Post-internet, a cause for hope

Publisher’s Note: As we were preparing this page for publication on October 29, the post-tropical storm that ravaged the east coast of the United States caused massive power outages and put more than eight million people in the dark. The New York City building that houses Narco News’ Internet server lost electricity, our server was successfully transferred to an onsite power generator, but soon after that flooding downed the fuel pumps to the generator, and all our websites were no longer available online until 6 a.m. this morning. It was an experience eerily relevant to the title of this page: The Day the Internet Died. One of the reasons we didn’t panic is that we had already heard the testimony of the Egyptians who speak on this page about their own experience – during the revolution of 2011 – when it was a regime, and not the weather, that shut down the entire Internet and cell phone system throughout the country. They triumphed in toppling a dictator not just in spite of the attack on their main communications systems, but also, paradoxically, at least in part because of it. If you doubt that, or think it incredible, you’ll probably find their testimonies about their own lived experience very interesting, or at least very challenging to the assumptions of many that technology – and not people – is what makes change happen today.

Since 2000, Narco News has reported about many social movements, community organizing and civil resistance campaigns. Some succeeded in their goals. Others did not. In this work we have found common practices shared by many victorious struggles, and common errors or missteps shared by many that did not succeed. The sum of lessons learned through reporting thousands of these stories in many lands today becomes the basis for a massive, free, online and multimedia resource that Narco News, with the scholars and professors of our school, have begun preparing for The School of Authentic Journalism’s Manual to Change the World. This page you are reading right now is the very first lesson presented of many to come. The Manual will feature more pages, like this one, with the testimony of the Egyptians on how they accomplished the first step of their revolution – toppling the dictator – and continue advancing toward the longer-term goal of toppling the dictatorship. The Manual will also include stories of how civil resistance and organizing battles in other lands were won, and also checklists and “how to” lessons from authentic journalists who reported them to share their skills and experiences so that anyone can learn and apply them – in writing and reporting, video and audio, and use of the Internet – to report on the social movements in the present and the future. With this Manual, we are taking another step forward in making the lessons and curriculum of the School of Authentic Journalism available to the entire world, gratis.

Applications to the April 2013 School of Authentic Journalism are due November 18. Consult this announcement for more information. …

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