Power to the press / Redemption song

A bright collage of images for and about alternative and cooperative media, including Media Power Collaborative, Outlier Media, New York Public News Network, 404 Media, Defector, the Flaming Hydra, Freelance Solidarity Project, and How Things Work
Illustration: Flaming Hydra

Today: k.e. harloe, a freelance writer based in New York, author of the newsletter media x capital and the column Mediaquake at Popula; and Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún, Nigerian linguist, writer, translator, founder of Olongo Africa, and author of the poetry collection Edwardsville by Heart.

Issue No. 38

Media Future is Now
k.e. harloe

To the Man In a Yarmulke
Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún

Media Future is Now

by k.e. harloe

After yet another round of U.S. media layoffs and closings this winter came the familiar calls to donate, to subscribe, and to “protect independent media.” Familiar tips for the newly unemployed came, too; pitch guides, courses, pep talks. And finally came the indignation: What is wrong with these media executives?

Over a decade in media, I've witnessed this routine give way to a realization that the media system itself is failing. More people are asking if journalism has undergone market failure. (It has.) Arguments for public funding, like Hamilton Nolan’s, in a recent newsletter, are on the rise. More media workers are joining unions—in newsrooms, in the film business and even freelance writers. As a proud member of the National Writers Union’s freelancers’ wing, I feel the promise in these developments. But they're not enough. Finding a way forward will take more than unions, research papers or columns—it will take a movement. Those of us concerned with the future of media need to figure out what it means to build movement power, and to win. 

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