“If You Hate the Media, Be the Media”

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Susan from Rochester (New York) Indie Media talked to The UpTake’s Mike McIntee at last weekend’s National Conference for Media Reform in Boston about why she got involved with indie media. “Especially after the Iraq war, I saw how one-sided the media was and I thought ‘something’s gotta change’,” explained Susan. “My philosophy is, if you hate the media, be the media. I had no experience, but it’s been a life-changing experience for me.”

Susan recounted her organization’s coverage of a local antiwar demonstration, which turned into a police riot. Thirteen people were arrested, and the violence sent two people to the hospital. The mainstream media neglected to cover it. According to Susan, the police defended the arrests because “people weren’t moving out of the way of the firetruck”. But Rochester indie media shot video of people moving out of the way.

“It really showed truth to power and how the media can make a difference,” she said.”

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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