The corporate media is a frequent target of my criticism, so I want to share some of my favorite columnists in the alternative media. These are folks I read the most regularly right now. Their viewpoints definitely contrast with with each other, and the sum total of their collective work is anything but monolithic. Neither do I agree with 100% of what I read, but that’s not the point; for me, the purpose of reading is to inform myself and to expand my views. What I think I know and what I think I believe are both territories with fuzzy borders, and the more comfortable I become with the fact of that flux, the more I’m able to learn.
Here then, are my ten favorite columnists currently, plus three honorable mentions.
Senior columnist and executive editor for the Black Agenda Report, as well as an activist for peace and justice issues. She wrote the book, “Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents.” Margaret’s work is a political and moral touchstone for me, both informing and inspiring me. Her weekly column, “Freedom Rider,” which comes out every Wednesday on the Black Agenda Report, is required reading.
Enigmatic yet Sarah Baker, but her writing resonates with me personally more than any other writer at the moment. I greatly value her big picture perspectives on civilization, perception and values. She doesn’t get distracted by the small stuff but is able to use the mundane as a path to the universal. She’s made a minor art form out of the long-form Facebook post, and unfortunately, that seems to be the best place to find her stuff. If you’re not following her yet, start now.
By far the most controversial person on this list, this Australian blogger is actively disliked by other people on this list (and loved by at least one of them). I am aware of the critiques of her but in my opinion, she has addressed past mistakes sufficiently, with both candor and humility, far more directly than most writers bother to do (especially male ones). I appreciate her because she just keeps relentlessly pounding away on two of my most important issues: US imperialism and the corporate media. Uncompromising antiwar sentiment and incisive media criticism have both become too rare in left-of-center media circles, and she’s carrying the torch. She’s also a vocal supporter of Julian Assange who helps keep him and his plight in the public eye. But she’s not limited to politics, and also writes about issues of individual and collective spiritual transcendence. The fact that she sometimes stumbles is part of her appeal to me; it makes her more accessible, somehow, and I see myself mirrored.