More watchdogs needed in Japan following earthquake and tsunami.
This is an extremely critical time for Japan. Japan needs more independent journalists to follow the earthquake reconstruction money, much of which has not been spent yet. No one knows better what is urgently needed than the victims, and their voices need to be heard.
As we witnessed in New Orleans and Haiti after their tragedies, money to rebuild can sit undistributed for years unless there is public pressure on politicians and businesses, and that pressure can only come about through public awareness. We also need government watchdogs to critically examine the government's shifting public relations about the nuclear fallout from Fukushima Reactor.
Indymedia is a great channel for radical organizing, grass-roots, locally-based reporting, editorials, and impassioned debate. What is needed is a better way to filter user reports based on their location in Japan, whether regionally or in your own hometown, and to have the ability to connect and collaborate with others with similar interests in a secure way. And we need to promote and support independent journalism in every location possible.
At the moment, it seems many Indymedia sites have shut down their open publishing wire due to lack of resources or excessive spam, and many other sites are cluttered with anonymous editorials and personal attacks. Many local IMCs can't even afford their hosting fees.
A new network for journalists and nonprofits is being developed at http://dogit.org, not to detract in any way from the hard work of the Japan indymedia collective to face these challenges, but to amplify the voices of Japanese citizens and help the spread of independent journalism further in places where media access is limited, corporations dominate the airwaves, or journalists themselves are in danger.
Dogit.org is in its beta phase right now, and you're invited to try it out and help us shape how we publish and view independent news. You are free to publish your media on your own terms, as long as it is a real story and is original.
Write about what you know, the places you come from, and the stories in Japan that deserve a closer look than the mainstream media has the attention span for. Positive or negative, stories must be grounded in facts; editorials can be linked to on your user profile. You can also comment on other sources like NHK, CNN, or Fox News and report biases, omissions and inaccuracies.
We are not for profit. We are for exposing reality, keeping the Japanese government and media honest, and getting aid to where it is needed most. And no one can tell the truth of their reality better than the people who live it.
Founder, Watchdog International