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  • Tuesday, November 16, 2004


    Missing Voices of Our World

    This sums up one problem of the current state of the mass media. From the Introduction by Tom Engelhardt to The Missing Voices of Our World by Howard Zinn:

    Late last August, pen and pad in hand, I joined the massive demonstration at the Republican convention in New York City and, on something of a whim, started asking people why they had come and what they hoped to accomplish. Writing as fast as I could as I walked, I barely kept up with the urge to speak. I was at least faintly aware then that, in demonstration stories, one seldom heard much from actual demonstrators. I went on to do the same for Republican delegates on the floor of the convention and paired the two pieces at Tomdispatch. Both experiences left me thinking about how little place or space there is in our news for the voices of Americans. The media invariably steps in the way.

    These thoughts returned recently when I posted the eloquent words of Teri Mills Allison, the mother of a soldier in Iraq, who wrote to me about 'the costs of war'; and, soon after, when I sent out Letters from the Home Front, a selection of some of the responses to her piece, especially from military families, which arrived (and continue to arrive) at the site's mailbox. These are voices -- articulate, thoughtful, filled with emotion -- that we simply don't have a chance to experience if they're not in our own families or among our friends.

    In fact, until relatively recently there has been surprisingly little space in our world for real American voices, no less the voices of dissent.

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