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The Indypendent: News for the people.

Free news. The concept seems as normal today as… wait, nothing is free nowadays! (And if you can have it for free, you are probably the product being sold.)

But what if the meaning of free isn’t ” without cost or payment,” but instead this: “not under the control or in the power of another.”  I believe that’s the idea behind The Indypendent, an online-based and monthly print newspaper based in New York City founded by the New York City Independent Media Center

Written and produced by volunteers and journalists, The Indypendent offers a fresh, non-mainstream look into the news that actually involves and interests people. According to its website, the paper explores “how systems of power — economic, political, and social — affect the lives of people locally and globally. “

Its slogan, “a free paper for free people”,  adheres a libertarian philosophy to The Indypendent‘s mission, which seems to be the root of its success, as the publication has earned more than 50 awards for excellence in journalism, as well as a strong core of supporters and readers all over the nation.

Assuming this unattached ideology to the way news should be approached and communicated is what makes The Indypendent, a particular and interesting publication, especially in an industry that seems to care more about its commercial interests than its social contract with the people.  (Which is not objectivity, according to the renowned philosopher and media critic, Noam Chomsky.)

One of the writers for The Indypendent is Peter Rugh, a self-titled muckraker-at-large, who contributes to other alternative mediums such as VICE and Waging Non-Violence. Rugh’s articles explore a wide range of topics, from the increasing closings of New York City hospitals, the Keystone pipeline controversies, to the wages protests by fast-food workers.

I believe Rugh’s articles are a reflection of the kind of journalism we need to see more of. The ideology than mediums like the ones I mentioned, or the topics that Rugh covers are largely left-leaning, seem ridiculous to me.  Journalists should not forget that advocacy journalism can also be fact-based and have a purpose at the same time.

Because if one lives life with a purpose, why would one write something without it?


Where are the CUNY startups?

Despite the fact that this blog intends to follow all type of startups created or being developed in New York,  I must admit that as a student at the City University of New York,  I also wanted to find companies that are actually being built within the city’s public education system.

My idea has been to feature CUNY-based startups, but I’ve had a hard time finding a  database or organization that lists businesses created within the system.

Despite the existence of multiple entrepreneurship/business departments within CUNY colleges; I believe, – and this my personal opinion,- that there should be a more collective effort by the CUNY system to gather these startups within one place. I believe that this would  help to create a stronger community of entrepreneurs, and even give identity and support to those who plan to become business owners.

It is really important for CUNY faculty and administration to realize that students, no matter their major, are becoming more aware of the entrepreneurial economy.  An increasing number of young adults are following the steps of successful startups, and many of these people hope to become and be part of a truly independent workforce that values innovation and creative collaborations, more than just being part of a large corporation.

This dissatisfaction with corporate America can be perceived even at the smallest examples of legal employment: internships.

Articles such as “For Interns, All Work and No Payoff” by the New York Times, or ProPublica’s Internships Series, explore multiple cases of people, who unhappy with the way corporations treat them, decide to create their own ventures or become freelancers and independent workers.

This one of the reasons why I think CUNY has to do a better job at promoting entrepreneurship beyond business and marketing degrees. Students are perceiving industries, – and even education- in a completely different manner than their previous generations, and this is what CUNY needs to tackle or even take advantage of.

By promoting technology, apprenticeship and a sense of entrepreneurial community within itself, CUNY has the potential to become a stronger player in Silicon Alley, becoming the original New York incubator that its local students currently need.

Why covering NYC Startups?

Part school assignment, part curiosity about the startup scene in New York City, the Startup Beat will try to follow everything related with entrepreneurship and startups in one of the largest technological hubs in the country.

I will also explore topics such as:

  • Can entrepreneurship be taught?
    • If so, what schools are teaching or helping entrepreneurs?
    • Is startup creation just an “ivy league” phenomena?
    • What are the hottest startups right now?
    • Why Silicon Alley not Valley?
    • What are the top tech events in the city?
    • MOOC’s versus traditional teaching?


If you are interested in these topics, stick along for some cool information and articles. Don’t forget to share your comments and opinions.

The Startup Blog.