You Can't Ever Stop Being Vigilant: The Role of Alternative Media in Protecting Democracy

Beverly Bell, Other Worlds

Truthout, 08 September 2012

Beverly Bell: Can you please start by telling us how you define alternative media?

Leslie Thatcher: I would define alternative media as media not controlled by mega-corporations or big business or very wealthy people. It is not necessarily progressive. Probably there are some AstroTurf alternative media out there, outlets that appear to be independent but are funded by the people who fund right-wing think tanks and other ideological ventures.

On the internet, you hardly need anything more than a computer to start a website. So that's probably the simplest place to do alternative media. But there've always been alternative media. I'm old enough to remember when alternative media were mimeographed pamphlets you handed out at colleges and demonstrations and things like that.

BB: And for people who care about constructing alternatives to the world we live in that's governed by money and corrupt power, how do you view media as a vehicle?

LT: We hope that by reporting what's really happening, we'll be able to change things because once people understand what's happening, they'll respond to it, rise up and do something about it.

...I really strongly feel that I'm doing this because it gives me the opportunity every day to offer an alternative to the prevalent worldview in this country. Though sometimes I wonder whether it's really the prevalent worldview or whether it's simply the one that's dosed out to us. People in communities that are not white, that are not middle class, certainly have a different view of the world, I think, from the one that prevails in mainstream media.

Read more