a media age and a media world. Nine transnational conglomerates dominate the global media; multibillion-dollar deals are concentrating this power even further. Yet we are also experiencing a technological revolution that empowers independent media, worldwide communication and innovative media projects for everything from community development to political action.

In the current climate, we all need to be aware of how the media operate. Making sense of the steady stream of info-culture requires background, context and interpretation. The vitality of our political and cultural discourse relies on a free and diverse media that offers access to everybody. Journalists and media professionals, organizations and activists, scholars and citizens all need improved access to information, resources and opportunities to reach out and build connections. MediaChannel has been created to meet this need at the dawn of the new millennium.

Produced by Globalvision New Media, a project of The Global Center and OneWorld, MediaChannel is the first media and democracy supersite on the World Wide Web.

Confessions of a Payola Pundit

Confessions of a Payola Pundit
Confessions of a Payola Pundit

By Ian Williams

NEW YORK, February 23, 2005 — In 1985, I won the Liverpool Press Club prize for Byline Mania. I had just made the Centerfold in the Baptist Times. I have gone on from strength to strength. Anyone who is prepared to pay for what I write, I write for them.

I began this year with a long piece (not the centerfold) in Penthouse, on how the U.S. shortchanges its military personnel. I have made the Rwanda Times in the last year, and a year ago discovered myself gracing the op-ed page of the Jamaica Gleaner. I have of course written several pieces for the Nation, and lots more for lots of other people across the world.

And while I derive a lot of fun from writing, I would go a long way with Dr. Johnson, “No one but a fool wrote except for money.” He was writing before academics and tenure of course.

So when I was asked if I had written stuff for the UN, I said, “Sure!” After all, the would-be Pulitzer prize winner asking, Cliff Kincaid of the so-called Accuracy In Media, had “discovered” this from my website. “How much were you paid?” he asked.

With more accuracy than usual, Kincaid recounted, “When AIM asked Ian Williams for details about his U.N. compensation, he responded, in part: ‘I am happy to share the details of my other income with you if you will provide in return a complete list of donors to your various organizations and employers, with their names, addresses and affiliations, and your considered opinion on whether they would continue to finance you if you suddenly took a more objective and less hostile attitude to the United Nations.'”

He headed this “Stonewall.”

There were various other possible answers, like “since when was the right deputized by the IRS?” Another, after his article appeared, would have been, “How do you get the Accuracy in your name, since your article quotes from an interview with Stephanie Dujarric, a spokeswoman for Kofi Annan.” When I called to do some retrospective fact checking, Stephane Dujarric pointed out that he had not changed his sex.

In fact, Kincaid has yet to take up my invitation for a free exchange of statistics. But the last figures I saw, AIM had garnered over $3.5 million from ultraconservative foundations, mostly from the Scaife Family. That was two years ago, but at the annual rate of $350,000 from this rightist foundation alone, one could assume that it is now over $4 million.

Kincaid’s article compared me with Armstrong Williams, who was paid $250,000 under the table, without disclosure, of U.S. tax payers’ money specifically to peddle a partisan Republican policy under the guise of objective editorial content.

A week later, Bill O’Reilly asked the same question but in much saner way. “What’s the difference between you and Armstrong Williams?” I came clean, and answered, “$249,850.” I had just done my tax returns and discovered that my entire income from the whole UN system in 2004 was $150 — for interviewing Hans Blix on United Nations Television.

Now $150 does not buy a lot of loyalty, although I must admit that in my present straitened circumstances, with a young family to support, book to write etc, $250,000 may be getting close to my price. But sadly the question has never been put to the test. It almost was. In 1999 an old-style Republican acquaintance did take me to lunch and asked, “You used to write speeches for Neil Kinnock. How would you like to write them for W?”

I replied that as long as W was happy with speeches supporting a British style National Health Service and a multilateral approach to foreign affairs, I would be happy to provide them. They never got back to me.

But that sums up my credo. I will pretty much write for anyone who pays me, as long they do not dictate what I write. Although I charge much more for boring commissions. And I will hold up my list of exposes of the UN for everything from sexual harassment, pandering to big powers, conniving with the CIA, and covering up the bronze elephant’s organ in the gardens (honest!) next to any other journalist. But when the UN is maligned out of conservative malice and prejudice, then I will spring to its defense.

This is something that the right does not seem to get. They are the last Leninists on Earth, eagerly looking for any signs of anyone straying off their message regardless of truth or facts. For AIM and its pals in the Blogosphere over the right event horizon, no one could possibly say a good word for the UN unless bribed to do so, or on a seditious mission. (Presumably George W. Bush was only kidding when he said he supported the organization. I am sure that AIM, however, would not accuse the President of lying. So they just don’t mention it.)

As part of his fact-lite screed, Kincaid roped in the UN Correspondents Association Annual Awards, which give out prizes that are donated by the UN Foundation and Soros — which, shock horror, support the UN. Presumably there is considerably less shock and horror attached to the millions from Foundations like Scaife — which vilify the UN.

Kincaid quoted an invented, or lying, anonymous UN correspondent who claimed he had been told his entry had been rejected for being insufficiently supportive of the UN. In fact the Awards not only specifically invite investigative work, over the years they have mostly gone to exposes of the UN’s failings. Beginning with a BBC series attacking the UN over Bosnia, on to one of this year’s entries, which criticized the organization for its inaction over East Timor, winners have consistently held the UN up to its own declared standards. In the interests of disclosure, Danny Schechter and Rory O’Connor of MediaChannel were among our earliest awardees.

Recent winners have included the Wall Street Journal, twice, the Washington Times, the Murdoch-owned London Times, and the Washington Post for an investigation of UN police involvement in sex trafficking in Bosnia.

Without prejudging the issue, however, I rather suspect that the chances of AIM getting an UNCA Award for UN coverage are on a par with the Nation, or indeed UNCA, winning a grant from the Scaife Foundation. The Nation, like the winners of the UNCA Awards over the years, has fact checkers, which disqualifies us from conservative faith based awards. While AIM clearly does not, which disqualifies it from UNCA Awards. And Scaife would not take the risk of prize money going to fact-based winners which occasionally support the UN Charter.

But if Scaife should see the light and decide to send me a $350,000 check, I will gladly accept it — as long as I can write what I want to write — which I can promise will be fact-based not faith-based.

— Ian Williams is a well-known international journalist. He writes for The Nation and many other outlets including Mediachannel.org.