Saturday, May 22, 2010

Media Roots - A Branch of the Indie Media Revolution

Abby Martin is an artist, activist and citizen journalist based in Oakland, California, who recently launched a collaborative, online media project fueled by citizen journalism. In full disclosure, Martin, along with San Diego media reform advocate Mera Szendro Bok, and myself, are beginning a campaign that we hope will contribute to a national discussion about media reform. This campaign frames media reform as a human rights issue, an idea that is codified in international law, which will be the subject of further writing. But for now, I want to focus on Martin’s latest project and what she has to say about the growing independent media revolution that is making big changes in the information ecosystem.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Fortune 500 Cover and Other Criticism the Media Can’t Stomach

Chicago-based comic book artist Chris Ware has an impressive brag list. He’s won the Eisner award nine times, the Harvey award just as many times, a Guardian First Book award and was recognized by the National Cartoonists Society. He’s most widely known for a groundbreaking alternative comic series known as the Acme Novelty Library, noted for its poignant critique of consumerism and palpable sense of dehumanization and nihilism.

Ware’s artistic style and critical sensibilities were periodically commissioned by the The New Yorker magazine in the production of cover art. So it came as little surprise that other magazines would enlist Ware for a special cover design, including Fortune magazine, which was planning something special for their annual 500 list issue, due out in May 2010.

The artist unveiled his commission before the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2, on April 23. Despite this being the inaugural year for the convention, about 28,000 flocked to the Lakeside Center at Chicago’s McCormick Place - which compared favorably with the 2006 launch of New York’s Comic-con, and secured C2E2 as the fourth-largest meeting of its type in the country, according to Publisher’s Weekly. The point being, it was a fairly important venue for Ware’s announcement.