Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 5:21am
BILL MOYERS TAKES ON BIG MEDIA
[SOURCE: Free Press]
Award winning journalist Bill Moyers opened the National Conference for Media Reform Friday with a pointed speech about the negative influence of corporations on American media and democracy. Before a packed house of more than 3,000 conference goers, Moyers said that the independent press is under sustained attack with a few corporations conspiring with political leaders to create an Orwellian world â€œin which language conceals reality and the pursuit of personal gain and partisan power are wrapped in rhetoric that turns truth to lies and lies to truth. Evoking the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Moyers compared big media corporations to plantation owners and American media consumers to their slaves. â€œWhat happened to radio, happened to television, and then it happened to cable. If we are not diligent, then it will happen to the Interent [creating] a media plantation for the 21st Century dominated by the same corporate and ideological forces that have controlled the media for the last 50 years.â€ The government cut a deal with the industry and soon the public lost control of its media, he said. â€œSomething is wrong with this system,â€ Moyers added. â€œThis is the moment freedom begins, the moment you realize someone else has been writing your story, and itâ€™s time you took the pen from his hand and started writing it yourself. We now have it in our means to tell a different story than big media. Our story,â€ he concluded. â€œThis is the great gift of the digital revolution and you must never let them take it away from you.â€
* Media Reform Movement see as "Bursting at the Seams"
* Moyers Warns of Media Consolidation -- of the Internet -- at Big Conference (Associated Press)
JESSE JACKSON: MEDIA OWNERSHIP IS A CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE
[SOURCE: Memphis Commercial Appeal 1/12, AUTHOR: Trevor Aaronson]
In the city whose conscience is stained by the blood of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Jesse Jackson evoked the civil rights leader and described media ownership as a new civil rights issue. Speaking at the National Conference for Media Reform at the Memphis Cook Convention Center Friday afternoon, Jackson blamed a complacent American news media for the continuing war in Iraq and an economically burdened African-American population, among other issues. The 65-year-old Jackson advocated tax credits to benefit local ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations as well as ethnic media.
Todayâ€™s news media, Jackson said, wonâ€™t report the stories that need to be told.
COPPS UNVEILS NEW AMERICAN MEDIA CONTRACT
[SOURCE: Free Press]
On Friday Night FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps challenged thousands of media reformers to set a bold new agenda for Americaâ€™s media system and â€œget rid of the bad old rules that got us into this mess in the first place.â€ Speaking at the National Conference for Media Reform in Memphis, Commissioner Copps released the â€œNew America Media Contractâ€ to, as he put it, â€œguarantee that our airwaves serve their masters â€” we, the people.â€ The contract says: We, the American people have given broadcasters free use of the nationâ€™s most valuable spectrum, and we expect something in return. We expect this. First, a right to media that strengthens our democracy; Second, a right to local stations that are actually local; Third, a right to media that looks and sounds like America ; Fourth, a right to news that isnâ€™t canned and radio playlists that arenâ€™t for sale; and Fifth, a right to programming that isnâ€™t so damned bad so damned often.
TAPPING TYHE CONFLICT: KEEPING NET NEUTRAL
[SOURCE: Memphis Commercial Appeal, AUTHOR: Trevor Aaronson]
As part of the National Conference for Media Reform at Memphis Cook Convention Center, the nonprofit Free Press is trying to raise awareness of Network Neutrality. Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor and author of ''Who Controls the Internet?'' compared protecting Net neutrality to shielding the First Amendment. "The Internet is a network where you do not need permission to speak," Wu said. "It is like the backside or the undiscovered side of the First Amendment." "It's an issue that cuts across the political spectrum," said Robert W. McChesney, founder and president of Free Press. "When we first started campaigning for Net neutrality, people told me, 'You'll never get anyone to support this. It sounds like something an accountant or lawyer dreamed up.'" That turned out to be untrue. Awareness of Net neutrality grew quickly last year when the nation's telecom and cable giants, such as Comcast and AT&T, began to lobby Congress for legislation that would undermine Net neutrality. In an effort to fight this lobbying effort, Free Press collected 500,000 online signatures, arranged in-person meetings with congressional representatives and torpedoed the new law. "We were able to get people in 25 different cities to visit their members of Congress during the August recess," McChesney recalled. "A lobbying effort like that gets attention."
See also --
* Neutrality Backers Hope Climateâ€™s Improved
* Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) paid a surprise visit to the National Conference for Media Reform and announced to hundreds of cheering activists that the U.S. House will create a committee on media reform and that Kucinich will be its chair. He promised reform in media and said it would drive national reform, even world reform.
* Another local blog
- Big Media Astride Seismic Shift
- The Movement in Memphis
- Media Movers Mold Memphis Meeting
- Markey Pushes Ownership Diversity, Pledges to Keep Net Neutrality Wave Rolling
- Media Activists in Minneapolis Discuss Reform
- Tennessee cable bill dead for the year
- What Next for Media Reform?
- National Conference for Media Reform
- Meet Me in Memphis
- Reformer Studies Slam Industry Studies
- Sanders Addressees Media Conference
- Digital Media: The Next Frontier for Media Reform
- MLK's Media Lesson for America
- Reform: The Everett Parker Way
- Moyers Weighs In On Net Neutrality