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March 20, 2008 Weblog:

Tour Coverage

The Own Your Media tour has started to get some modest coverage in other media.

Scott Harris wrote a rather decent article for Vue Magazine, Edmonton's independent weekly.

Chris Cook interviewed me on this week's Gorilla radio.

And I was also interviewed for Canadian Dimension's next episode of Alert Radio.

March 16, 2008 Weblog:

Tour, Day 13: Windsor

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We arrived in Windsor just in time for the Windsor Peace Coalition's antiwar march. Stuart was interviewed by the local TV station after he made some remarks about corporate media coverage of Afghanistan.

A decent crowd made it out, and folks expressed a lot of concern about the ongoing collapse of the manufacturing sector.

We were honored to have Jean Candio attend the talk. We also chatted with James Winters, author of Mediathink and the editor of Flipside, an online magazine of sorts that ran from 1995 to 2000, and Margaret Villamizar, a local organizer who contributes to the TML Daily. We also saw a few copies of the Scoop, a local paper that does some alternative coverage.

» view more photos in"Tour, Day 13: Windsor"

March 16, 2008 Weblog:

Tour, Day 12: Hamilton

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In Hamilton, a lively crowd packed into Sylvia Nickerson's little studio.

Hamilton is a fascinating little city, with a strong history of working-class labour organizing, but a rather depressed economic situation at present.

Local radio show The Other Side showed up, and there seemed to be a fair bit of interest in organizing a local media coop. A number of folks signed up as sustainers, and a decent discussion was had.

We stuck around for the art crawl the following day, before leaving early in the morning for Windsor.

» view more photos in"Tour, Day 12: Hamilton"

March 16, 2008 Weblog:

Tour, Day 11: Waterloo

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Waterloo saw a decent turnout of students and young community members, mostly thanks to the organizing of Evan at WPIRG and Laird of New University.

We heard the sad story of how frat-boy student politician types managed to sneak through a referendum to defund CKMS, the local community station.

I also got to chat very briefly with Taarini Chopra of Alternatives Journal, a venerable subscriber-driven independent publication that has managed to stick around for the last 35 years.

March 16, 2008 Weblog:

Tour, Day 10: Guelph

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Guelph saw two events, back to back. The first was a quick gathering at the Bookshelf's eBar, and the second was more of a student crowd at the University. We chatted with Mary Skerrett of CHAN, Karen Houle, and fielded a lot of thoughtful questions from a great many others.

It was good to see something of a nascent movement towards awareness of native sovereignty issues and a possible tilt towards decolonization among some of the student organizers.

March 15, 2008 Weblog:

Tour, Day 9: Toronto

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From Ottawa, we moved quickly to our nation's capital in order to miss the massive snowstorm that was... oh wait. Anyway, we went to Toronto quickly, and were able to avoid the monster snow dump last weekend. Other than an interlude involving a fever and stumbling around in a haze for one and a half days, things went well.

We picked up the rest of our tshirts from the excellent and supportive Punchclock Printing, and did a quick little presentation at OISE.

David from Canadians for Democratic Media and Reg McQuaid from Kairos were there, among others. John David took a bunch of photos during the presentation.

David told us about how he used to teach journalism in BC, but how there was very little point, it seemed, in teaching students how to practice journalism ethically, because there was really nowhere that would actually let them use those kinds of skills.

March 4, 2008 Weblog:

Tour, Day 4: Halifax

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Our stop in Halifax went by all too quickly. We met up with our co-editor Hillary, said hi to a few dozen people, gave a presentation to what was once again quite a decent turnout.

We didn't really get to hear about anything in enough depth to discuss it, so some mumblings about Lincolnville, HCAP, Cinema Politica, and cool housing coops will have to suffice.

March 2, 2008 Weblog:

Tour, Day 3: Tatamagouche

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For a town of 800 (and by any standard), Tatamagouche has set the bar high for support of the Media Coop. About 15 people came out to our presentation during a blizzard on a Saturday night, and we signed up five sustainers.

Granted, the Media Coop has strong roots in the area, as the folks at Waldegrave farm are good friends of many Dominion editors and supporters since the beginning.

Pictured here is Meghan MacCulloch--who hand-painted a beautiful Dominion banner which will be accompanying us on future stops--sporting her new Dominion t-shirt.

Tatamagouche is home to some strong local organizing, including a regular Cinema Politica Film screening, a local currency, a free school, a cooperatively-run organic farm or two, and much more.

March 1, 2008 Weblog:

Tour, Day 2: Antigonish

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The Own Your Media tour had its first on-time arrival in Antigonish, though we had some stiff competition a Bob Dylan tribute show was playing the same night.

An enthusiastic crowd nonetheless filled up the Antigonish fixture the Tall and Small Café, and peppered us with questions following a longer-than-usual presentation.

We didn't get as much of a chance to hear about local issue, though many told us that the Tar Sands issue found resonance in the region.

We did, however, stay at a farm featured in Briarpatch Magazine's "Alternative Routes" series, thanks to artist-and-resident Fenn, who, along with Tall and Small Proprietor Meghan Peters and St. FX student Jesse Watkins Coady, helped organized the local stop.

Jesse's great-uncle was Moses Coady, the founder of the Coady Institute, an affiliation than many attendees shared.

March 1, 2008 Weblog:

Tour, Day 1: Fredericton

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The first leg of the Own Your Media tour got off to a slow start when copious snow and slow snow plows tacked an extra four hours onto the stretch of road between Montreal and Quebec City. We were forced to reschedule the Fredericton to the following night, but had a brief informal discussion with some students taking a class from Tracy Glynn, our inestimable Fredericton contact.

Tracy has written a number of articles for the Dominion. Go check em out. She's also a tireless local organizer, and she was busy promoting local Cinema Politica screenings, postering for a native solidarity talk in New Brunswick, showing up to intervene at countless discussions, hearings and consultations, and in the recent past, campaigning against the ubiquitous "support our troops" placards and stickers.

Last fall, Tracy and others visited local businesses, asking them to remove "support our troops" stickers from their windows. They pointed out that the stickers were funded by the Department of National Defence and amounted to a pro-war stance. Predictably, the campaign angered some military families, and several members of the group received death threats.

We also met Dana Brown, one of the founders of Citizen's Press www.citizenspress.org, an interesting and promising independent project that, like many others, seems to be on hiatus for the moment.

Alex Corey has also been an organizational force in Fredericton, distributing copies of the tar sands issue downtown and helping promote the Fredericton stop.

» continue reading "Tour, Day 1: Fredericton"

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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