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Parallel Magazine is a new British feminist magazine. We’re currently working on the first issue, due January 2015.

Please donate to Parallel’s kickstarter, and receive the first issue for nothing extra! If you’re into feminism, intersectionality,social justice, the arts, history, DIY zines… you name it, myself and the awesome Parallel team are hard at work to make a fabulous first issue for your delectation and delight!

Journalists giving journalist a bad name - THE SEQUEL

So….we wake up to wetbatch (hoorah)!! Yet another small cog in Benedict’s charity machine - he does so much for so many, whether it’s a photo or an appeal or a donation or a challenge, there he is, doing good (not to mention stopping all our hearts but that’s another post for another day!)

And yet. The tabloid delights of our great nation are feasting on the speculation of Benedict’s apparent girlfriend.

Now, Sophie Hunter may well be Benedict’s new love. And if she is, that is wonderful. Then again, they appear to have been friends for years and Benedict has MANY close friends who are girls. But..

Whoever Benedict chooses to date - it is not The Mirror’s news to “finally reveal”. It is HIS. And his alone.

Going to her mother’s house and probing her with undoubtedly leading questions in order to get the, as they call it, cryptic answer of “watch this space, you never know” is a hugely inappropriate thing to do and a massive invasion of privacy of someone who, for all we know, could just be a close friend. It’s underhand, and once again brings into question the nature of journalism these days. Once again, I am not proud to be part of the profession.

Until Benedict says it in an interview himself, or walks a red carpet with his partner (because he’d be PROUD to have her on his arm, not hidden away for all eternity!), I am not believing it. Not because I’m some deluded fan who thinks she has a chance at winning his affections and should remain available for me, but because the only person I listen to and believe about Benedict Cumberbatch, is Benedict Cumberbatch.

As you were…. ;)

Friedman also points to laziness. “Many of the foreign journalists do not know the history,” he says.

“They do not know Hebrew or Arabic, and they have no real grasp of what is happening. Because of that, they stick to their colleagues’ story and move with the herd. The AP is a large organization and, like Reuters, part of the herd. Both agencies make similar decisions.

“The reason we did not know that the Middle East was about to erupt like a volcano was that the foreign media was busy counting houses in settlements.

“Israel is a tiny village on the side of a volcano, but the media describes it as the volcano itself. When we look into this distortion more deeply, we see that it is part of a problem that has been going on for the past five years – a problem that will be studied in journalism schools in the future.”

Friedman elaborates on the implications of the media’s faulty coverage of Israel.

“It reached an extreme situation this summer. The media outlets agreed to serve as part of Hamas’ military operations. Strategically speaking, Hamas knew it could rely on the foreign media’s cooperation – that it would not show rocket launches or combatants or speak at all about what Hamas wanted to accomplish. They knew, from the experience of the past few years, that the foreign media would cooperate. The foreign media served as Hamas’ deadliest weapon, and so we need to understand the media. This is no marginal subject for research, but a major part of the story.”

He estimates the chances that this attitude will change as slim to none. “My article was reported about in in the [Wall Street] Journal and in the Washington Post, and I was interviewed on CNN,” he says. “There are signs that they are willing to take these assertions seriously. But it’s like an aircraft carrier: it’s impossible to change direction easily. I haven’t seen any reason to be optimistic over the past six years. As Israelis, we need to realize that at the moment, the game is rigged.”

In arts that boast that they “celebrate diversity” everyone looks the same. (…) Diversity creates uniformity, [Martin Bright] says, because it ignores class. As a result, projects for women or the ethnic minorities are colonised by the middle class.
— 

Nick Cohen, The privileged few are tightening their grip on the arts

The above quote from this opinion piece in yesterday’s Guardian sums up how I’ve often felt while working for cultural institutions such as dOCUMENTA, where I came to experience first hand what Cohen tells in his article. I come from a rural family of farmers and often felt very miserable and needlessly self-conscious for my socialization and the the knowledge and experience I bring along.

 

We are part of a generation that gobbles down headlines without ever reading the story. Headline wording is extremely important. If I am about to read an article that’s titled “Ferguson Calm Until Bottles Fly” that would lead me to believe I’m about to read about how a flying bottle broke the peace. Even though this was the headline, the article never once mentioned a bottle. What does that tell me as a thinking person? The sole purpose of that headline was to cast a negative light on a peaceful protest that I witnessed with my own eyes. The purpose was to make people think that a militarized police presence is justified. Who else can stop dangerous water bottles? It shifts the narrative from “police should not be executing the unarmed citizens they are sworn to protect” to “maybe people should stop throwing things at police.” That article was grossly unfair to the community of Ferguson.
ISIS

ISIS, you are a disgrace to Islam and the followers of that religion. And I hope you know how much hate America has for you. Murdering innocent journalists, using them as pawns in your disgusting political wars, is unfathomable. My heart breaks for the families of the journalists who have fallen under ISIS’s knife, amongst all the child soldiers ISIS has captured and turned into killing machines, the women who have been beaten and raped, the families torn apart by this monstrosity of declaration of “Islam.” This is not Islam. You do not pray to the same Allah. Have you forgotten your pillars?
America will fight you unto the gates of hell because that ISIS is were you belong.
And if I might add- from a current journalist and future international war journalist - you will never silence me. You won’t ever deter me away from giving people who fear they have no chance a voice. You can take you false humanity and shove it up your ass. There have been very few war lords brought to my attention - that I have hated with this much intensity- but ISIS America will lose no sleep once you have been taken off this world. I pray for the families and victims and I pray for your sad misguided souls.

-A young woman who actually gives a shit about the peace and quality of the world.

Photographing Crime Scenes in Chicago on One of the Most Violent Weekends of the Year

It’s 1:30 AM on the morning of July 5, and we’re flying down the expressway at 90 miles an hour. Someone has just been shot near West 63rd Street and South Austin Avenue—we know this from the Twitter accounts operated by police-scanner geeks and our own $50 RadioShack scanner, set to one of the many dispatch channels operated by the Chicago Police Department. All evening the device has been crackling with a constant stream of out-of-breath cops spitting out the addresses and conditions of victims. This is just our latest target in the middle of a long night.

Sitting in the driver’s seat is Alex Wroblewski, a 27-year-old Chicago Sun-Times contract photographer who spends his summer weekends chasing the voices that burst through his scanner’s cheap speaker, trying to get to the scenes before anyone else in order to capture the rawest images. With him is Sun-Times staff reporter Sam Charles, who’s on hand to pull quotes out of whatever cops and victims he runs into. In the 12 hours I’ll spend with Alex on this Independence Day weekend, we’ll travel to a dozen of these scenes, a fraction of the total carnage that will take place in the city. From Thursday night to Monday morning, 82 Chicagoans will have been shot and 14 killed, including five people—two of them boys under the age of 17—gunned down by police for making threats or refusing to drop their handguns. It’s an especially bad stretch of time for a city some have dubbed “Chiraq,” a nickname that causes Alex and Sam to groan.

“The term ‘Chiraq’ is a fucked-up point of pride for too many people in the city,” Sam says. “It’s disrespectful to our city as a whole and to the people of Iraq. Too many out-of-town stupid media outlets—VICE included, frankly—have parroted the term to give it undeserved credibility and staying power.”

Continue

Last year former Daily Star’s journalist Richard Peppiatt gave a guest lecture at my uni. Short story: he admitted that many stories he wrote were completely made up. (Which, incidentally, concerns many publications. Most publications. Not the Daily Star only.)

From his resignation letter:

'Michael Jackson to attend Jade Goody's funeral'. (He didn't.) 'Robbie pops 'pill at heroes concert'. (He didn't either.) 'Matt Lucas on suicide watch'. (He wasn't.) 'Jordan turns to Buddha.' (She might have, but I doubt it.)

But how come he didn’t get into trouble? He didn’t, he said, because those stories did no harm. Yeah, they were made-up, but they weren’t just enough to get sued for. 

Truth is, and this is me talking, not Peppiatt, “any publicity is good publicity”. Plus, speech marks (‘“1D are scumbags,” says Louis Tomlinson’) are beautiful little things that sometimes are nothing but a pass to avoid a case of defamation and a lawsuit.

Also, a few of the first things my professors told our Journalism class are:

  • If a news story reports an “anonymous source,” is 99% made up.
  • Celebrity gossip stories are mostly agreed and planned between their PR and the newspaper/magazine.
  • To ask yourself, “Why are they reporting this, and why now? What’s the reason behind this news story? Cui bono? Who benefits?

Im Westen nichts Neues, but it’s always time for a good reminder.

Parallel is going to be a new women’s magazine that focuses on life through a feminist lens. Aimed at late teenage to young adult women, Parallel hopes to be a magazine that can introduce young women to the concept of feminism through the use of informative articles, which will work alongside references to modern pop culture i.e. music, films, fashion, and art.It will hope to subvert the format of modern celebrity-centric and fashion-oriented magazines in order to discuss relevant issues in modern society.

Parallel will be liberating, and empowering. It will talk about activism and achievements. It will feature strong women who are really making a difference in this world. It will be intersectional in its content, discussing race, gender, sexuality, and disability. The key aim of Parallel is to initiate feminist discussion within mainstream society.

Why are we making it?

Women’s Magazines are several million pound industry in the UK. With over 200 titles to choose from, women buy on average almost 7 million magazines every month, and 38% of women in the UK trust magazines. And yet magazines that claim to be for women or that are supposedly sex positive are churning out article titles such as “Ten lazy ways to lose weight” or “12 Little Things Every Guy Wants in Bed”. Their cover images are sexualised, their articles are derogatory and weight-obsessed, and their fashion editorials are so photoshopped that even the real life models no longer look like that. They evoke unneeded competition between women. And it isn’t just about body image, the models used, or size zero clothing. It’s about the stories and article written, the way celebrities are scrutinized, and what questions female actors and musicians are asked in their interviews. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be beautiful, desirable, sexy, or trendy, what is problematic is the obsession with these things about all else, to the point where being beautiful is seen as life’s greatest achievement and all else pales in comparison.

So we’ve decided to make a difference, in the form of a new magazine: Parallel. The title is a play on the idea that feminism and modern popular culture are currently running parallel to one another. In order to get feminism into the minds of the mainstream youth, the two things need to intersect and combine. And that’s exactly what we plan to do. Our magazine will cover subjects regarding race, gender, sexuality, age, liberation, women’s rights, activism, disability, and more, all tied up together in an aesthetically pleasing, contemporary women’s magazine. We will subvert the format of ordinary celebrity or fashion magazines to highlight key issues in today’s world. We will interview and talk to influential women about their opinions, highlight key feminist community groups that you could get involved in, and will review, discuss, and critique women’s role in the media.

Parallel Magazine will discuss achievements outside of fashion and beauty, will talk about community and activism and how you, as a woman, can make a change to the world around you. It will focus on everything from art to pop culture to history – all through the viewpoint of a modern young feminist.

But we need your help.

Back us on Kickstarter now!

CONTRIBUTE HERE

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JOURNALISTS: Conduct Interviews with Authority Figures and Experts who work and/or relate to THESE 8 THEMES.

EVERYONE: Contribute ideas of theme-related professions the Community can interview.

VIDEO EDITORS: Edit together Interviews for one of the Season 2 Themes.

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NOTE: Please refer to THIS ALBUM when contributing your interviews.

I love this trend where the word “crime” is disappearing from American journalist lexicon only to be slowly replaced with “terrorism”.

Everything is terrorism nowadays. Hacking just doesn’t sound cool enough, it’s cyber terrorism. Looting sounds like hooting, which isn’t very threatening; let’s call it economic terrorism. Political dissidents? More like domestic terrorists, amirite?

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