Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gillis and Mair launch indy multimedia journal

From Rafe Mair and Damien Gillis:

Damien Gillis and Rafe Mair announce new multi-media journal coming March 2010
The Common Sense Canadian combines video, radio, and expert opinion to cover vital issues the corporate media ignores.

"These are the times that try men's souls."

Thomas Paine's eloquent and pithy summation of the tyranny of yesterday applies equally to tyrants of today who would steal our democracy and environment from us. Paine, a leader of both the American and French Revolutions and author of the three best selling books of the 18th Century, including the seminal Common Sense, also said, "We have it in our power to begin the world over again."

With these truths in mind, Damien Gillis and Rafe Mair have joined forces in a bold new media venture, an online journal called The Common Sense Canadian, to be found at beginning in March 2010, which will combine cutting edge video, a weekly radio show and podcast, and writing from Mair, Gillis, and a host of formidable contributors to bring you the stories and opinions our establishment media won't publish. The Common Sense Canadian will cover the issues that really matter to Canadians and the world, such as water, energy, food, democracy - not to mention government corruption and corporate greed. The Common Sense Canadian will tackle tough issues with purpose and courage and will offer innovative, workable solutions from the best minds in these critical areas.

Gillis is an award-winning documentary filmmaker; Mair is a former Environment Minister, a Hall of Fame Broadcaster, and writer. Many British Columbians will have seen the pair together, touring the province exposing the theft of BC's precious watersheds for private power. The Common Sense Canadian will rally British Columbians to protect our rivers and public energy system, our sacred farm land, and to save BC's wild salmon from the ravages of fish farms and other threats. It will demand public input into all environmental decisions with a public right to judge them.

The corporate mainstream media that has so failed to serve the public interest is now crumbling before our eyes, and the time is right to launch a new independent media project like The Common Sense Canadian. Thomas Paine himself sidetracked the tightly controlled newspapers of his day with the pamphlet, which became Internet of that era. His blockbuster, Common Sense, with only 2.5 million people living in the 13 colonies, sold more than 125,000 copies in the first three months, and 500,000 during his lifetime! What Paine did in the 17th century, we must now do in the 21st. will be a rallying point for actions and a source for dialogue about real solutions to the challenges we face. You'll hear from our excellent team of contributors - awesome Canadians like Alexandra Morton, Rex Weyler, Harold Steves, Otto Langer, Joe Foy, Dr. John Calvert, and independent MLA Vicky Huntington, to name just a few.

But above all, this is about you. Because we need your help - to comment on stories and send us your letters; to share our stories with your friends, to join our email list for weekly updates... And we also need your financial support. As the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for." So long as a media outlet depends on corporate owners and advertisers, its content will inevitably be censored and slanted toward those interests. If we are to change things, we need a new media that answers only to its public.

This is hardly a new concept - America's best media institutions, PBS and National Public Radio, have successfully used this model for years. Recently, we've seen President Obama's use of the internet to win a historic US presidential election. We note the blossoming of blogs that connect millions around the world; citizen journalists and a burgeoning online independent media supplanting the old corporate establishment. Clearly the public has never had such powerful tools at its disposal.

At, you'll be able to see the series we're working on - from documenting the battle to save BC's rivers, to exposing the destruction of our precious farmland and food security, to investigating whether closed containment farms could help save our wild salmon from open net fish farming - and you'll be able to choose the series that really matter to you, and help make them a reality.

This is an idea whose time has come. With the ever-pressing environmental and social challenges we all face, The Common Sense Canadian is poised to fill the vacuum left by the disintegrating corporate media - with something that can truly be called a free press.

So be a part of an exciting new idea - coming to early in 2010!

Because deep down, we're all Common Sense Canadians.


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