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From Sameer Dossani <fazal@tao.ca>
Date Sun, 21 Feb 1999 14:29:59 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

"The giant communication media: the great monsters of the television
industry, the communication satellites, magazines, and newspapers seem
determined to present a virtual world, created in the image of what the
globalization process requires."
                 - Subcommandante Marcos, spokesperson of the Zapatistas

The messengers of globalization are the corporate mass media; homogenizing
cultures, mediating realities, colonizing minds.  If culture is the sum of
the stories we tell about ourselves, then whoever controls the stories
controls the culture.  We need to reclaim our stories.

This is an invitation to join the Globalization News Network, designed to
facilitate the expression of a rising chorus of dissenting voices against
the globalization process and to provide a forum for cultural resistance to
the global media.

The global media:-
*   presents 'one world view', reflecting a corporate neoliberal agenda and
excluding debate on and alternatives to the global economy.
*  exports monocultural values, helping to create a global consumer class
while the majority of the world's population - the marginal members of the
global economy  - remain excluded and virtually invisible.
*  benefits from the very liberalization policies it promotes, taking over
and erasing indigenous and local media and cultural alternatives.
*  projects commodified and de-contextualised news with little systemic
analysis of the globalization process, and virtually no scrutiny of the
corporations, lobby groups, and international bureaucracies who design the
architecture of the global economy.
*   is itself conglomerizing as part of the process of globalization,
exacerbating the above problems.

This situation keeps populations in North and South alike misinformed,
passive and disempowered.

"The effects of the prevalent development model on the society, economy and
politics of the 'Developed', Western countries ... are needed in India and
Third World countries...  The facts about the lives of people -
particularly the minorities, depressed classes, the poverty,
criminalisation and people's movements there, their issues are needed in
India to counter the propaganda by the globalisation-mongers."
                - Andolan, indigenous media group from India

A Globalization News Network
At the same time, there has been an unprecedented growth of international
grassroots activism critiquing and resisting globalization, and building
alternatives.  The Globalization News Network was initiated to reflect this
movement through the dissemination of contextualized rather than
commodified news on globalization.  GNN aims to express the voices of those
marginalized in the global economy and bring them to a wider audience,
provide critical analysis of the current international structures driving
the processes of globalization and maldevelopment, and to facilitate better
strategic communication between those searching and campaigning for
alternatives in North and South.  Its growing database is designed to
connect grassroots movements, activists, cultural workers, NGOs, academics,
and both 'mainstream' and 'alternative' journalists and media outlets from
around the world in a network to establish strategic information exchange
(but not information overload!). GNN will collect, filter, and present news
stories from these groups and distribute them fortnightly as a 'news
service' to all who have joined the network.   This will not only improve
strategic communications between those critiquing globalization, but also
help to gain wider media coverage and understanding of their issues and
concerns, and - we hope -  inspire creative and informed cultural
resistance to global monocultural media messages.

'News wire'

GNN's fortnightly news wire would consist of:

*What is Globalization: - 1 analysis/theory piece examining the root
philosophies of and fundamental assumptions behind globalization and
neoliberal economics, from participating writers, academics, and activists.
This would function as a 'beginners guide' to different aspects of

*Scrutinizing the Global Government:  - 4 'global' news pieces covering
trade and investment treaties, corporate lobby groups, international
bureaucracies, think tanks, and PR campaigns etc.  The architects of the
global economy - the international bureaucrats and corporate executives -
are rarely exposed to the kind of media scrutiny their influence and
decision-making powers merit.

* Local Resistance in a Global Context -  5 pieces on local struggles
against globalization. GNN is keen to demonstrate the commonality of the
effects of globalization in North and South.   We hope that some news items
will combine Northern and Southern 'takes' on the same issue within the
same story (eg unemployment in the North and  sweatshops in the South, or
consumer fears over biotechnology in the North and protesting farmers in
the South).  GNN will also offer a 'rapid response' system enabling those
experiencing extreme repression to alert everyone on the network as quickly
as possible.

What the recipients of the news wire do with the information is then up to
them - it could become a campaigning tool, be used in street theatre, go
into a newspaper, be broadcast as a radio bulletin, be translated into
local languages and read out at public meetings, inspire a documentary,
inform artistic work, or simply be read as an information service by the
recipient.  GNN does not aim to 'replace' other information sources or
existing networks, but to link them together in as creative a way as

"A Globalization News Network would make the links and find a medium for
the consistent expression of the chaos and explosion of a multitude of
grassroots voices."
                - NGO Media worker, Ghana

Network Nodes:

GNN is committed to reaching and representing those left out of the global
media's 'virtual world', from immigrant workers in the North to rural
groups in the South.  With this in mind we hope that groups with large
grassroots memberships will act as 'network nodes', sending out and
gathering, according to their capacities, relevant stories to and from
groups we would not otherwise reach.  Nodes that can translate this news to
and from local languages would be  invaluable.  In this way we hope that
diverse constituencies such as indigenous language and folk and community
media,  political theatre groups, micro-radio, oral transmission networks,
and public meetings will be able to receive GNN news.   In turn, these
kinds of groups will be able to use the 'nodes' to send their stories to
GNN, enabling us to distribute more effectively local news globally, and
global news locally.

Send us your details, whether you are an individual or an organisation, and
we will enter you into our database.  In the next few months, as our
database reaches a critical mass of members sending us stories (which can
be written by you or sent as raw information)  we will begin distributing
the news wire to all who join.  We are currently working on a pilot version
which will produce a sample of this service.  If you would like more
information before sending your details please contact us.






TELEPHONE:                                              FAX:



(Being connected to email will not be a prerequisite to join GNN.  We will
also be distributing by post, fax, and any other ways we come up with!)


Network Nodes:

Would your organisation be able to act as a 'network node'?

If yes, please list groups you might be able to reach.

Would you be able to translate GNN news into local languages for these
groups (please state which languages)?

Would you be able to send GNN news from these groups?

Please send completed forms, by email to:       gnn@gn.apc.org

(A PO Box postal address will be available by mid-March).
"Never have so many been held incommunicado by so few.  More and more have
the right to hear and see, but fewer and fewer have the privilege of
informing, giving their opinion and creating.  The dictatorship of the
single word and the single image, much more devastating than that of the
single party, is imposing a life whose exemplary citizen is a docile
consumer  and passive spectator built on the assembly line following the
North American model of commercial television."
                - Eduardo Galeano

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