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  • Thursday, March 03, 2005


    Supporting Independent Publishers

    Big media just keep getting bigger. Jennifer Nix of Chelsea Green, an independent publisher, points out that some of the best known and best selling progressive writers are published by branches of megamedia corporations. These authors make money for the very corporations they often criticize. While there is obviously an element of boosterism for her own company, the analysis remains valid to me. This quote comes from Sleeping with the Enemy:

    There is a great deal of talk from progressive leaders these days about how this country needs media reform as part of a multifaceted approach to saving democracy, and winning back the White House and Congress. A woeful lament is sung by our progressive leaders about how the media companies are now concentrated into homogenous conglomerates which, at best, worry only about bottom-line profits, while at their most sinister, are dedicated to furthering the radical right-wing agenda.

    We agree! What we don't understand is why these same progressive writers and activists don't walk the walk, and offer like-minded independent book publishers a seat at the table when strategies for media reform are being bandied about.

    For the sake of opening up this discussion, I'd like to ask Amy Goodman why she published her last book, The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them, with Disney-owned Hyperion.

    Michael Moore: What possessed you to make money for Rupert Murdoch by publishing your book, Stupid White Men, with ReganBooks/HarperCollins, and to then go to AOL/Time Warner's Warner Books with Dude! Where's My Country?, before jumping to a third corporate ship, Viacom's Simon & Schuster, to publish your latest offering, Will They Ever Trust Us Again?

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