Getting the word out

Alternative media at the WTO.

WHILE PROTESTERS will spend a full week criticizing the process of globalization, they will be taking full advantage of the technology that makes it possible.

No fewer than three alternative media centers will be operating in Seattle during the WTO talks, providing audio, video, print, photography, and interactive content to interested media and members of the public around the world.

The most elaborate and best-funded of the three is being set up at Town Hall by the Minnesota-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. With a $150,000 European grant, IATP will provide content to international media outlets. At its Web site, www.wtowatch.org, Real Impact will be streaming live audio and video from events inside and outside the Convention Center.

Downstairs at Town Hall, Public Citizen and People for Fair Trade, groups that have done much of the grassroots organizing leading up to the protests, will also be providing content for radio and TV. Several national radio programs will broadcast out of their Town Hall facilities: Pacifica's Democracy Now, Marc Cooper's Radio Nation, and Jim Hightower's syndicated program. Another program, National Radio Project's week-long series with Norman Solomon and Julie Light, will be uploaded to satellite live at KUOW but edited at Town Hall, and will also be available through a Web site, www.corpwatch.org.

Also as part of the People for Fair Trade efforts, Tom Turner of EarthJustice Legal Center will be editing a daily eight-page newspaper during the week of the WTO talks. The World Trade Observer will print 10,000 copies daily, combining reporting, background on the WTO, and a daily column from Ralph Nader.

Another paper, tenatively titled Witness to Testify, will be published twice daily during the WTO talks through the Independent Media Center, located at the old Glen Hotel at 1415 Third Ave. The IMC, growing out of organizing efforts by the Seattle Independent Media Coalition, hopes to continue as a Seattle-based alternative media project after the WTO. It, too, will provide overnight video and audio content to public access TV and community radio across the country, as well as print, audio, and current reporting to whomever wants it through its Web site at www.indymedia.org.

 
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