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Rolling News Coverage Of WTO-Protests Live


CONTACT: Sheri Herndon or Greg Ruggiero at (206) 261-0184; (917) 279-0318

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SEATTLE. Over 300 independent video makers, radio producers, journalists, and activists have created an Independent Media Center in downtown Seattle to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of The World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial meeting and the massive public protests that are now shutting down the city.

Armed with cell phones, lap-top computers, video cameras, web cams, tape recorders, and their passion for justice, these grassroots journalists are pioneering the use of the world wide web to publish breaking stories as they happen.

"The purpose of the IMC is to get people's voices heard," said Jeff Perlstein, one of the Center's co-founders. "Weíre providing a powerful aternative to the mainstream press thatís without censorship, editing, or corporate bias. This collaboration is about people telling their own stories and rounding out a much needed public debate on the issues that impact our communities."

The IMC is taking use of the world wide web to a new>level of sophistication by posting and distributing live coverage as it happens, giving voice to viewpoints ordinarily ignored>by mainstream media. As this new technology develops, it can potentially allow every level of society the ability to express their views on social and economic issues that affect the planet as a whole.

People simply log on and post their story. The unedited story goes into the cue and becomes part of the site where anyone can access it. "IMC's page is receiving and posting stories from as far away as India and Australia," says another IMC co-founder Jim Mateson.

In addition to their website, the IMC is presenting daily a 60-minute video satellite-cast segment in collaboration with Deep Dish Satellite TV, Paper Tiger TV, BigNoise Films, Changing America, Citizen Vagrom, FreeSpeech TV, and Whisper Media. Radio producers are also putting together audio segments featuring coverage of the dayís highlights. Tonight the IMC will launch live streaming audio from Studio X.

"Given the magnitude of the issues involved in globalization, the IMC's breakthrough in public news production and dissemination is an historic event in its own right," says Perlstein. "We at the IMC are hopeful that this project will serve as a model and catalyst to be emulated in the new millennium."

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Peter Phillips Ph.D. Sociology Department/Project Censored Sonoma State University 1801 East Cotati Ave. Rohnert Park, CA 94928 707-664-2588

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