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Commentary :: Education : Media : Politics
Indymedia and Ronin Journalism: Publish and be Damned!
27 Jun 2005
Modified: 07:07:49 AM
As we know, during much of the Middle Ages, warfare was common in Japan. Warlords were battling warlords to get more land and power. Samurais were hired, but the masterless 'Ronins' decided themselves for whom and for what they fought. Like free journalists now too.
Conc.: Paul Arenson at paul (at)* - Indymedia Japan: "We therefore request you tell us where [your] articles are located originally."

Open Letter to Indymedia Japan, Mr. Paul Arenson.

FPF - June 27th - 2005 - Concerning your complaint about the FPF's ''putting alternative information for free at the disposal of the Japanese and other Indymedia readers'', I'd like you to know the following. For more than four decades I've been working as an independent and free dutch foreign correspondent, 'covering' many foreign countries and continents. Learning about the people, their culture and language, already before I went there.

Because of a very positive reason, I decided to stay for some years and 'cover' my native Netherlands, but was shocked thoroughly when I saw in which terminal state journalism and freedom in general in the Netherlands had become, with a fake 'news agency' ANP, and a very fake 'Union of Journalists' - called NVJ.

In short: since I always apply the same standards to all countries and all people, based on live long observations and experiences abroad - I did the same to the Netherlands, and that was it...

Many 'friends' and editors - always proud I worked for the BBC too - told me that either I'd 'tag along and play the game', or I would get into difficulties. They should have known better. Since I've never 'tagged along' I've been jailed sometimes, and declared 'Persona non Grata' as a journalist five times by repressive regimes in East and West. So, I'm used to "difficulties", including those at present and also those in my 'own' country.

As a free journalist, always being and keeping independent, I have to publish elsewhere on earth, so you have the pleasure of getting all investigative and other journalistical work I do for free, and for everybody to see, read and to make up their own mind about possible reasons for the abominable present global developments which concern us all.

I'm only via FPF offering free information to IMC, without expecting censorship or 'spiking' by 'editors', like in all other by multinationals influenced media which 'they' own. I take the liberty of offering this information to the people in Japan too, since I know Japan a little bit after my first visit in 1971, and have - concerning many people - very good memories of it.

And I can assure you that IMC is the only outlet and form of publication I've chosen in the whole of Japan, because Indymedia in some countries still functions the way it was meant to: as a free tribune for people who otherwise - and especially in global war times - never could get into the mainstream manipulating media, like in the US of the neocons and it's vassal states, like here in the Netherlands or like in Japan too.


Concerning the question of origin: all articles and other items always have the links to the originals if possible, of the by me written or quoted articles, of which I do understand some may carry information which is not appealing to all people at IMC.*

Could you pls. ask some of the Japanese people working at IMC Japan to tell me what they think about free information given to IMC in Japan only? And who makes the criteria which are used? The japanese staff may have a different point of view. I can contact them personally later on.

As many people know, during much of the Middle Ages, warfare was common in Japan. Warlords were battling warlords to get more land and power. They hired professional soldiers called samurai and had large armies of common soldiers. The US neocons are doing the same thing now, but many journalists like me are not for sale; you can only accept them and their work on their own terms and human criteria.


So now it's up to you, Paul Aronson, and the crew at IMC Japan, whether you ignore Indymedia's goals and intentions by censoring material that doesn't fit your views, and if you covertly are like the mainstream media publishing only what you think is acceptable. Or you do, like Indymedia was supposed and intended to function, let the 'Ronins' of this world, the free and independent masterless fighters with words, do their work? Using their computers as pens, instead of their swords...?

Personally I'm convinced that it's up to the readers of the Indymedias in any country in the world to decide what they want to see and read: it's their right and up to them alone to be informed without being censored - and it's absolutely not up to the gang of 'gatekeeping editors' who in so many countries have infiltrated and hijacked an array of earstwhile free fora, including many Indymedias, now 'killing' all information they don't want others to see.

But since it looks like you too handle different information criteria, and the strong impression arises that you merely canalise and/or shred dissenting voices, the question is if you are speaking for all of the people 'running' Indymedia in Japan? Or do you 'run' the show from Boston? Maybe you could clarify this?

Any real IMC-publicist or journalist willing to inform the people, knows about Arthur Wellesley, the late Duke of Wellington. - [] - When his favorite courtesan Harriette Wilson threatened to publish her memoirs and his letters, he spoke the for every journalist sacred words:

Publish and be damned!

That's what Indymedia must do too.

Henk Ruyssenaars

The Netherlands

FPF - Blog - Url.:

P.S.: I hope you're not offended, but your name does not strike me as typical Japanese, so I checked it on Google: "Paul Arenson" +IMC. This one was interesting: TOWARD A DEMOCRATIC MEDIA: ALTERNATIVE MEDIA RESOURCES - And so is your site - Url.: - and what you wrote on IMC-the Netherlands then too, which by the way formerly was an 'open' news source, but which now has gone down the US/Isr. censoring/infiltration drain:

IndyMedia Japan - - This site has recently gotten off the ground. There is a great need for independent journalism in this country, as throughout the so-called "free world". We hope to work with others in Asia, both by helping to develop other Asian IMCs and by providing a means for people throughout Asia to cooperate with one another.

"Both sites need YOUR participation..."

- you wrote.

[endquote - Paul Arenson] - Url.:

Google: paul (at) - Url.:

Maybe certain 'facts of life' are seen as negative by some people, so it's good to have a reminder by former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who for once was saying something which is true: ''It is not anti-Semitic to criticize the policies of the state of Israel' - Said as 'US Secretary of State' in a speech at the 'Conference on Anti-Semitism of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe' German Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Berlin - April 28th - 2004 - Url.:

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