Many journals, magazines, websites, think-tanks and other organizations are committed to circulating and developing information and analysis on struggles, alternatives and initiatives endorsed by social movements and other civil society actors throughout the world. They play a huge role in breaking down isolation, and thus contribute to the success of these struggles and initiatives. They facilitate and strengthen connections among movements and activists, help disseminate lessons learned, and raise public awareness and understanding.For Indigenous Peoples in Peru, Chinese or Burmese dissidents, Iranian street-protestors, Gabonese political opponents, African-Americans being excluded from healthcare, the ability to spread analysis and information on their fights and struggles can be crucial.
The generalization of access to the Internet, and, the parallel rise of the collaborative web have profoundly changed the shape of information, and the relations between medias, contents and citizen. With rare, and worthy exceptions (like DemocracyNow!, MoveOn, OpenDemocracy), these changes have not fully penetrated activists spaces. This appears clearly during global events such as social forums or counter-summits. Too often, the density and the profusion of alternative information, opinions and analysis lead to the dilution of information on innovative dynamics. Moreover, it is still a challenge to develop exchanges from one public space to the others, and to ensure that information on innovative dynamics in one region of the world can reach out public opinions in other regions.
Thus challenge doesn’t consist in producing alternative information, but in building bridges between its actors, and between these alternative medias and citizens. Facing the language barrier is also crucial: being able to translate analysis from the Chinese dissident blogosphere, or pamphlets written in Farsi or Quechua into other languages, requires skills and time few of advocacy groups and journals or magazines have. Social movements often have their own resources for disseminating press releases and official documents in multiple languages – but deeper, and therefore longer - analysis and position papers or statements fail to reach and be available to limited numbers of intellectuals who can read and write in more than one language.
By bringing websites, journals, magazines, social movements and civil society actors together with a network of committed mostly-volunteer translators, this barrier could be easily overcome, at little cost. Leant on an international Editors Committee, this network could efficiently contribute to the shape of a global, yet socially rooted alternative information.