Friday, March 06, 2009

Mumia Speaks: The Passing Of Papers...

[col. writ. 3/1/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

For American newspapers, some that have been giants for generations, this is the age of Ragnarok. In Norse mythology, Ragnarok marked the destruction of the universe, when even the gods fell from their heaven. (Asgard).

For ages, newspapers have been the seedbeds of the information garden. Although seemingly threatened by the new technologies of radio and TV, this proved more appearance than actuality, for both mediums relied on the data uncovered by intrepid, although little-know newspaper reporters.

But we are now in the age of the Internet, a medium that only one newspaper (the Wall St. Journal) has successfully exploited.

That, added to lower circulation, and the flight of advertisers to the 'net, has spelled doom for newspapers.

In recent days, both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Philadelphia Inquirer have been forced to face the dilemma of bankruptcy.

Just a week ago, the Rocky Mountain News of Denver, Colorado closed its doors after a century and 1/2 of operation. As of Sept. 2006, the Rocky Mountain News had a reported circulation of over 250,000. But the key isn't circulation, it's advertising -- and advertising is fleeing.

Indeed, about 2 years ago, a media research firm executive said some papers didn't want bigger circulation -- they wanted a smaller, but more wealthy circulation base.

Colby Atwood, head of Borrell Associates, told a New York Times reporter that a "quality circulation" is more preferable "than quantity", and it was a "rational business decision" to "shed" the subscribers who cost more and generate less revenue." *

When newspapers intentionally "shed" some subscribers they are cutting their own throats in pursuit of fool's gold.

And although most articles don't mention it, I remain convinced that newspapers are dying for quite another reason. In a time of war, when readers needed their services most, many papers simply took a dive, and served the interests of power, rather than the needs of the people. Most papers sold the president's line because they feared that they would be seen as disloyal in wartime, and lose subscribers.

Instead, they lost readers anyway, because people couldn't believe what they read in black and white.

In fact, even before the Iraq war some news execs sent memos to their staffs warning them NOT to show wire photos of civilian casualties in the Afghanistan war. One memo told reporters to "play down" such stories.*

Is there any wonder that such a product is in decline?

--(c) '09 maj

[Sources: *Perez-Pena, Richard, "Why Big Newspapers Applaud Some Declines in Circulation," New York Times, Mon., Oct. 1, 2007, p. c1.:

*Johnson, Chalmers, NEMESIS: The Last Days of the American Empire (Metropolitan Books: New York, 2006), p.30.]


The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

Audio of most of Mumia's essays are at:

Mumia Abu-Jamal's new book -- JAILHOUSE LAWYERS: PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE USA, featuring an introduction by Angela Y. Davis -- will be released soon!
It will be available from City Lights Books at a 30% discount weeks before you can get it at any other bookstore, or from Amazon.

Sign up for an email alert and when the book becomes available for sale you'll receive an email letting you know:

In support of Mumia and the publication of JAILHOUSE LAWYERS, organizations around the country will be holding "More Than a Book Party" events on or around Mumia's birthday, April 24, 2009.

If you are planning to organize an event or would like to order in bulk, you can also receive a 45% discount on any bulk orders of 20 copies or more. The book retails for $16.95, for orders of 20 copies or more the discounted price would be $9.32 per book, plus shipping and handling. Prepayment would be required and books are nonreturnable. If you or your organization would like to place a bulk order, please contact Stacey Lewis at 415.362.1901 or

Let's use the opportunity of the publication of this brilliant, moving, vintage Mumia book to build the momentum for his case, to raise the money we desperately need in these challenging economic times, to get the word out – to produce literature, flyers, posters, videos, DVD's; to send organizers out to help build new chapters and strengthen old ones, TO GET THE PEOPLE OUT IN THE STREETS … all the work that we must do in order to FREE MUMIA as he faces LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE OR EXECUTION!

Please make a contribution to help free Mumia. Donations to the grassroots work will go to both INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL and the FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION (NYC).


Please mail donations/ checks to:
NY 10030

215 476-8812

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370


Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing!

No comments: