September 8, 2022

The Park Center for Independent Media circulates the Indy Brief. Subscribe for a weekly selection of news stories from journalists operating outside traditional corporate systems.

Upcoming Events
9/22: Exiled Writers Talk Survival and Dissent

The Park Center for Independent Media invites you to an evening celebrating four writers who have braved danger and refused censorship to exercise their artistic independence.

Join us on Thursday, September 22, at 5:30 p.m. in Textor 101, Ithaca College.

Poet Dmitry Bykov nearly died in a poisoning, then was banned from teaching or appearing on Russian TV. Essayist Pwaangulongii Dauod received death threats for writing about queer culture in Nigeria. Cartoonist Pedro X. Molina watched Nicaraguan state forces jail his colleagues and occupy his newspaper’s offices. Novelist Anouar Rahmani was threatened with imprisonment for writing about human rights in Algeria.

The evening will include reading and conversation with each of these artists.

Read more on our speakers here.

The Edge
“Ukrainian Journalists Are Learning How to Become War Reporters”

On September 7, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) and the Park Center for Independent Media facilitated a conversation with scholars and media experts on coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war in independent and mainstream media.

Speakers Natalie Gryvnyak, Masha Shpolberg, and  Zenon Wasyliw offered perspectives spanning on-the-ground reporting, Eastern European history, and film production. Their analyses raised vital questions on the impacts of media concerning the war.

Read their remarks on The Edge.

Progressives Look Toward November to Fight Corporate Control

Almost all the primaries are behind us now, and the outlook is still grim for the midterm elections this fall. The semi-fascist Republican Party is well-positioned to win control of the House and has a decent chance of also gaining a majority in the Senate.

But demagoguery is not destiny. Progressives can help steer the future in a better direction over the next two months.

Read Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon on candidates in the upcoming November elections.

A Hole in the World: Brian Winston, 1941–2022

A huge hole in the world has opened up with the untimely death of Brian Winston, a foundational scholar whose writings defined the field of documentary internationally.

Brian electrified us with his commitment to the politics and ethics of documentary and journalism, his mission to rewire academia as a place to galvanize hearts and minds, his interrogation of everything written or filmed or said (including my own work!), and his insistence that solidarities matter more than anything else.

Read Patricia R. Zimmermann’s tribute to the wit, good company, and prolific scholarship of Brian Winston.

How Students & Young Alumni Can Influence Climate Policy

It’s not an easy time for young people. Everywhere we turn, we’re faced with grim news, and above all other ills: climate change.

But the question of how to help address this crisis often remains unanswered. Maura Stephens highlights one suggestion by author Tom Kerns in his book “Youth Climate Courts: How You Can Host a Human Rights Trial for People and Planet,” which lays out a practical and replicable template for meaningful youth action in response to climate change.

Read Stephens’ essay on Kerns’ plan here.

How Augmented Documentary Illuminates the Politics of Place

We are living in one of the most exciting times in the history of independent documentary.

The entire field is undergoing massive shifts in form, interface, technology, conceptualization, use, and topics. Documentary is at a turning point of radical disruption.

This new period of documentary crackles with intellectual and political excitement. It breaks open new strategies for cocreation, image-making, accessibility, where a project lives, and how a work is used and mobilized in communities. Interactive, participatory modes counter legacy media hierarchies of directors and makers — and prevail.

Read more from Elizabeth Miller and Patricia R. Zimmermann on the future possibilities of Augmented Documentary.

Park Center for Independent Media
The Los Angeles Vanguard Archive

In the spring of 1976, the Los Angeles Vanguard published its first issue. Founded by journalists who had written for the Los Angeles Free Press magazine, the rebellious publication quickly became a target of the LAPD’s Public Disorder Intelligence Division, which forced the paper to stop less than two years after its creation.

The Vanguard’s life was brief but impactful. During its 14-month run, the weekly paper won awards for its reporting on rampant violence against citizens by the para-military Los Angeles Police Department, invasive practices of the phone company Pacific Telephone (often on behalf of police agencies), judicial corruption, and nuclear hazards.

Now, the Park Center for Independent Media is hosting an archive of various editions of the paper, thanks to the preservation of journalist Dave Lindorff.

You can view the archive here.

In Other News

1. Senate Democrats tee up vote to protect marriage equality after Supreme Court strikes down abortion rights | The Independent

2. Ukraine Is Waging a New Kind of War | The Atlantic

3. 4 Queen Elizabeth II, World’s Second-Longest Reigning Monarch, Dies At 96 | HuffPost

4. Ukraine war: US approves $2.6bn in aid for Ukraine and allies | BBC

5. World on brink of five ‘disastrous’ climate tipping points, study finds | The Guardian

Read previous Briefs and more from independent media on the PCIM website and The Edge, and follow PCIM on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.