Welcome, friends and fellow citizens to the Neighborhood, a friendly virtual gathering place where folks can freely share ideas and local news, or rant about how miserably our political leaders and our mainstream media have together failed our communities.
It doesn’t take a PhD or an elections expert to recognize that the newsroom editors for our corporate-owned newspapers, radio and TV stations regularly spin their reports to isolate citizens from the facts. Whether censoring the most relevant portions of newsworthy issues or missing the story altogether, or simply “burying the lead,” the disinformation in your media is a ploy to subtly neutralize political activists by isolating them whilst effectively dissolving the focus of their neighbors on issues directly affecting them. After all, if you didn’t read that you’re being poisoned in the news, then it must not be happening, right?
The mainstream media’s self-serving strategy of keeping the general public uninformed of who is directly responsible for passing laws that enrich corporations and fail to regulate them at great detriment to the general public makes it far easier for political hacks (from both major parties) to seem like plausible choices for leaders.
In the past it was quite common for activists to take to the streets to distribute leaflets. Our history is full of stories of activists who alerted the general public to counter the corporate spin of a monopolized media. It was Thomas Jefferson who stated:
Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.
During times of oppression, our predecessors recognized that as individuals their fellow citizens felt powerless to defend themselves. Through their locally published and widely distributed labor newspapers, unions united people by rallying isolated individuals in even the most rural of areas. The best union leaders understood that the more well-informed that citizens were, the more likely voters became politically active.
Today, many of us can rely on the internet to alert one another, although word-of-mouth has always been the most powerful and convincing way to alert folks by far. But because Appalachia is rural, getting our neighbors to realize and understand that their health, their economy, and their peaceful way of life is under siege has always been difficult at best.
Our virtual Front Porch web pages have been set up to represent each of West Virginia’s senatorial districts. The entire concept is social media at its best, localized to bring major issues to light and to empower you, dear friends, through an old-fashioned style neighbor-to-neighbor connection.
To figure out within which senate district your own neighborhood is located, you can either check out the slow-loading interactive map found at this link, or else check out the fast-loading chart found at this link.
Before you move on, another interesting map you may want to check out may be found this link.