Free Spirits, Free Minds

They are one of the few professional journals worth reading and they need your support through subscriptions.

Corporate and political interests have already changed the way the news are made and delivered. Across the world, civil society is paying the price. From the Iraq lies to the color coded alerts, fear, and warmongering, the citizen is the prime target of large scale disinformation for purposes of orienting and influencing the democratic process to legitimise failed policies and attacks on Human Rights. Not one day goes by without a government or a country flexing its muscles at journalists who are becoming more and more subserviant and helpless. Take this example of the day from this wonderful country that Lebanon has become under the Hariri-Bush doctrine.

More than ever, we need reliable, independant, and state of the art news and analyses on the world we live in and on our future and the future of the planet. Le Monde Diplomatique is such a journal. I have been an avid reader since the 80s and it rarely disappointed me.

Introducing our first print issue in September 1998, Ignacio Ramonet wrote a leader called “Taking a stand”. In it, he said: “We believe that we are at a turning point in the business of providing news. Our readers are proof of this; they demand greater rigour, more seriousness and greater reliability. They also want guidance on how to achieve real solutions to some of the world’s problems.”

Since then, those needs and expectations have grown. Across the world, major newspapers are being bought up by private interests (The Wall Street Journal in the United States and the economics daily La Tribune in France), provoking fresh doubt about the objectivity of the media. The internet has become central to the provision of news and information, but its sources are often unmediated – and unedited for accuracy or brevity.

This rearrangement of the media landscape is happening as the world is becoming more complex, diverse and hard to decipher. The rise of China, India, Brazil and the Gulf states demonstrates these changes. One country can no longer decide global politics and economy. China invests in Africa (and in a major British bank’s bid for a Dutch bank), India develops relations with Latin America, the Gulf states invest in southeast Asia. Russia, China and Saudi Arabia seek to play a greater role in politics; this may in time limit the manoeuvrability of the United States or even of what we like to call the West. Le Monde diplomatique wants to give its readers a way to decode the new arrangements and understand the new realities.

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Since March 29th 2006