PULSE: 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009

December 31, 2009 § 32 Comments

After we published our list of 20 Top Global Thinkers, we thought we would be remiss if we did not also honor those who bring these voices to us in the first place. With the goal of recognizing those individuals and institutions responsible for exemplary reportage and awareness-raising in 2009, we asked our editors and writers to name their choices for the top 20 media figures, be they journalists, publications or publishers.  We aggregated these nominations into the following list. Like our 20 Top Global Thinkers, our criteria for choosing media figures included individuals/publications/publishers who have shown a commitment to challenging power, holding it to account, highlighting issues pertaining to social justice and producing output that bucks conventional wisdom and encourages critical thinking.

Amy Goodman

A media institution in her own right, Amy Goodman has shown the true potential of independent media over the past 12 years by turning Democracy Now! into the largest public media collaboration in the US and around the world. Free of corporate sponsorship, DN’s hard-hitting daily broadcast rejects the soundbite format of mainstream media to provide in-depth coverage of the world’s most important issues. Unlike the MSM, Democracy Now! gives less emphasis to official voices than to those affected by the abuses of their offices. Goodman relentlessly pursues her stories, and often follows them long after the mainstream media has moved on to chase new headlines. Iraq and Afghanistan have therefore remained part of DN’s coverage for all the years that they were absent in the MSM. Policy-makers may have lost interest in the story, but for Goodman, the people on the receiving end continue to live the story. Her interviewees include voices that the MSM frequently excludes, including scholars, activists, heads of states out of favor with the United States, opposition leaders, and organizers. Through her journalism, writings and lectures, Goodman continues to set the bar for what every journalist should be aspiring to.

Sherine Tadros/Ayman Mohyeldin

Al Jazeera has long set the bar for war reporting; Sherine Tadros and Ayman Mohyeldin have raised it even higher with their coverage of the conflict in Gaza in 2008- 2009. Tadros and Mohyeldin were the only two journalists working for an international English-language television network reporting from inside Gaza. They braved the dangers of Israel’s indiscriminate assault to bring hour-by-hour reporting the tragedy as it unfolded. Their courage was matched by the quality of their journalism. In 2009, Tadros continued to report from the region, covering the creeping ethnic cleansing of occupied Palestine.  Mohyeldin, likewise, continues to report on issues such as the network of tunnels between Egypt and Gaza which are vital for the transfer of food, medicine and fuel supplies into Gaza.

Jeremy Scahill

Investigative journalist and author Jeremy Scahill continues to raise the bar for American journalism with meticulous reporting that has led to the exposure of seemingly untouchable organizations and individuals like the infamous private military company Blackwater, which later changed its name to Xe.  A constant monitor of centres of power, Scahill has produced chilling investigative reports on the US government’s policies and profiteering from the privatization of war, torture as a method of interrogation and the poor treatment that American soldiers endure at the hands of the US military itself.  An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration’s wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, Scahill has projected that same burning lens on President Barack Obama and in addition to continuing to produce reports on Iraq and Afghanistan, has also expanded into Pakistan.  From his humble beginnings at The Catholic Worker to his collaboration with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now! (he now serves as a regular correspondent on DN), Scahill has become a fundamental necessity for US news media.

Jim Lobe

One of the world’s leading investigative journalists, Lobe is a keen observer of Washington politics and the murky world of think-tanks, lobby groups, and propaganda organs that surround it. As the Washington Bureau Chief for Inter Press Service, Lobe leads a team known for its probing, hard-hitting journalism. Through timely exposes on various occasions, Lobe has revealed the subterranean forces seeking to influence public opinion through deception and subterfuge. Lobe was one of the very few journalists who in the lead up to the Iraq war rejected the simplistic ‘war-for-oil’ narrative and revealed the deep divisions inside the establishment. He earned the ire of the neoconservatives by tenaciously pursuing their activities and revealing the means through which they have come to dominate Washington. Lobelog.com is a necessary daily stop for all students of Washington politics.

Mary-Kay Wilmers (London Review of Books)

Wilmers is the editor of what we consider one of the world’s two best print publications, the London Review of Books. An initiative of the the New York Review of Books, under Wilmers’s helm, LRB has come to surpass its progenitor. LRB, in our view, has a superior stable of writers, and its approach to literary criticism and politics is edgier and more iconoclastic. Wilmers is also fearless in taking on challenging issues. After writing an article about the Israel Lobby, leading political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt had been turned down by all major US publications for being too controversial, but Wilmers who took up the challenge and published it in the LRB. Predictably the article stirred up a storm of controversy, but Wilmers stood her ground. The article was subsequently turned into a book and went on to become a bestseller. Another important and controversial book, Mahmood Mamdani’s Saviors and Survivors, likewise began its life as an article in LRB. Wilmers has been responsible for bringing us such superlative writers over the years as Tariq Ali, Edward Said, Andrew O’Hagan, Jeremy Harding, Slavoj Zizek, John Lanchester, and many others.

Mondoweiss

In 2009 Mondowiess came into its own, evolving from a lively personal blog into a collaborative New Media phenomenon that points to the future of journalism, the immense potential of self-publishing. Site co-editors Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz daily tackled issues ranging from US foreign policy, interest group politics, identity, power, activism to culture. Mondoweiss also provides a platform to other activists and writers engaged in the Israel-Palestine question, and issues related to the wider Middle East. Its indispensable reporting and commentary on the Israel Lobby and its influence over US foreign policy has played a palpable role in opening up and shifting the debate.  Site creator Weiss is a reputable investigative journalist who has spent years writing for several well-known publications including The Nation, New York Times Magazine, New York Observer and Esquire.  Together with Horowitz, Weiss continues to tackle issues which much of the mainstream press, including the progressive press, shies away from.  The site aims ‘to publish important developments touching on Israel/Palestine, the American Jewish community and the shifting debate over US foreign policy in a timely fashion; to publish a diversity of voices to promote dialogue on these important issues; to foster the movement for greater fairness and justice for Palestinians in American foreign policy; to offer alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity’.

Le Monde Diplomatique

Offering intelligent, analytical viewpoints on major world events and issues since 1954, Le Monde Diplomatique (LMD) has 2.5 million readers worldwide and is published in 26 different languages with 72 different print and internet editions.  We consider LMD one of the world’s two best print publications (the other being the London Review of Books). It is an essential source of reading by anyone who appreciates challenging social and political commentary, and LMD is an indispensable source of world journalism made up of a variety of contributors including world-class intellectuals, academics, reporters and writers.

Patrick Cockburn

Award-winning journalist and author Patrick Cockburn has been providing intelligent, analytical reports on the Middle East for more than 30 years through a number of publications including The Financial Times and The Independent.  Being one of the few journalists to remain in Iraq after the Gulf War, Cockburn has lent his analysis to readers through a number of books on Iraq, most notably through Muqtada: Muqtada Al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq, the first written biography of the formidable Shiite resistance leader destined to shape the future of post-occupation Iraq.

Gareth Porter

Independent historian and star investigative journalist for IPS Gareth Porter is known for the scholarly rigor of his research and analysis and for the frequent scoops which have undermined official propaganda. Like fellow IPSer Jim Lobe, Porter follows Amira Hass’s famous dictum about journalism in constantly monitoring the centers of power. He has been driving a truck through the carefully constructed edifice of lies and deception of successive administrations as often as they have been erected. In 2009 alone he has produced several in-depth reports casting doubt over the administration’s rationale for war in Iraq, the Taliban-al Qa’ida connection, and the alleged Iranian experiments with a ‘neutron initiator’ for an atomic bomb.

Rahimullah Yusufzai

Based in Peshawar, Rahimullah Yusufzai is the world’s leading authority on the politics of the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier. As the world’s attention has increasingly shifted upon the region, amid all the hyperbole Yusufzai’s voice has once again emerged as an indispensable corrective to the ignorance and propaganda that confuses debate. His reputation for fairness and accuracy is such that voices on all sides of the political spectrum defer to his authority. Yusufzai is the the Executive Editor of the Pakistani daily The News‘s Peshawar bureau. For all serious journalists and scholars seeking informed opinion on developments in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theatre, Yusufzai’s Peshawar office is usually the first stop.

Gary Younge

One of the finest writers on race, Younge is more than a journalist, he is a sage. His finely crafted, balanced sentences are frequent vehicles for aphoristic wisdom. He is one of Britain’s leading, most eloquent voices on equality and human rights. Younge also received the prestigious James Cameron Award for his ‘combined moral vision and professional integrity’ in reporting on the 2008 US presidential election. He also writes for The Nation and last year was appointed the Belle Zeller Visiting Professor of Social Policy and Public Administration at Brooklyn College at the City University of New York.

Amira Hass/ Gideon Levy

Among the most important voices of the Israeli-Jewish Left, Ha’aretz journalists Amira Hass and Gideon Levy continue to provide important reports about the reality on the ground in Israel/Palestine and the effects of the Israeli occupation upon Palestinians and Israelis alike.  The daughter of Holocaust survivors and a recent recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation, Hass has lived in both Gaza and the West Bank in an effort to bypass Israeli censors which would have no doubt stifled her ability to get to the heart of matters.  Although her analysis and criticisms extend to both Israelis and Palestinians, she has been the victim of several Zionist smear campaigns for her reports about Israel’s crimes but has refused to be silent, regardless of the intimidation tactics that have been launched against her.  Award-winning Levy’s reports have focused primarily on the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, providing important coverage on issues around Israeli settlements of Palestinian land.  Levy also serves as an editorial board member of Ha’aretz.

Verso Books

Working under the slogan “Books with a Critical Edge”, Verso Books has been an independent publisher since1970. Originally trading under the New Left Review, Verso’s hard working staff of a dozen employees produces 60 new titles each year. They developed their early reputation as translators of classic European literature and political works by authors such as Jean Paul Sartre, Walter Benjamin, Louis Althusser, and more recently, Giles Deleuze, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edward Said, and Paul Virilio. Dedicated to publishing critical works in literary criticism, history, cultural studies and politics, their list of recent authors includes, Tariq Ali, Judith Butler, Benedict Anderson, Eric Hobsbawm , Stuart Hall, and Paul Gilroy. Having quadrupled in size over the past decade, Verso, which refers to the left hand of the page, maintains its reputation as publishers with a ‘radical’ edge.

The Electronic Intifada

The staff of the independent, not-for-profit online publication The Electronic Intifada (EI) work tirelessly with their contributors to present important reports and commentary on Palestine-related issues with the goal of countering the skewed coverage mainstream media outlets provide on Israel’s occupation of Palestine.  Launched in 2001 by Ali Abunimah, Nigel Parry, Arjan El Fassed and Laurie King, EI has since blossomed into a regular stop for anyone who is serious about Palestine and is used as a source of reference by a variety of readers—it has a quarter of a million visitors each month.

Paul Jay (Real News)

Paul Jay is a Canadian journalist and director, and the creator of Real News, a project to establish an independent news and current affairs network without government or corporate funding. Real News, which aims to cover the news of the day, is committed to redefining ‘what’s important’ and gets coverage in the media. Prior to founding Real News, Jay was the creator and executive producer of the CBC Newsworld’s debate program CounterSpin, and is the founding chair of Hot Docs!, the Canadian International Documentary Film Festival. His film  “Return to Kandahar”, co-directed  with Nelofar Pazira, won the 2003 Gemini Award in Canada.

Nora Barrows-Friedman / Dennis Bernstein (Flashpoints)

Run by executive producer Dennis Bernstein and senior producer Nora Barrows-Friedman, the award-winning Flashpoints radio is an indispensable daily source for hard-hitting and incisive investigative and public affairs commentary.  Bernstein and Barrows-Friedman (a recent recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Media Freedom Award from Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored) continue to tackle those issues which even some progressive media outlets shy away from, with a particular emphasis on Israel/Palestine, and on-location reporting from various international hotspots. Their uncensored and independent reportage provides a needed counter to the biased and corporate-influenced productions of mainstream journalism.

Laura Flanders

British-born American author and journalist Laura Flanders provides an important alternative to American mainstream media outlets’ coverage of important US and world events through GRITtv which is broadcast weekdays on Free Speech and Link TV.  Having written for various progressive publications including The Nation, Flanders was also the founding director of the women’s desk at the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).  Flanders is known for her direct, in-depth interview style, as well as her cool, intelligent analyses of current affairs.  She has also appeared on a number of MSM news shows including Larry King Live and Lou Dobbs Tonight where she has made her important voice heard by even wider audiences.

Glenn Greenwald

A former constitutional lawyer, best-selling author, and world-renowned blogger, Glenn Greenwald was accused by Michael Massing in the New York Review of Books of being too persuasive. He has the amazing ability to produce daily articles so thoroughly researched and compelling that many journalists would struggle to produce anything of near matching quality in weeks. Unlike most US progressives, Greenwald is unsparing in his criticism of liberals and conservatives alike. He has held everyone from star pundits to the US Attorney General accountable for false claims and poor reasoning. Greenwald is also a staunch defender of constitutional rights, and has been devastating in his demolition of apologists for torture.

Jane Mayer

Jane Mayer has been an investigative journalist for the New Yorker  since 1995. Having written extensively about the Iraq war, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin, she has most recently turned her attention to investigative reporting on issues concerning CIA black sites and unlawful detention. Widely read in 2009 was her award-winning book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story on How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals. Mayer’s work brings to light the Bush Administration’s abuse of executive power in the ‘War on Terror’, as well as questions the validity of terms like ‘enemy combatant’ and processes including torture as an interrogation technique used to extract evidence from detainees.

Ramzy Baroud

Ramzy Baroud is a Palestinian- American journalist, author and former Al Jazeera producer.  He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Chronicle. As the author of three books, Baroud’s most recent work, My Father was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story, narrates the Palestinian struggle through the story of his own family from 1940 to present.  In all of his writing and public speaking endeavors, Baroud maintains a commitment to discussing the current and historical conditions of the Palestinian ordeal,  positioning himself in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and a just peace.

Our list wouldn’t be complete without the following very honorable mentions:

Robert Fisk, Jasim al-Azzawi, Comedy Central (Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert), Dahr Jamail, Rachel Maddow, Nir Rosen, Tony Karon, FAIR, Stephen Walt, Matt Taibbi, Peter Oborne, Naomi Klein, Bill Moyers, Richard Silverstein, Helena Cobban, Paul Woodward, Afshin Rattansi, Nick Turse, Lewis Lapham, Seumas Milne, Jonathan Cook, Antony Loewenstein, Antiwar.com, The Onion, Alternet, Chris Hedges, Hamid Mir, Alexander Cockburn, P. Sainath,  Juan Cole, Gregory Wilpert, Uri Avnery, Max Blumenthal, Mohammed Omer, Laila El Haddad, Ron Suskind, Shihab Rattansi, Clayton Swisher, James Bamford, Seymour Hersh, Keith Olbermann, David Edwards and David Cromwell, Robert Greenwald, John Pilger, Venezuela Analysis, Roane Carey, George Monbiot, Black Agenda Report, Robert McChesney, C. S. Soong, Dori Smith, Rose Aguilar, Pluto Press and Abdul Bari Atwan.

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§ 32 Responses to PULSE: 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009

  • MAC says:

    Is there a reason why Ward Churchill is missing from the Top 20 Global Thinkers and/or Global Media Figures?

  • pam says:

    Fabulous, my new bible for 2010, many many thanks

  • Razan says:

    You missed Dr. Azmi Bishara. I think he deserves to be on the top of this list. you can find his articles in English on Al Ahram Weekly site.

  • aishaghani says:

    my mother used to say self praise is no recommendation, but since this is a team effort i’ll ignore mommy’s advice and say, way to go pulse! this list rocks!

  • […] PULSE: 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009 2010 January 1 by kanan48 Via: PULSE. […]

  • Dori Smith says:

    Wow, I was just about to say what a great list. Then I noted the honorable mentions. I’m honored to be associated with such a group, even in that I so often rely on the others mentioned here myself and that’s what I see as my role, just getting people on the air more when they have news and information we all need. Let’s hope we can all expand our already inclusive work even more this year, get things out to wider audiences, keep inviting more and more people become involved in the process. Community radio stations have training programs. There are lots of blogs and net news outlets that need writers. Community TV is catching on, cable access or online. A lot of the people you mentioned above are involved with Pacifica network. It too could benefit from more support and nurturing involvement.

  • jawad says:

    I would add the Angry Arab News Service to this list and to the list of thinkers. Angry Arab is crucial. It is one of the most serious and comprehensive critique of Zionism, and it also covers the cruel and stupid nature of all Arab regimes, news media, and Islamist movements. Hardly anyone covers this much ground. The recent Gaza march is a good example of what happens when one focuses just on Israel and Israeli lobby, while forgetting the crucial role played by collaborators like the idiotic Mubarak regime.

    • m.idrees says:

      The recent Gaza march is a good example of what happens when one focuses just on Israel and Israeli lobby, while forgetting the crucial role played by collaborators like the idiotic Mubarak regime.

      If that is the kind of thing one learns from Angry Arab, you can understand why he wouldn’t make a list of thinkers. Thinkers distinguish between causes and consequences, and focus on the former. The Mubarak regime will do anything for the $2 billion it receives from the United States. It receives it because of the Israel lobby, mainly for the services it renders as Israel’s surrogate. It would be pointless to focus on the surrogate and forget the overlord. All the thinkers in our list engaged with the I-P question don’t think it is good to let either off the hook. The Angry Arab on the other hand denies the power of the lobby, objectively shielding it, and slanders those who try to expose it.

  • Philip Toal says:

    Thank you. I don´t feel so much alone anymore with my opinions living here in S. Germany.

  • MsPang says:

    Missed Free Speech Radio News. Great 1/2 daily news with on-the-ground reporters around the world. http://www.fsrn.org

    • m.idrees says:

      Apologies for the oversight. Most of us are non-Americans so our exposure to US media is rather limited. Your news service looks great, we’ll definitely be following you from now on.

  • jawad says:

    Angry Arab would not disagree with you on the master-subordinate relationship. He probably chronicles this relationship better than anyone on either of your lists.

    Also he does not deny the power of the Israeli lobby. In fact, each day he chronicles the deprivations of this lobby, perhaps in more detail than everyone besides Philip Weiss on your lists. He simply puts it in the context of Imperialism. In the great Imperialism-Zionism chicken-egg debate he considers imperialism to be the master. I tend to think that he is wrong on this, and I tend to favor Walt-Mearsheimer’s argument. Angry Arab remains a champion in spite of this. To suggest that he covers for the lobby is silly. Its like suggesting that M Idrees or Electronic Ali cover for imperialism.

    • m.idrees says:

      In fact, each day he chronicles the deprivations of this lobby, perhaps in more detail than everyone besides Philip Weiss on your lists.

      I am assuming you haven’t read Jim Lobe.

      A champion is not someone who chooses soft targets (anyone who calls Al Jazeera an al-Qa’ida mouthpiece has no credibility with me). If he were deemed a threat by US Zionists it won’t have taken Campus-watch five years to notice him. Even Zionists recognize that absolutist moral posturing has no effect beyond feeding ones ego. It entails nothing, it is the easiest thing to do. The world doesn’t offer black-or-white choices. Anyone who expresses a commitment to an idealized good and uses it as an excuse to reject everything as imperfect in the real world is not being courageous, merely evasive. It takes no courage to sit in California and reject Hizbullah, Hamas, the Iraqi resistance, Al Jazeera etc for not being perfect when one isn’t saddled with any of the responsibilities they are.

      • jawad says:

        OK admit you dont read Angry Arab. His last two postings on Al Jazeera are here and here.

        His views are anything but black and white. His views on Hizbullah and Hamas are equally nuanced. Sure, he takes them to task when they take their eye off the ball and start stuffing women into hijabs, playing footsy with the Saudis etc. I think that he does a very sophisticated job of putting their petty stupidities and cruelties in the context of far more stupid and cruel forces they are up against.

        Substitute House of Saud, Likud or the idiots blowing up schools in Pakistan for Hamas and Hizbullah above, and you will realize that you employ rejection just as much, and with good reason

        I dont think I’ll defend AA much more. He is not everyone’s cup of tea. He clowns around a lot. In this he is more John Stewart than Charlie Rose.

        • m.idrees says:

          Yes, I don’t read AA. I thought I made it rather obvious. I stopped after I sent him this email on October 1, 2007:

          I don’t quite understand the motivation behind your unwarranted attacks on Mearsheimer and Walt. You constantly impute things to them that they have never said (much like the lobby itself). I have read their book carefully, and your claim that they ‘absolve’ US of responsibility is simply untrue. There is a difference between saying that the lobby is the ONLY factor shaping the policy (which is not what the authors say) and pointing out that there were many factors leading to war but if you took one of them away — the lobby — the war would not have happened (which is what they claim). Even if your interpretation of their argument were accurate (which it isn’t), how is that absolving US? I have not heard anyone who says the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz was carried out at the behest of the United Fruit Company accused of ‘absolving’ the US.

          Slandering Al Jazeera didn’t do much to endear him to me either. (A few words of praise don’t erase a scurrilous charge which echoes what Zionists have always claimed about Al Jazeera)

          Substitute House of Saud, Likud or the idiots blowing up schools in Pakistan for Hamas and Hizbullah above, and you will realize that you employ rejection just as much, and with good reason

          That’s a non sequitur, unless you are saying house of saud, likud etc are the moral equivalents of Hamas and Hizbullah.

          As I said, to merely criticize is the easiest thing. The left is exceptionally good at that. It means more when a person is able not just to oppose, but also to propose.

          Imagine if we had AA style political correctness at work in the 60s. I can easily picture him declaring “neither Che, nor Batista”. After all, Che was a homophobe who personally executed Batista’s torturers.

  • Just clarifying that this list is only English-language contributors?

    If that’s the case, we’re still missing those people/organizations that dedicated to covering Latin America in this past year, specifically the coup in Honduras. I would suggest adding: Al Giordano (and the Narco News contributors), Adrienne Pine (and her terrific blog quotha.net), Tamar Sharabi, Oscar Estrada, Sandra Cuffe, Jeremy Kryt (In These Times) and many others whose names are currently escaping me.

    • m.idrees says:

      Thanks for the suggestions Jesse. Our own Belen Fernandez has actually been covering Honduras live for us and for Narco News. We’ll make sure to follow them more closely in the future.

  • Christian Avard says:

    One other person I forgot to mention, Dennis Perrin. Everyone should check out his blog http://www.dennisperin.blogspot.com/ or check out his book, “Savage Mules: The Democrats and Endless War.” That was a great book.

    That guy shouldn’t be left out.

  • Avril Wade says:

    These are great choices. I especially like Paul Jay and the work The Real News Network is doing. If you really want to understand the issues we’re facing today, watch their interviews.

  • […] the evening Pacifica Radio staple to another radio station or media outlet. Now, with a recent media recognition to Flashpoints‘ credit, exploring that option may be even more palatable for the crew at Flashpoints, which […]

  • Saadia says:

    hi, why is everything predominantly israel/palestine and north america centric? should there not be people from all over the world? what about african countries?

  • David says:

    An interesting list. It cites the honorees for “exemplary reportage” even though a lot of them aren’t reporters at all and no one is cited for breaking an important story, just for reporting in a politically correct fashion. Which leads to the second dubious claim, namley that they represent a group that “encourages critical thinking.” In fact, it is obvious that they do nothing but confirm the thinking of the person/institution that produced the list. It would probably hard to distinguish the views of one person on it from another. Put together in a room it would be a love-fest of shared outlooks. No one would hear anything new or different.

    Statistically, it’s also interesting: Out of 20 people or pairs cited, seven are mentioned for their courageous coverage/views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and four are directly involved with it (the al-Jazeera team, Hass/Levy, Electronic Intifada and Ramzy Baroud). That, of course, doesn’t come close to approximating the weighting of global news. One can only conclude that the author is under the impression that large swathes of the planet have no social justice issues that need to be reported at all. Or, perhaps, it shows an pathological obsession with Israel.

  • aishaghani says:

    david – a few thoughts in response to your comments:

    1) I could be wrong, but i don’t think pulse has any qualms about admitting that it has a political bent. there are definitely a set of conceptual as well as regional issues that are emphasized on pulse, and I think, with good reason. There are enough publications out there that, under the guise of ‘balanced reportage,’ may present a wider variety of issues but upon closer inspection, one finds that breadth does not = nuance. Everything seems to be determined by the same ideological suppositions, but no one wants to claim them. I guess what i’m trying to say is that I approach publications that claim to have no political bent with more suspicion than i do those who make that bent obvious from the get go.

    2) Now, given that we concede that Pulse has a political bent, if you do the work of actually reading the content of the posts, I think you’ll find that although there is a focus on a set of regional issues, the contributors as well as those featured in articles, actually position themselves quite differently – often even in opposition to other writers’ views on the same issue. And this opposition is maintained even as there may be broad agreement/overlap on some of the fundamental premises of their argument. To provide an example, let us concede that your observation is correct – many people at pulse write about Israel-Palestine. Let us then further concede that you are correct again in noting that most of pulse’s writers take a critical stance against the Israeli state. If you decide to dismiss pulse on the basis of these two concessions, you will miss out on the particularity of each writers thoughts – particularity produced through their own thoughts, and well as in the choices they make regarding whom to invoke as interlocutors to how they position themselves in relation to those interlocutors. You see, if you reduce each article on Israel- Palestine by the lowest common denominator – namely, that it is about Israel- Palestine, then one is left to believe that for you norman finklestein = naom chomsky = ali abinimah = uri avnery. I’m sure you see the lunacy of any such equation.

    3) the same premise that underlies your other critiques, also underlies your claim that if we put this list of top 20 folks in a room, they would have nothing new or different to share with each other. this is simply not the case. take slavoj zizek for example, a man who appeared on pulse’s top 20 global thinkers list a few months ago. zizek is fervent adherent of marx and hegel, but if you believe that he doesn’t take each of his intellectual ‘father’s to task, both challenging and extending their logic where he deems necessary, then you have not understood, or perhaps more tellingly, read zizek at all.

    4) this is the last comment, but it needs to be said because quite frankly, your characterization of pulse’s challenge to Israel’s legitimacy as “pathological obsession,” is beyond insulting. In fact, it’s insulting to the very history of dissent itself; a history which reveals that the very quality that you construe as a psychological neurosis of sorts, and which I understand to be the ‘quality’ and not affliction of “relentless conviction,” actually lies at the heart of and makes possible political resistance.

  • Dorothy says:

    You can’t mention that the London Review of Books is one of the two best print publications without mentioning the other!

  • thank you for the compiliation — putting my heroes in one spot for easy reference. I’m so glad Amy Goodman tops the list.

  • Dr. Sophia Mubarak says:

    Excellent list indeed, it is great to see Tariq Ali and Naomi Klein there and Al Jazeera. Where is Ward Churchill’s name? Perversions of Justice is one of the most deeply researched profound analysis of the relationship of the US and Sovereign Domestic Indigenous Nations (Native Americans), and the erasure from the actual historical reality of the
    government policy of genocide and destruction of tribes and their treaty rights. Also, it would be nice to see mention of Winona La Duke, author of All My Relations. Great list. Edward Said my mentor, and
    I would love to see mention of Noam Chomsky and Michael Parenti. Great list anyway.

  • […] news organizations in his long career as a Peshwar-based journalist and was on PULSEMEDIA’s List of Top 20 Global Media Figures in […]

  • […] Congrats to Gareth for being included in: PULSE: 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009 […]

  • […] Congrats to Gareth for being included in: PULSE: 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009 […]

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