Enlightening Quotes by Enlightened People

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.


There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.


The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?


We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes." -- attributed to journalist John Swinton, 1880


"The media ... are corporations integrated into some of the major corporations in the country. The people who own and manage them belong to the same narrow elite of owners and managers who control the private economy and who control the state, so it’s a very narrow nexus of corporate media and state managers and owners. They share the same perceptions, the same understanding, and so on. That’s one major point. So, naturally, they’re going to perceive issues, suppress, control and shape in the interest of the groups that they represent ... ." -- Noam Chomsky, Chronicles of Dissent (1992), excerpt.


"One of the ways you control what people think is by creating the illusion that there’s a debate going on, but making sure that that debate stays within very narrow margins. Namely, you have to make sure that both sides in the debate accept certain assumptions, and those assumptions turn out to be the propaganda system. As long as everyone accepts the propaganda system, then you can have a debate." -- Noam Chomsky, Chronicles of Dissent (1992), excerpt.


"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum -- even encourage the critical and dissident views." -- Noam Chomsky, The Common Good (1998), p. 46.


"The experts in legitimation, the ones who labor to make what people in power do seem legitimate, are mainly the privileged educated elites. The journalists, the academics, the teachers, the public relations specialists, this whole category of people have a kind of an institutional task, and that is to create the system of belief which will ensure the effective engineering of consent." -- Noam Chomsky, Chronicles of Dissent (1992), excerpt.


"Union organisers... . The capitalist press denounces their cause as disorder, murder and revolution; public opinion is aroused against them." -- Anton Pannekoek, "Trade Unionism" (1936)


"You need something to frighten people with, to prevent them from paying attention to what's really happening to them." -- Noam Chomsky, The Common Good (1998), p. 41.


"The West doesn't have to pretend anymore that it's interested in helping anybody." -- Noam Chomsky, The Common Good (1998), p. 144.

"[A]s the modern science of advertising has demonstrated, people can be convinced that what is bad for them actually is good. It is all a question of how to frame their decision-making process." -- Michael Hudson, Global Fracture (2003), introduction.


"It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis." -- Harold Pinter, Nobel Prize in Literature 2005 Acceptance Speech.


"Assange, Manning and WikiLeaks, by making public in 2010 half a million internal documents from the Pentagon and the State Department, along with the 2007 video of US helicopter pilots nonchalantly gunning down Iraqi civilians, including children, and two Reuters journalists, effectively exposed the empire’s hypocrisy, indiscriminate violence and its use of torture, lies, bribery and crude tactics of intimidation. WikiLeaks shone a spotlight into the inner workings of empire—the most important role of a press—and for this it has become empire’s prey." -- Chris Hedges, "An Interview With Julian Assage", The Nation (2013)


"Assange is correct. The press of a nation at war, in every conflict I covered, is an enthusiastic part of the machine, cheerleaders for slaughter and tireless mythmakers for war and the military. The few renegades within the press who refuse to wave the flag and slavishly lionize the troops, who will not endow them with a host of virtues including heroism, patriotism and courage, find themselves pariahs in newsrooms and viciously attacked—like Assange and Manning—by the state." -- Chris Hedges, "An Interview With Julian Assage", The Nation (2013)


"The hard power can wage wars and overthrow governments. The soft power explains to bystanders why that was the right thing to do. The United States can get away with literally everything so long as it can tell the story to its own advantage, without the risk of being credibly contradicted.  Concerning sensitive points in the world, whether Iraq, or Libya, or Ukraine, control of the narrative is basically exercised by the partnership between intelligence agencies and the media.  Intelligence services write the story, and the mass corporate media tell it." -- Diana Johnstone, "France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface", CounterPunch, Feb. 17, 2017


* * *


UDHR, Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


From the point of view of individuals who engage in critical thinking and analysis, so-called 'quality' mass or mainstream media (MM/MSM) such as The Guardian, The New York Times or The Washington Post or BBC, CNN or NBC have over large stretches degenerated into mouthpieces of what sociologist C. Wright Mills has referred to as "the power elite" or what one might today refer to as the 'global oligarchy,' with quite a few of the 'debates' happening within the narrow confines that were outlined by Chomsky.


Quality reporting can admittedly still be found in the MSM, but all too often only as long as those reports do not stand too much in the way of the interests of said powers. Otherwise and especially in those areas where it matters, the 'pen-prostitutes' or 'presstitutes' are often busy with manufacturing the sort of consent that is in line with the interests of the largely Western power elites (see media bias). In other words: The product that is generated by MSM is not simply the newspapers or (indeed) news 'shows' but the manipulation of people's opinions about certain matters by means of newspapers and news shows.


The sad and moreso dangerous twin prime example for this misreporting is the constant Russia- and Putin-bashing in Western MSM while at the same time turning a blind eye to Western (war) criminal activities: The West and especially the USA can do no wrong (e.g. when laying waste to countries such as Iraq or Libya or when helping to overthrow democratically elected governments such as in Honduras or Ukraine) but Putin = Hitler -- or so the Western MSM presstitutes and their handlers would have us believe.


To counter this Western power elite and MSM insanity that some say might be a grooming of the public for a potentially nuclear war of aggression against Russia as well as other misrepresentations of world events, a fourfold strategy has been employed in the global civil society cluster of (7) alternative media of exclusively international scope. First, links to high quality independent and investigative media such as Glenn Greenwald's The Intercept or the Goodman & Gonzalez hosted Democracy Now! are provided in order to show or to remind people what proper journalism and news look like. Secondly, there are links to good alternative media that may err a little bit in favor of pro-Russian reporting in order to provide a counterbalance to the dangerous anti-Russia and anti-Putin hysteria that is so prevalent in Western MSM. Note, however, that these media were also added since they do not fall short of much needed criticism of the Western power elites. Thirdly and in order to round off the selection of alternative media, there are also links to a few rare media propaganda watchdogs that can also help curious and critical minds understand what dirty games are being played by and in the MSM. Fourthly, there are also links to respective books and videos such as Chomsky & Herman's classic Manufacturing Consent which people can also use to enlighten themselves about this for a global civil society critical area.


* * *


Alternative Media of International Scope


Global Investigative Journalism Network
The Unz Review "An Alternative Media Selection"

(personal top picks are in bold)

"information that moves"

Asia-Pacific Research

Bad Faith with Briahna Joy Grey (tw) and Virgil Texas (tw).

Breaking Points with Krystal Ball (tw) and Saagar Enjeti (tw)

Breakthrough News (tw) with Rania Khalek (tw)

BSNews "News You Won't Find on BBC or ITN" (fb)

Caitlin Johnstone (tw, fb, medium, substack) "I write about the end of illusions"

Clarity of Signal "Exposing Geopolitical Madness"

ColdType "Writing Worth Reading From Around The World"

Common Dreams "Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community" (facebook)

Consortiumnews "Independent Investigative Journalism Since 1995"

Counterpunch "Tells the facts, names the names" (facebook)

Current Affairs (tw) "A magazine of politics & culture" by Nathan J. Robinson (tw), Briahna Joy Grey (tw).

Disobedient Media "Truth has no bias"

Dissident Voice "a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice"

Double Down News (tw)

Chris Hedges (tw, yt, substack)

Continuing Ed with Edward Snowden (tw)

Global Research (facebook) (tv)

Graham Elwood (tw)

INSURGE Intelligence "people-powered watchdog journalism for the global commons"

Jacobin "Reason in Revolt" (facebook)

John Pilger (tw, fb)

Grasping at Straws by Mike Whitney

Media Roots "Reporting From Outside Party Lines"

MintPress News (tw, fb) "Independent watchdog journalism covering imperialism, corporatocracy & civil liberties" by Mnar Adley (tw), Alan MacLeod (tw)

Moderate Rebels (tw) with Max Blumenthal (tw) and Ben Norton (tw)

Moment of Clarity with Lee Camp (tw).

Multipolarista (tw, yt, Rokfin) "news for a multipolar world" by Ben Norton

North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) "reporting on the Americas since 1967"

openDemocracy "free thinking for the world" (facebook)

PeaceVoice "your peace and justice public intellectual US op-ed free distribution service"

Pressenza (/es) (/fr) (/it) (/pt-pt) (/el) "international press agency"

Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp (tw).

Richard Medhurst Independent Media (tw).

Secular Talk with Kyle Kulinski (tw).


The Conversation (Africa, Australia, France, United Kingdom, United States) "Academic rigour, journalistic flair"

The Corbett Report "Open source intelligence news" (youtube)

The Empire Files (tw) with Abby Martin (tw)

The Grayzone "investigative journalism on empire" (tw) with Max Blumenthal (tw), Aaron Maté (tw), and Anya Parampil (tw).

The Ghion Journal "Fight Ignorance with Knowledge"

The Intercept (facebook)

The Interdictor "We denounce war crimes, Human Rights abuses, & State assaults to privacy & Civil Liberties"

The Jimmy Dore Show (tw) with Jimmy Dore (tw)

The Katie Halper Show with Katie Halper (tw)

The New Cold War "Ukraine and beyond"

The Progressive

The Real News Network

TK News by Matt Taibbi (tw)

TomDispatch "a regular antidote to the mainstream media"

Truthdig "drilling beneath the headlines"

UnlimitedHangout "Uncensored Investigative Journalism" with Whitney Webb (tw)

Useful Idiots with Matt Taibbi (tw) and Katie Halper (tw)

World Socialist Web Site (facebook)

Z Magazine "The Spirit of Resistance Lives"

English and State-Affiliated

Qatar's Al Jazeera English (tw)

Iran's PressTV (fb, yt)

Lebanon- and Syria-affiliated Al Mayadeen (tw, fb)

Russia-affiliated Russia Today/RT (RT) (shows, e.g. On Contact or Redacted Tonight)

Venezuela's teleSUR English


English and Topic-Specific

Business, Economy, Finance

Hang The Bankers

naked capitalism "Fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics and power"

Wolf Street "Howling About Business and Finance"
Zero Hedge


Elijah J Magnier (tw) "Middle East Politics"

South Front "Analysis & Intelligence" (fb/tw)


* * *


Activism "information that moves"

analyse & kritik "Zeitung für linke Debatte und Praxis" (facebook)

CORRECTIV "Recherchen für die Gesellschaft"

Euractiv "Das führende Medium zur Europapolitik" (facebook)

Free21 "Credible news mounted on paper"

Global Research translated into German

junge Welt (facebook)

KenFM (youtube)

Kontrast Blog "Debatten beleben"

Makronom "Online Magazin für Wirtschaftspolitik"

NachDenkSeiten "Die kritische Website" (facebook)

N21 "damit das Richtige wächst"

Neue Debatte "Das Magazin für Menschen, Kultur und Gesellschaft"

Pressenza Deutsch "international press agency"

Rubikon "Das Magazin für die kritische Masse"

Russia Today Deutsch

Unsere Zeitung "Die Demokratische"

World Socialist Web Site (facebook)


* * *


Alternative Media with a Regional or National Focus



Kawsachun News (tw) "News and analysis from Bolivia" by Ollie Vargas (tw)


Brasil Wire (tw) "Independent news & analysis on Brasil in English since 2014"

Middle East/Israel-Palestine

+972 Magazine "Independent commentary and news from Israel and Palestine" (tw)

B'Tselem (tw) "The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories"

Elijah J Magnier (tw) "Middle East Politics"

If Americans Knew (tw) "What every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine"

Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) (tw)

Jonathan Cook (tw) "Journalist reporting on Israel and Palestine"

Middle East Eye (tw)

Mondoweiss (tw) "News & Opinion About Palestine, Israel & the United States"

New Eastern Outlook (tw)

The Electronic Intifada (tw) "Palestine's weapon of mass instruction"

The Palestinian Information Center (tw)

United Kingdom

Another Angry Voice by Thomas G. Clark "Econonomics, philosophy, politics and other stuff from an independent Yorkshire blogger"

Craig Murray

Double Down News (tw)

Mark Curtis "British foreign policy declassified"

Media Reform Coalition ""

Morning Star "for Peace and Socialism"
Novara Media "new media for a different politics" (tw)

openDemocracy "free thinking for the world"

Politics and Insights "Public interest issues, policy, equality, human rights, social science"

Pride's Purge "an irreverent look at UK politics"

Redress Information & Analysis "Exposing injustice, disinformation and bigotry"

RT UK (fb)

the Canary "fresh, fearless independent journalism"

The Skwawkbox "Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations"

Vox Political "politics for the people"


Forward Thinking Democracy (tw)

Means TV (tw)


Nation of Change "Progressive News and Activism"

News2Share "Sharing Your News with the World"

Pro Publica "Journalism in the Public Interest"

Project Censored "The News That Didn't Make The News"

Status Coup News (tw) "Journalism giving the microphone back to the people" with Jordan Chariton (tw) and Jenn Dize (tw)

The Establishment

* * *

Leakers & Whistleblowers

Propaganda Watchdogs & Quality Control


Counter Propa "Using Their Words Against Them"

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting/FAIR "Challenging media bias since 1986" (tw)

Investigating Power

Media Lens "Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media" (facebook) (twitter)

OffGuardian "because facts really should be sacred" -> Guardian Watch, media watch

openDemocracy -> Our Beeb "The Future of the BBC"


Self-Publishing Platforms

Medium.com "stories that move with you"

Substack "a place for independent writing"

* * *

Some Questionable Alternative Media

Compromised 'independent/progressive' media

Some Not Particularly Good Right-Wing Media

21st Century Wire "News for the Waking Generation"

Boiling Frogs Post/Newsbud "The home of the irate minority" (youtube)

* * *

Fake Pro-Establishment Propaganda 'Watchdogs'


Books and Articles


Alford, Matthew, 2011, "Wy not a propaganda model for Hollywood?", in: Screens of Terror. Arima.


Bagdikian, Ben H., 1972, The Effete Conspiracy and Other Crimes by the Press, New York: Harper.

Bagdikian, Ben H., 1983, The Media Monopoly, Boston: Beacon Press.

Bagdikian, Ben H., 2004, The New Media Monopoly, Penguin Random House.


Bernays, Edward L., 1928, Propaganda, New York: Liveright. (public relations campaigns of Edward Bernays)


Bernstein, Carl, 1977, "The CIA and the Media: How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up", Rolling Stone, Oct. 20, 1977.


Best, Emma, 2017, "In internal memos, CIA Inspector General portrayed the media as Agency’s 'principal villains'", Muckrock, Aug. 1, 2017.


Chomsky, Noam, Herman, Edward S., 1988, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Pantheon Books.

Chomsky, Noam, 2002, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda, 2nd edition, The Open Media Pamphlet Series.

Chomsky, Noam & Barsamian, David, 2001/2015, Propaganda and the Public Mind: Conversations with Noam Chomsky (preview), Pluto Press/Haymarket Books.


Chow, Mansour, 2017, "The Guardian: Accusers and Purveyors of Fake News, Part 1", Medium.

Chow, Mansour, 2017, "The Guardian: Accusers and Purveyors of Fake News, Part 2", Medium.

Chow, Mansour, 2017, "The Guardian: Accusers and Purveyors of Fake News, Part 3", Medium.

Chow, Mansour, 2018, "The Guardian: Accusers and Purveyors of Fake News, Part 4", Medium.


DiMaggio, Anthony R., 2008, Mass Media, Mass Propaganda: Examining American News in the "War on Terror", Rowman & Littlefield.

DiMaggio, Anthony R., 2016, "Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda", Counterpunch, Dec. 6, 2016.


Edwards, David & Cromwell, David, 2006, Guardians of Power - The Myth of the Liberal Media, London: Pluto Press.

Edwards, David & Cromwell, David, 2009, Newspeak in the 21st Century, London: Pluto Press.

Edwards, David, 2012, Why Are We the Good Guys?: Reclaiming Your Mind from the Delusions of Propaganda, Zero Books.

Edwards, David & Cromwell, David, 2018, Propaganda Blitz: How the Corporate Media Distort Reality, London: Pluto Press.


Fivefilters, 2017, "Dump the Guardian"


Friel, Howard, 2004, The Record of the Paper: How the New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy, Verso.

Friel, Howard & Falk, Richard, 2007, Israel-Palestine on Record: How the New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East, Verso.


Hedges, Chris & Al-Arian, Laila, 2008, Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians, Nation Books.


Herman, Edward S. & O'Sullivan, Gerry, 1989, The 'Terrorism' Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror, Pantheon Books.

Herman, Edward S., 1992/1999, Beyond Hypocrisy - Decoding the News in an Age of Propaganda (preview), Boston: South End Press.

Herman, Edward S., 1995/1999, Triumph of the Market: Essays on Economics, Politics, and the Media, Boston: South End Press.

Herman, Edward S., 1999, The Myth of the Liberal Media: An Edward Herman Reader, Peter Lang Publishing.

Herman, Edward S. & McChesney, Robert, 2001, The Global Media: The New Missionaries of Corporate Capitalism, Bloomsbury Academic.


Johnstone, Caitlyn, 2019, "Thirty-Two Tips For Navigating A Society That Is Full Of Propaganda And Manipulation", medium.com, June 3, 2019.

Johnstone, Caitlyn, 2019, "A New Narrative Control Firm Works To Destroy Alternative Media",


Keane, John, 1991, The Media & Democracy, Polity.


McChesney, Robert W., 2000/2015, Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times, new edition, The New Press.

McChesney, Robert W. & Nichols, John, 2002, Our Media, Not Theirs: The Democratic Struggle Against Corporate Media, Seven Stories Press.

McChesney, Robert W., 2004, The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century, Monthly Review Press.

McChesney, Robert W., 2007, Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media, New York: The New Press.

McChesney, Robert W., 2008, The Political Economy of Media: Enduring Issues, Emerging Dilemmas, Monthly Review Press.

McChesney, Robert W. & Nichols, John, 2010, The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again, New York: Nation Books.

McChesney, Robert W., 2013, Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy, The New Press.

McChesney, Robert W., 2014, Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy, Monthly Review Press.


Mills, Tom, 2016, The BBC: Myth of a Public Service, Verso.


Mitchell, Greg (blog), 2008, So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits—and the President—Failed in Iraq, Union Square Press.

Mitchell, Greg, 2011, The Age of WikiLeaks: From Collateral Murder to Cablegate (and Beyond), blurb.

Mitchell, Greg & Gosztola, Kevin, 2012, Truth and Consequences: The U.S. vs. Bradley Manning, Sinclair Books.


Nichols, John & McChesney, Robert W., 2006, Tragedy & Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections and Destroy Democracy, The New Press.

Nichols, John & McChesney, Robert W., 2013, Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America, Nation Books.


Parenti, Michael, 1991, Make-Belief Media: The Politics of Entertainment, Cengage Learning.


Silverstein, Ken, 2014, "The CIA's Mop-Up Man: L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories With Agency Before Publication", The Intercept, Sept. 4, 2014.


Shure, Frances T., 2013, "Why Do Good People Become Silent -- or Worse -- About 9/11?, Part 1: Preface and Introduction", Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Nov. 24, 2013.

Shure, Frances T., 2017, "Why Do Good People Become Silent -- or Worse -- About 9/11?, Part 21: The Role of the Media: Act I", Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Dec. 30, 2017.


Tracy, James, 2018, "English Translation of Udo Ulfkotte’s “Bought Journalists” Suppressed?", offguardian, Jan. 8, 2018.


Mausfeld, Rainer, 2015, "'Warum Schweigen die Lämmer?' Demokratie, Psychologie und Techniken des Meinungs- und Empörungsmanagements," Vortrag an der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, am 22. Juni 2015.


Kraus, Karl, 1902, "Die Journaille", Die Fackel.




Ganser, Daniele, Berlin, 23.10.2015, "Medienkompetenz - Wie funktioniert Kriegspropaganda?", KenFM.


Pilger, John, 2011, The War You Don't See.