I read the book The Taqwacores awhile back and enjoyed it thoroughly. I’m not really a fan of religion, in particular the monotheistic ones, but this looks really interesting.
Baltimore’s Indypendent Reader is a print paper that is circulated freely. Last December, when I was in town, I helped out with the layout of issue #13, themed around the media. It’s filled with amazing articles, the most curious of which are about various radical papers of the 1960s. The counterculture was fascinating. You can download the entire thing for free, if you’re not in Baltimore to pick up a copy. Anyhow, I was invited to write the introduction to the issue, which I’ve pasted below:
No matter what your political or ideological orientation might be, it’s become increasingly difficult to ignore the “crisis” in the world of media. Newspapers are downsizing, magazines are going bust or ceasing print production in favor of a cheaper, but much less substantive online format, and every day there’s yet another casualty in the bookstore world. You can’t read an op-ed section any more without running into somebody waxing poetic about the “death of print,” or lamenting the “end of journalism.” Yeah, we’re just going to go ahead and call bullshit on that. Welcome to the Indypendent Reader, one of the many sources for independent journalism that’s doing just fine.
There’s this thing that happens where people refer to “The Media” as a single, monolithic entity. I’ve fallen for that myself. And certainly, the past few decades have seen more than their share of media consolidation and mega-mergers. The world braced itself for a time when all the news came to us from a single source. That source would claim objectivity, obviously, but of course we would know better.
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