Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Scenes from the National Conference for Media Reform

Earlier this month, with the government shutdown narrowly averted, Nancy Pelosi dropped in on the National Conference for Media Reform, to address the crowd of some 2,500 activists, scholars, and journalists.

Free Press, the advocacy group for a diverse and independent media, sponsored the event, which was held at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

The weekend was jam-packed with panels, lectures, and workshops on everything from Wikileaks to comics to the FCC. Videos of the sessions and talks can be viewed here.

Assorted tidbits …
Bernie Sanders addressed the crowd remotely, and Craig Newmark
appeared on a panel.

A session about the astroturfing exploits of
the Koch family was standing room only.

At a panel about the failure of the financial press, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz identified the inherent problem in relying on business people as sources: “There’s no incentive for good information. There’s much incentive for distorted information.” Watch the panel here.

“The “S” Word, A Short History of An American Tradition … Socialism” by John Nichols of The Nation. I continue to find the image of raising a red flag at Iwo Jima extremely puzzling.

The Seaport World Trade Center
(What says “conference center” better than a lonely faux ficus tree?)

Lawrence Lessig
Law professor and political activist, Lawrence Lessig, has a unique presentation style, and with a little help from Sony Bono, David Byrne, and Mickey Mouse, he keeps the audience riveted.
Yes, he was preaching to the choir, but there really is no overstating the distorting effect of big money on the legislative process.

You can watch his presentation here.

Amy Goodman, who has been at every NCMR, broadcast ‘Democracy Now’ live from the conference. She is a passionate crusader for independent media, which she defines very clearly as:
Media that’s not brought to us by the weapons manufacturers when we deal with war, not brought to us by insurance companies and big pharma when we cover the health care debate, not brought to us by the oil, gas, coal, or nuclear industries when we’re dealing with global warming.

I liked the way Malkia Cyril, of the Center for Media Justice, framed what’s at stake:
This is about who gets to tell the story of how we live and how we die. And I submit to you, that the revolution will be televised, the only question is by who-- AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, or you?

Some sites to visit
Free Press
Common Cause
Think Progress
Global Post
Global Voices
Color of Change
Naked Capitalism
Personal Democracy Forum

(By the way, SourceWatch has a serious logo problem.)

1 comment:

  1. love this post. did you see this scene from a pre-party yet? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHyCwE2qxZ8&feature=youtu.be

    come up soon! xoxo S.


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