Please note this page was last updated on 24 May 2012 – some of it may therefore be obsolete. Keep checking for new content – it’s on the way!
(PL) Polskojęzyczna wersja tej strony jest w drodze – proszę o cierpliwość!
My name’s Matt and I believe professional journalism should be about challenging the official line, honest and nuanced reporting and providing alternative perspectives to those offered by the powerful. I don’t think this is done quite enough across the current ‘mainstream’ media landscape. You can find me on twitter: www.twitter.com/mjrinski.
I started this blog to satisfy my journalistic drive, however amateur. It is entirely experimental in nature, so this website will (hopefully) see a variety of styles and types of article.
My principal interests are the media, terrorism, politics and US foreign policy. They will, with some exceptions, be the main focus. There have been several key moments in the past 3 years that shaped my interests into what they are today. What follows is my attempt at a brief outline of the main influencers, as I feel this will best serve the purpose of this page.
MY PASSION FOR MEDIA, TERRORISM AND POLITICS
What kick-started my passion for the media was reading several scientific studies that showed how superficial and misleading media representations can be. One I can recall is a study which showed the amount of media coverage devoted for terrorist events on mainstream news networks was entirely independent of their real world frequency, nature and severity.
Then, following my work on a university report about ‘terrorist’ characters in Hollywood films (who, I argued, were almost consistently represented as purely evil), I began to look further into media and popular culture focusing on the notorious t-word out of sheer curiosity.
This coincided with the emergence of Wikileaks and Julian Assange into the global scene, which had me spend hours reading one article, cable or note after another with disbelief. I was in awe of the secrecy in which things were done, outraged at the despicable actions of our governments that hid behind neutrally sounding words like “liberation” or “collateral damage” and felt strong determination to know more.
I started digging deeper.
The books and papers written by (or with the help of) Richard Jackson (his blog: www.richardjacksonterrorismblog.wordpress.com) helped me understand the weaknesses of “terrorism” knowledge many take as fact, gave me insight into the instrumentality of the powerful political narrative of “war on terror” and informed about the largely ignored topic of state terrorism, but most importantly helped me start paying more attention to the double standards of the West in regards to the term and its usage.
I started getting to know more about Israel, its history in the Middle East and relationship with the West. Robert Fisk‘s work was of great help in this regard and so were books by Noam Chomsky. Al-Jazeera (and its programmes: particularly Inside Story and People & Power) where I found plenty of coverage of all matters surrounding Israel, became my favourite news source for a while. I felt angry that political favours, unconditional support and diplomatic immunity granted to Israel by Western governments had caused the suffering of so many. I got involved with a small pro-Palestinian student group and even though we hadn’t had much success, my pro-Palestinian sentiment strengthened and solidified. It was then that I came across Electronic Intifada.
I read and was absolutely fascinated by “Newspeak in the 21st Century” written by David Edwards and David Cromwell, which then lead me to the Medialens organisation which the two authors run – a group that has a reputation of being a regular and fierce critic of the so-called mainstream media.
Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” gave me insight into Western economic and political agenda and its devastating effects on the poor of this world, as did the work of the New Internationalist.
The numerous sources across the media spectrum that I follow, from pro-Iranian Press TV, anti-Western and pro-Russian RT (most notably the Cross Talk series with Peter Lavelle) , through the perhaps more neutral Guardian (esp. the Comment is Free section) Democracy Now! and Al-Jazeera, to pro-Western BBC, plus many more league-of-their-own type outlets (like Just Foreign Policy or Bureau of Investigative Journalism) help me expand my knowledge about the political machinations surrounding “terrorism” and keep in touch with the events in the Western political sphere and beyond.
A journalist who I name among my favourites is Glenn Greenwald, who has been (at Salon) and continues to be (now at Guardian) a source of constant inspiration and knowledge in regards to the things I’m so passionate about.