The following statement was sent by award-winning Australian journalist and documentarian John Pilger in support of the upcoming webinar, “Organizing resistance to Internet censorship: An online discussion with Chris Hedges and David North.” Pilger’s documentaries include The Quiet Mutiny (1970), Year Zero (1979), Utopia (2013) and, most recently, The Coming War on China (2016), on US aggression in Asia.
The webinar featuring Hedges and North will be held Tuesday, January 16, at 7:00 p.m. EST. For more information and to register, click here.
As a journalist and filmmaker who has long navigated the mainstream, I offer my support to this important discussion between Chris Hedges and David North.
Something has changed. Although the media was always a loose extension of capital power, it is now almost fully integrated. Dissent once tolerated in the mainstream has regressed to a metaphoric underground as liberal capitalism moves toward a form of corporate dictatorship. This is an historic shift, with journalists policing the perimeters of the new order: witness the anti-Russia hysteria and the #MeToo witch-hunts, especially in liberal newspapers such as the Guardian and the New York Times. With independent journalists ejected from the mainstream, the world wide web remains the vital source of serious disclosure and evidence-based analysis: true journalism.
Sites such as wikileaks.org, wsws.org, consortiumnews.com, globalresearch.ca, democracynow.org and counterpunch.org are increasingly targeted as “offensive” by Google and other giants; and the filtering and limiting of Google searches of these sites is rank censorship. These are not marginal sources, but crucial for people trying to make sense of a world in which science and technology have advanced remarkably while mainstream “democratic” politics have regressed to the extremism of class warfare and incessant warmongering.
The perverse contrivance of fake news is part of this, as is Russia-gate. The broadcaster RT—which often does the job the western liberal media has abandoned—would have been destroyed had it not been backed by a powerful government. The same might be said of Julian Assange had he not demonstrated extraordinary resilience and courage and won the backing of a small, brave government. The matter is urgent; voices must be raised! I urge my colleagues to break their silence.