Sept. 23: Armine Yalnizyan on corporations; Dr Cecil Houston and UWindsor’s Digital Journalism program

Click on image for more on OPIRG Windsor

Listen to entire program here: 

Armine Yalnizyan @ 5:30 mark

Dr. Cecil Houston @ 48:29 mark

Windsor as a company town. Photo: Frank Gunn, April 20, 2009. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press )

It is often said that Windsor and many cities and towns like it in manufacturing or resource extraction are union towns because of the high number of blue collar workers. But they can be described as company towns – in my mind a more accurate description. Large corporations locate where profit can be derived and workers hired, and in the 20th century workers struggled to form unions so they could collectively gain and maintain good wages, working conditions, benefits and pensions. So first came the company, then came the towns. Windsor and Detroit, as we’ve mentioned many times before, are ground zero in the de-industrialization department and it continues to be a struggle to defend good wages, benefits and so on. Much work is done to bring new industry here and the assumption is that if that worked before then it will work again. However, do corporations create jobs; do politicians? What is the role of corporations? Armine Yalnizyan, an economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives spoke to me on Friday.

If you are into statistics and your ear perked up at the mention of Income Dynamics check out this link.


Two weeks ago Professor Jim Winter was in the studio to talk about the new digital journalism program at the university and his concerns for the Communication, Media and Film Studies course here.  Dr Cecil Houston is the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UWindsor.

We had only a short time to speak and you’ll hear that Dr Houston said he did not want to privilege one program over another. However, there is no getting around the fact that the Communication, Media, and Film Studies program is losing full professors as the Digital Journalism program is phased in with sessional instructors. More investigation is needed into the Digital Journalism program, especially in light of what Station Manager Adam Fox told me after the program that it depends on what we mean by the term digital journalism, especially in relation to what we mean by investigative journalism – the power to critique those in power.

Here’s an account of life as a digital journalist from the comment section for the article linked below: 

  “… the vast majority of us work at community newspapers where investigative reporting is practically unheard of and most are just trying to rise above in an atmosphere that provides precious little in the way of recompense or positive recognition. Layout, photography, posting web content, copy editing — in addition to filing 20 plus stories to multiple deadlines each week — doesn’t exactly foster award winning exposes. Hell, I can’t even get paid for the hours I work much less get tied up in knots about intricate ethical issues and the like. Show me a place where I can turn for support and advocacy in the basic battle to have minimum employment standards met and how to maintain a semblance of independence from the advertiser’s sway without jeopardizing my job and then we’ll talk. $14 an hour, a crushing workload and a recession that reduced what little professional development there was to virtually nil. Is this all I get for my degree? Love the CAJ and glad you’re still fighting the good fight on all those macro issues, important as they are, but, with my own plans to leave the biz, possibly for good, it seems to me if a way can’t be found to improve things for the front line workers at community papers much else is moot”  (Source).


Featured CD:

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From Gaza to Tahrir Square, the People’s Resistance Lives
Public Meeting and Book Signing with Joyce Chediac,
Author of new book, Gaza, Symbol of Resistance
Saturday, October 1, 2011, 5:00 pm
5920 Second Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202 (at Antoinette, just north of Wayne State University)
Dinner Served — Donation $5 — $1 unemployed
Joyce Chediac is the editor of the new groundbreaking book, “Gaza: Symbol of Resistance.” She has been an activist and writer on Palestinian and Middle Eastern issues for many years. She recently travelled to Egypt to report on developments in the revolutionary movement that has swept the country and the region since the beginning of this year. Her talk will analyze the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations, the growing tension between the Egyptian revolution and the state of Israel and the impact of the Arab Spring on U.S. and Middle Eastern relations. Chediac is a healthcare worker and a frequent contributor to Workers World newspaper based in New York. A book signing will follow the meeting.

“Gaza, Symbol of Resistance is a great resource for people of conscience”
– Dr. Sami Al-Arian, Palestinian political prisoner in the U.S.
Click image for more information
 GAZA: Symbol of Resistance

Edited by Joyce Chediac

Foreword by Ramsey Clark

This book documents Israel’s war crimes in the Gaza Strip and narrates how Gazans withstood siege and war, refusing to give up the right to choose their own government.

Gaza’s courage inspired a worldwide solidarity movement determined to break the blockade and deliver needed aid.

This book describes how the major world powers, especially the U.S., supported Israeli’s criminal blockade and bombing. And it explains why these governments acted in the face of popular opposition.

What makes this book special?

  • It gives a comprehensive and lively narrative of the recent history of the Gaza Strip which does not assume previous knowledge.
  • It provides hard facts from the U.N.’s Goldstone Report on Israel’s 2008-9 war on Gaza.
  • It contains eyewitness testimony from participants in three Viva Palestina humanitarian convoys, which broke the blockade of Gaza and delivered aid.
  • It reviews a history of African-American solidarity with Palestine.
  • It explains why the Egyptian government enforces the Israeli blockade of Gaza while the Egyptian people oppose it.
  • It gives voice to Palestinian forces censored out of the establishment media, including Hamas, and Palestinian activist groups who explain how best to support their cause.
  • It incorporates statements from Jewish people who oppose the torture of Gaza, including Israeli soldiers who fought in Gaza, Israeli military resisters and Jews from the U.S.
  • It gives the facts on why the giant U.S. media conglomerates won’t give the Palestinian people fair coverage and are actually tied in with arms makers who make huge profits off Israel’s aggression.


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