The Park Center for Independent Media (PCIM), launched in 2008, studies and celebrates journalism-oriented media outlets that create and distribute content outside traditional corporate systems and news organizations. The Center examines the impact of independent media on journalism, democracy, society, and participatory cultures. The US independent media sector is growing in response to concentration of media ownership, the emergence of conglomerates, and corporate constraints on journalism. To address multiple economic, environmental, political, and social crises, it is critical to protect a free, independent, and viable media system outside the corporatized mainstream journalism sectors. The highest principles of the First Amendment of the United States and a democracy based on the free exercise of an informed citizenry are of paramount and urgent importance in the current era.
The Center’s mission is to engage media producers and students in dialogue and action about independent media, especially US-based outlets producing content (across single- or multiple-content platforms) on issues such as equity, social justice, and sustainability.