Billionaires and the press

When a billionaire arrived into the news business in Ireland in the last years, the results included a well-regarded investigative journalist being ushered out the door. So, billionaires and journalism, a good combination?

With the news that Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill are joining forces with billionaire Pierre Omidyar, a new news organisation is being born, online only, and apparently dedicated to investigative and deep reporting. Whether it’s non-profit or not remains to be revealed, but presumably it will be for profit as this does not seem to be a philanthropic venture.

Jay Rosen from NYU spoke to Omidyar in the last days, and reported: Why is Omidyar doing this? He said that his involvement in Civil Beat (a news site he started in Hawaii) stoked his appetite to try something larger in news. “I have always been of the opinion that the right kind of journalism is a critical part of our democracy.” He said he had watched closely over the last 15 years as the business model in journalism collapsed but he had not “found a way to engage directly.” But then when the idea of buying the Washington Post came up he started to think about it more seriously. “It brings together some of my interests in civic engagement and building conversations and of course technology, but in a very creative way.
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War: The speech, 50 years later

Everywhere is war

Following his visit to Washington DC, Haile Selassie travelled to New York, arriving to a ticker tape parade through the city. On 4 October, he made his way to the United Nations to deliver a speech on the consequences of the first summit of the Organisation of African Unity. At the United Nations, Selassie presented miniature versions of the obelisks of Axum, but it was his speech that was keenly awaited. Selassie had first come to international prominence following his oration at the League of Nations in 1936, when he warned that aggression against Ethiopia, unchecked, would only lead to further aggression.

Following the wave of de-colonisation in Africa, Selassie looked hopefully to the future in his United Nations speech:

Last May, in Addis Ababa, I convened a meeting of Heads of African States and Governments. In three days, the thirty-two nations represented at that Conference demonstrated to the world that when the will and the determination exist, nations and peoples of diverse backgrounds can and will work together. In unity, to the achievement of common goals and the assurance of that equality and brotherhood which we desire. On the question of racial discrimination, the Addis Ababa Conference taught, to those who will learn, this further lesson:

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The Reggae Movement Exhibition / Munich, Oct 2013

Yes indeed, the Reggae Movement Exhibition is still moving, with a long-promised show in Munich finally happening from 12 to 19 October courtesy of the Feierwerk team. Mr. Glue and Jah Seal will be in attendance and we’ll be playing a few tunes throughout the  exhibition week to keep the atmosphere sweet. You’ll find more details online here

For those still inquiring about the artworks, we’ve long since run out of posters, but Mau Mau and Freestylee can be contacted directly through their own gallery websites and they’ll be more than happy to help you out. Mau Mau produces prints, limited edition t-shirts and even full-on proper painted pictures. He’s also been decorating walls and streets worldwide so you can always admire his stuff from the sidewalks. Freestylee aka Michael Thompson or Michael Thompson aka Freestylee can be found online at where he continues his amazing rate of productivity, dealing with reggae and rasta themes and themes of peace activism all around the world. That’s Michael’s version of Shaka above left.

Mau Mau’s also involved in lots of other artwork and his urban foxes adorn walls and galleries alike while he’s also developed his own highly comic line of defiantly anti-exploitation artwork that lampoons the Coca-Cola and McDonalds of this world. Find his galleries and works online at Here’s Mau Mau’s tribute to Shaka on the right.

Both of them are well deserving of your support!

Do remember, the Munich show will open with a party on Saturday night … with Sunny Red, Carmel Zoum, Jah Seal & Mr. Glue and Treasure Irie.

The Rootsman Trods On

The enigmatic singer Martin Campbell defies stereotyping. While his experiences mirror those of many Jamaican singers – including a spell at the Alpha Boys School – Campbell remains something on an outsider. When we spoke to Martin Campbell from his home in the UK, he was busy re-assembling his old Channel One studio gear and preparing his next set of releases in original and analogue style. Campbell talks exclusively to Irie Up magazine about the future of reggae music. more in issue 12

Ras Rojah

Let’s face it, few governments or institutions devote themselves to celebrating or preserving reggae music, leaving the work to a few enterprising individuals. Rogers Steffens, archivist, educator and historian, tells Irie Up about his longtime devotion to preserving the legacy of the Wailers and his own mission in reggae music. more in issue 12

Dread Beat An’ Blood

Linton Kwesi Johnson is another man apart in the reggae world, and the artist who almost single-handedly invented the genre of dub poetry.When Darcus Howe appeared on Sky News to talk about the London riots this summer, LKJ’s poetry immediately came into our heads: what Bartek Wojcik calls The Black London Verses of Civil Protest. In this issue, Wojcik takes a detailed look at a crucial poet whose message was rarely heeded in England, or Jamaica. more in issue 12

Soundsystem from Jamaica to Europe 1950 – 1995

The soundsystem is at the heart of the reggae movement.
In word, music and pictures, the exhibition follows the story of the soundsystem from Jamaica in the 1950s to the UK in the 60s and 70s, and then to Europe. The soundsystems gave birth to ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, dancehall, hip-hop, jungle and drum and
bass – and taught nations and generations how to dance!
Jamaican artist Freestylee illustrates the story with additional artwork by Mau Mau. more in issue 11

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