Middle Media (2003)

The sites, zines, and blogs of the Internet have proven to be effective media for groups with limited resources and poor access to commercial mass media to organize and communicate. CCCE develops projects to better understand the organization and effectiveness of middle media resources. Below are a few links to give a taste of the diversity of middle media resources. Right now we have them divided into three categories: Journalism, Weblogs and Political Forums. If you have more links to suggest, please e-mail them to the CCCE.

Directed by Don Hazen out of San Francisco, Alternet is an alternative website for political news. The site provides a glossary of progressive columnists and is updated regularly.
Common Dreams
Along with Alternet, Common Dreams is the most prominent alternative news source on the web. It is frequently updated, drawing from a wide range of progressive opinion.
Based on the radical notion, “Become the Media,” the Indymedia movement began during the “Battle of Seattle” when the first Independent Media Center (IMC) was founded. Currently, scores of new IMC’s are creating an online and organizational network spanning six continents. IMC’s innovative “open publishing”feature allows civic journalists to immediately post their own news story on the webiste’s newswire. IMC volunteers describe themselves on the home website as “a collective of independent media organizations and hundreds of journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage. Indymedia is a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth.”
As slick as it appears, this really is a progressive site that acts as a watchdog on all levels of government.
Corpwatch is frequently updated and provides investigative reports on corporate malfeasance, such as threats to the environment and to consumer health.
One of the oldest middle media sites on the web (beginning in April 1997), this site is a panoply of opinion pieces dealing with a wide range of political and gender-related issues and topics, from a conservative point of view.
Billed as “America’s News Page,” this site provides daily news updates with a conservative bent. Typically featured on this page are works by Ann Coulter and other conservative thinkers.
First Monday
This monthly is geared towards discussing issues relating to the Internet and the online revolution. The tone tends towards more exploratory than polemical, and even has an “academic” feel to it (e.g. articles with brief abstracts), especially since articles are “peer-reviewed” (submissions must be vetted by colleagues in the field).
One World
This site gathers information from over 1250 worldwide organizations into an omnibus information source on matters dealing with global justice and human rights. The style of the site tends to be more informative and less confrontational than many similar sites. The articles on the site have an immediacy to them, simply because they usually are written by individuals close to the circumstances of the events themselves.
Working for Change
Created by the progressive phone company, Working Assets, this site is billed as “a comprehensive Web site made up of resources for people with progressive values. Anyone with Internet access (members and non-members alike) can speak out on urgent issues, read informative news and columns, go shopping, make a donation or volunteer their time.”

A weblog geared toward those of a more technical background. The discussions center on the state of the technological sector.
Rebecca’s Pocket
This is a comprehensive history of the blog movement, including names and dates.
One of the most popular “political” weblogs on the Net, this site is smartly written, well-represented by various opinions and always up-to-date.
Livejournal allows you to create your own online journal, which is the same as a “blog.”
It’s hard to pin a label on these folks, since they cover material ranging from the political to the trivial. The emphasis is more catchall, so there’s no expressed direction.

Political Forums

Democratic Underground
Just as the perceived excesses of the Clinton presidency helped spawn a network of conservative web sites, the 2000 election of George Walker Bush arguably has led to a similar phenomenon on the liberal side of the spectrum. Part news source, part discussion board; Democraticunderground (DU) enjoys a lively rivalry with Freerepublic. On their website, DU founders claim “Democratic Underground was founded on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2001, to protest the illegitimate presidency of George W. Bush and to provide a resource for the exchange and dissemination of liberal and progressive ideas.”

Free Republic
Free Republic bills itself as a ” an online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web.” Users (called “freepers”) can get links to news sources (major and minor publications), as well as discussion threads and breaking news.