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LOCAL News :: Media Reform Conference

Day One @ The NCMR 2005

A short report on Day One of the National Conference for Media Reform...
The first day of the National Conference on Media Reform, led by Free Press, is nearly half finished. 2,200 people are wandering the lower level of the Millennium Hotel – people from California, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and other states too have convened in St. Louis, MO, to discuss, debate, and comprehend what media reform is and how we can become more active in it in our own towns, organizations, and neighborhoods.

The conference speakers are well-known, including such independent media icons as Amy Goodman, Naomi Klein, Phil Donahue, and Bob McChesney. The opening plenary was fantastic – inspiring and invigorating. Janine Jackson, Mark Cooper, Malkia Cyril, and Amy Goodman spoke at the plenary, providing the attendants with facts, figures, and sound bites of my dreams.

Janine Jackson began her speech with this statement: “The impact and influence of media is unbelievable.�? She went on to discuss the negative impact media can have on people, the positive impact media reform could mean for people, and what media reform means to us today.

Mark Cooper said that he felt that media reform should involve four things: law, history, technology, and economics. He shared with us his thoughts on the digital revolution he believes we are in the midst of now, which transform consumers into producers. The airwaves are being manipulated by the corporate world to control them and remove the possibility of common people using them for more humanitarian and activist purposes, he said. Airwaves are one thing that should be free and were previously free to all.

Malkia was filled with enthusiasm and led a chant “What do we want?�? “Justice.�? She went on to state “We are winning. We can win.�? She described our media reform plan as “A fight for our lives.�? She explained that this is something that is in all people’s interest; we should all have reason to be active in the fight for reform and revolution within the media today. “A truly free press is our right and we are damn sure gonna fight for it!�? she finished her speech proclaiming to the ballroom of attendants.

The final speaker, Amy Goodman, made note that 35 years ago today a Pacifica transmitter was blown up by the KKK – stating that the KKK recognized the power of independent media far sooner that the government acknowledged it. It took only three days for Pacifica to return to the airwaves. Amy described the media as “the most powerful institution in the world.�? She explained that while she is not a fan of the U.S. brand of reality television we need reality television when it comes to the Iraq War. Her passion this morning focused on the corporate media’s refusal to show images of war victims, wounded soldiers, and soldiers’ caskets, because “it’s in bad taste.�? She said that what is in bad taste is war itself and people need to see what war is actually about.

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Day One @ The NCMR


Following the opening plenary, attendants had a lunch break. A DVD of No Logo was shown in one of the conference rooms, with Naomi Klein answering questions afterward. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend because of the lunch plans a group of St. Louis IMC people had and my inclusion in it, but the DVD is available for sale at the conference for $30 today, along with a variety of other fantastic films – half of which I wish I could buy today. Following lunch was the first grouping of sessions to choose from. Justin and I attended the News, Information, and Corporate Media session, with Phil Donahue moderating and Juan Gonzalez, Naomi Klein, and Norman Solomon speaking.

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Day One @ The NCMR


Phil Donahue was as animated as he’s always been and his dialect was something I picked up on as soon as he began to speak to introduce the panel. It was like returning to the 1980s and becoming a little girl again, sitting in front of the television as a little girl to watch the Phil Donahue Show. Phil introduced the panel and then went into detail of Juan Gonzalez’s successes as he introduced him to speak. Juan was humble, stating, “I’m a writer, not a speaker.�?

Juan went on to speak on the “Me A Democracy�? Movement – stating that it is a movement that has gone on since the nation was first a republic. He referred to C. Everett Parker as someone we can all learn from as we become more active in the media reform movement and as we study the media reform movement additionally. He had great respect for C. Everett Parker as he spoke. Juan called the “Public Accountability�? Movement one of the “pillars of media reform.�? The other pillar of media reform, he said, is the media worker. It is only 1/10 of 1% of the population that accounts for all mainstream media professionals, and these are the people who represent all of the remainder of our population. Democratic Media, as Juan described, consists of non-commercial/independent media and local, sometimes commercial media – of the non-monopoly variety. The masses want a media that will help us understand things going on today.

Naomi Klein began her speech stating that she represents one of the nations at the conference: she is Canadian. Of course the room cheered. She went on to explain that her parents, like many, fled the United States during the Vietnam War and that they had decided to remain there. She became more serious soon after and remarked, “The world is in crisis.�? She said that it is not a question of reform but that we are in need of revolution within the media: the whole system needs to be fixed – not just the journalists but everything in the media. We learned the sickly hilarious fact that Oliver North has been given sole press rights in parts of the military compound and Iraqi war zone. Her final thought on independent media and its supporters was astute: “There’s not an absence of rage. If anything, there is too much rage here [in the United States].�?

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Day One @ The NCMR


Norman Solomon brought the room a more sobering view yet, stating, “There is very little to feel satisfied by/with.�? He asked stimulating questions of the attendance: “What are we going to do in the midst of the madness of militarism?�? “What about action beyond possessing a reader or mailing list of 8,000 or 80,000?�? He made time to point out things we all think but seldom demand of media: “We need media to tell us what really happened,�? whether it be the Iraq War, or with the Weapons of Mass Destruction debacle, or anything else in the news today. He finds himself hungering further for Truth after reading, viewing, or listening to non-corporate, public broadcasts.

Following was another opportunity to select a session to attend, while also offering the film “The Overspent American�? and a leafleting endeavor led by Amy Goodman on the street – to introduce more of St. Louis natives to the wonder of KDHX as we at the conference already were aware. I chose to take time to view the film. After the conference a review of the film may appear on the STL IMC site, or perhaps later tonight.
 
 

Comments

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

Thank the goddess. You guys rock!!!
 

National Conference on Media Reform

Access to the Internet, community wireless networking and citizen journalism are all issues that have particular resonance within so-called "underserved" communities. Yet, this conference has not embraced this reality in a way that would include power sharing and agenda setting.
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

This conference has been a great opportunity for people from around the country to meet and share their very diverse experiences of organizing for media justice. A couple of suggestions- that Indymedia have a voice- in the formal structure of the conference just as policy issues did for example. Also, that the concerns and voices of people of color be *central* to the conference rather than grouped in a side caucus. Finally, grassroots organizing is critical to the success of this movement so it would have been great for it to also have a central role in the conference.
All these concerns have been discussed in different spaces trhoughout the conference, and it is great that we have had an opportunity to meet each other, but we also need to have a louder voice in the formal structure of teh conference.
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

Great overall...motivation!
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

this is a pretty fair account of how i felt in those first few hours as well... and then the workshops began... i'm not sure if there is an easy solution to getting our voices heard... but the classroom set up of "you listen while we teach" through me off. i wanted more. nothing i could really put my finger on until i began to meet fellow indymistas... the passion, the urgency, the world perpectives that come into every conversation, the vision and the voice of each member i met along the way re-animated me. not to say that everything else was uninspired - there were great highlights - the women and people of color space, for instance, were great! but the fact that i had to chose which part of me to represent speaks to how community and social justice present HERE TODAY, in this moment, were overlooked, or maybe considered just not "big issue" enough.
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

Conferences, and this one is no exception, can be tricky things. Initially they can be energizing - offering an opportunity to mix and learn from individuals whose interests/values/fights are similar to my own. But as the hours and days pass, the gaps and missing voices become more aparent. Issues of race/ethnicity, gender, class have been largely ignored or marginalized in many of the main presentations at this conference. Similarly, important work being done by smaller grassroots independent media organizations hasn't received the attention it deserves. When people are called together to fight together against (or for) a "common" cause, it is easy to sit back, enjoy, and ride the wave of camaraderie that such a "collective" event can generate. But it is necessary to think critically about who is (and who is not) defining and leading this fight and who is (and who is not) included.
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

i've been wondering what the response of Free Press would continue to be since they were requested to recognize the connection between police repression and media reform. I'm also interested in examining the relationship of national organizing and local issues. A national group is spread out and connected by media- publications and newsletter at worst, emails and phone calls at best. When a national group decided to have a conference and situate itself in a locality- it seems appropriate for the group to do more than have business relationships with a limited selection of the community.
The thing i was disturbed about is that the director of free press could say that there was not a clear connection between police repression and free and democratic media. Is it not apparant at this point that racism has strongly existed in this country, this state of missouri and very specifically the city of st louis? How can these issues ever be ignored- there is a huge power differential between groups of people along the lines of skin color, and the st louis police have not challenged this dynamic, and seems to promote it often.
i left the conference to work. at my work, an irate customer came in and would not leave. a coworker felt the need to call the police to ask for assistance in ending the situation. (which i am not endorsing or condemning, my feelings about this decision are very complicated and not the focus here). Unfortunately, after she described the situation to the woman on the phone, she was asked,"is the woman black or white?" my coworker answered that she was black, and described the MANY OTHER descriptive features of the woman.
The woman of course hears a white woman say "she's black......" and gets pissed off- as i was shocked. Why is her racial identity so important?
making her racial identity the focus led to the racial difference seem to be the point of the division, where it was not perceived to be the division before. Because of the response of the police, the problem was escalated and racial tension was spread. We need an effective way to make the police actively challenge racial division to promote the quality of life for all of us. Because of the recent social history of racism, anyone not challenging that history and those patterns becomes a part of them. simply ignoring that history is not neutral!
hearing the speech given to open the conference by the head of free press, i was angered. he had numerous opportunities to at least mention the importance of local issues, and mention that this was one of them that people have asked them (free press, conference attendees) to be aware of. his decline to do so felt like he was not reflecting all of the issues that he is aware of- he covered the story up, he buried it. it made me realize that his media reform movement is not mine- national issues can not trample local issues. race within the us (and outside) must be discussed, the experiences of individuals experiencing repression must be recognized.
 

You Are Right

Yeah, I could see where a description of the person creating the disturbance would not be germain. In fact, let's do away with all descriptions because, after all, wouldn't they offend someone? Don't ask for the Gender because, that's sexist. Don't ask for an age, that's discriminatory. Let's call the police but not tell them anything about the focus of the call. In the world you describe, I envision it going something like this.

Police: This is the police dept., what is your emergency?

Caller: This is the Latte-Da coffee shop and we've just been robbed.

Police: Can you give me a description. What race was the subject.

Caller: I'm not going to say, that's racist.

Police: Was the subject male or female?

Caller: Can't say, that's sexist.

Police: How old was he/she?

Caller: I won't say, age has nothing to do with this.

Police: How tall was he?

Caller: I never said it was a man, you're putting words in my mouth. I'm not saying how tall this person was because they might have poor self esteem issues?

Police: Can we establish the suspect was a human being.

Caller: Not without bringing speciesism into play.

Police: Thank You. Attention car 3A, respond to the Latte-Da coffee shop for an armed robbery. Suspect is of some unknown species.

DAYS LATER, The manager of the Latte-Da Coffee Shop calls a press conference to berate the police on their poor service and inabiility to catch the suspect. He calls for much tighter oversight and supports some half baked idea of a COB.
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

I don't agree with everything about the way the conference was run, but I also think it's unrealistic to expect it to be possible to please everyone all the time. The complaint I heard most often was about the number of sessions taking place simultaneously -- too high for anyone to sit in on everything they want to know -- which though a problem I think speaks to the breadth that the organizers are trying to cover in only a few short days.

I'd also like to point out that Free Press had an open call for sessions many months ago, and anyone was free to submit ideas for sessions. If you didn't submit anything and are now complaining about the content, I'm not sure where the blame should lie. Of course, even with the submission process I never thought Free Press was very clear about what their selection criteria were going to be, so certainly if you submitted a panel idea and it was rejectedm you'd have a right to demand an explanation.

On a final note, I think it was extraordinarily courteous of the hotel or free press or whoever to let folks from the IMC use flipcharts paid for by Free Press and wifi access paid for by Free Press in a prominent space before/during the biggest session of the whole event. There may be a lot to be desired about the event but I think it was very classy of them to tolerate dissent (and even subsidize it, really) within the ranks of the attendees. How many other groups would have asked/demanded for those signs to be taken down, or demanded money to pay for the big charts, or something like that?
 

subsidy

about the last part of your comment, freepress did not allow imc to use that space or the flipcharts or anything. freepress was not asked if that was okay before it happened.

left bank books gave us some of their table space the rest was used on our own accord. freepress didnt try to stop it, but they did try to make it less visible.

anyway, freepress did provide most of the materials but in no way did they consent to action that occurred, they just chose not to make a larger deal out of it and further marginalize independent media.
 

TO; Organizers of the 2005 National Conference for Media Reform

Subject : UPPNET Letter To Organizers of the
UPPNET
UNION PRODUCERS AND PROGRAMMERS NETWORK

Established in 1989 to Promote Pro-Labor TV, Video,
Radio and Film Production and Programming


May 10, 2005

TO; Organizers of the 2005 National Conference for Media Reform


I am writing to you on behalf of our Board of Directors of the Union Producers and Programmers Network (UPPNET). UPPNET promotes the production and use of television and radio programs focused on social and economic justice and the cause of organized labor and working people. Our most recent newsletter can be downloaded at www.laborbeat.org/3/uppnetwinter05.pdf.

We are disappointed that an important component in the resistance to corporate media domination and the emergence of alternative voices will be missing from the planned discussions at the upcoming Second National Conference on Media Reform.

The Conference goal summarized on the web site states: "The 2005 National Conference for Media Reform will provide a forum to discuss visionary and practical solutions to the problems of our media." Certainly at least one significant "practical solution" to the "problems of our media" is the most important project in national labor media today: the Workers Independent News or WIN.

We believe that WIN has already provided you with information about the growing success and exposure of this internet-based radio programming service (see www.laborradio.org). WIN currently reaches 2 million listeners per day on commercial and non-commercial stations.

WIN's director, Frank Emspak, should have been added to the agenda. Further, we have become aware that no representative from the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA) was included on the agenda either despite the fact that labor media and publications still reach a significant audience with an often-alternative message and also despite the fact that the ILCA, like UPPNET, has taken bold steps to try to move labor media in a progressive, democratic direction. Both oversights are unfortunate for the success of your conference.

Labor's media efforts are critical to the future of a democratic media in the United States. We are sorry that you decided to turn down opportunities to hear from people who could have helped illuminate the growing movement to revitalize labor media, make it a viable source of truly mainstream information and analysis in the service of a progressive American future.

Thank you,



Howard L. Kling, President



c/o Labor Education Service, University of Minnesota, 321 19th Avenue South, Suite 3-300, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612) 624-5020 ƒ FAX: (612) 624-1585 ƒ hkling (at) csom.umn.edu
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

Glad you enjoyed the conference so much. The problem I see is that you have just fallen into the same trap of kissing the asses of all these “media reform icons? as many of the attendees did. All that Freepress did was get a bunch of liberals with recognizable names to do a big cheerleading routine for their movement and sign a bunch of books. I have never heard more people patting themselves on the back in my life. I would think that an IMC would have an article that took the conference more to task than this did and if nothing else gave me a better feel for the strengths and weaknesses of the various sessions you attended. All this feature does is repeat back a bunch of meaningless slogans that you heard famous people say. Don’t get me wrong, I think Amy Goodman is a capable journalist and that has had a very positive effect on the independent media movement in this country but I think everybody would be better served if we took all the energy that is spent idolizing people like her and start fighting the establishment with this great IMC infrastructure we have built. After meeting so many incredible people, I have no doubt that many of the best minds in American radicalism are in the IMCs. Freepress can keep waiting for their policy reform while we build a media revolution. I will be very interested to see how Freepress responds to the criticisms of those who felt marginalized by the conference.
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

Ironic - in light of the marginalization of alternative radical media projects - seems to be just how many folks who are attending this conference first learned about it by visiting their local IMC site. The exclusion of an emerging labor press is simply put -- outrageous.
 

Elitism and the gatekeepers of the Left

Given the present political situation in this nation, the rise of the far-right and it's grave threat to our civil liberties, as well as the Empire's assault on people and institutions of other nations, i hesitate to launch into some sort of potentially diversive polemic here. Eating our young while the forces of darkness continue to consume all branches of government is a real bad idea.

So, rather than go on and on about how elitism and the very real existense of gatekeepers on the Left alienates the very people who could help turn our dreams of social and ecological justice into reality, i'd simply like to call upon progressive activists who happen to have a high-profile or be in positions of power to reflect on their own actions and approaches to activism. I'll reserve the title above and a long essay on the subject for better times, perhaps after we rid our nation of the forces of darkness.

Meanwhile, perhaps such reflection should begin with some soul-searching questions like: How inclusive are you in your work? Are you inclined to ask your co-workers and fellow activists their opinions? Do you strive to always give credit where credit is due? Is your ego in check? Do you belive some activists opinions and efforts are more important than others? What sort of guage do you use to make such conclusions? What are the ramifications of so-called leadership in a radical democracy?

I think we can ask and answer such questions (and i'm sure readers have additional ones in mind) with an air of mutual respect and consideration without going for each others throats; in fact it's crucial that we do given the stakes. Someone on this or some similar thread brought up the old chestnut about there being no infighting on the Right. Actually that's not accurate: they're just more cautious about when and where their differences surface. Granted, their natural propensity for hierarchy does set the stage for less public displays of disunity, but they occur none-the-less.

The tendency toward hierarchy is a human trait going back, i imagine, to tribal times. I'm no psychologist, but in some ways it seems like an extension of the individual ego: a "leader" or "leaders" becoming a sort of collective ego for a group. From there a pecking order usually develops, thus solidifying the hierarchy. Personally, i see this as an age-old problem but i'm not sure our highly flawed species is up to the task of overcoming such elitism. I's like to be proven wrong. What do you think?
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

my letter to free press about the conference:

Hi there. I was an attendee of the recent conference on media reform. As the emial address implies I am also a volunteer with the Independent Media Center Network. I am sure you have heard some of the grievances that indymedia volunteers had with this most recent conference.
One thing that I am only connecting today is that in am not finding any refernece to solutions of the media problem on the freepress.net website.
The problem with media as I see you make on the conference website is that it is corporate controlled governement propaganda. And the media reform campaigns are petitioning this corporate controlled governement to allow less of that propaganda and more of the truth. I hope you note the behemoth task you undertake, and that the possibility of failure is high and likely.

More than reform this machine, wouldnbt it be better to actively work away from and outside of it? Wouldnt it be more useful to spend money of community based media instead of lobbying? I guess the answers are dependant and vary greatly.

It just seems to me that anything related to this machine of media is feeding the fire. It is feeding our downfall. I was in the NW media makers caucus with the director of public access in Washington and Oregon, and quite a few others who kept talking on and on about legislation they are levying and campaigns they are a part of to reform the media, or to get a small bit of space on the radio and tv waves. When I asked what their contigency plan was should legislation fail they had nothing.
I would assume other folks have nothing as well. It seems that is a problem.
Currently it seems to me that this reform movement that has a good amount of money is hoping to buy from capitalism a little bit of freedom and movement and if capitalism says no, well then thats okay becuase they can exist within capitalism.

Some folks who attended this conference simply cannot live within this capitalist system. Some folks who were mostly not represented or misrepresented at this conference have no choice but to fight this governement and this capitalist society because it is the death of them, the consolidation across the board and the vast failures of the left has literally left the populace that fights without a hope.

There are farmers that are literally dying because of agribusiness and monsanto([search]). There are people of color being murdered by the police forces. Then there are reformists throwing money at the governement.

I hope I dont paint too broad a picture for it to connect, to really click with some of you. By supporting media reform, you are supporting the media industry, the media industry is corrupt up to the top. It is owned ny the governement and the corporations and it is fighting against you. If you continue to play its game or to reform its practices, it will dry our wells and eat our foods, rob our bodies of life and destroy the free people.
The vast struggles for liberation must be connected. If so many are oppressed there has to be some connection between them and the oppressors. We can fight individually until we no longer exist, or we can fight together til we win.

I hope I havent gone too far out of line or contect in this letter and it is read with openness.
bht
portland indymedia volunteer

ps. I have also found this page: www.freepress.net/issues/indymedia from freepress.net, if you would like information about indymedia or would like to represent independant media in any way shape or form, there are folks here that will help you. If your interest is to continue to marginalize solutions, please think of a betterl url.
 

wtf? freepress

www.freepress.net/issues/indymedia

That URL has NOTHING to do with Indymedia.

FreePress, please get your act together.
 

wtf? freepress

This URL has NOTHING to do with Indymedia.
www.freepress.net/issues/indymedia

FreePress, please get your act together.
 

Re: wtf? freepress

I hear ya at least there is a volunteering link to

volunteer.indymedia.org/

on that page and when you type in "indymedia" into their page search you get

www.freepress.net/search.php

peas, love 'n anarchy
 

Freepress Indymedia Page Extremely Disappointing

Thanks to bht for pointing out the indymedia page on the freepres site.

The information on that page belies the truth that Freepress' is frighteningly disconnected from the Indymedia network. In fact, reading that page, you'd think the FP folks had never even HEARD of Indymedia.
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

This was my first conference that I have ever been to where more than 70 different organizations were together, working to fight for positive change. I was inspired and I feel as if I have the understanding and motivation to go back into my community and work towards some sort of independent media.

One thing I have to say though, is that BHT wonders why Free Press works within the system rather than outside of it. The reality is, if anything is to be done, one must work within the structures that exist, because first and foremost that is what ordinary people are comfortable with. i agree that the structure of capitalism is oppressive and people suffer, but the truth is, most Americans are not that concerned about it. Extremism scares people and this is a movement that needs as many people as possible - so it must stay somewhat moderate to attract moderate people. Change can occur - look at the 2003 citizen uprising that caused the rollback of the FCC's changes in ownership. The big corporations will always exist - having just a few sources of independent media will not be enough. Can't you see that there will always be a small place for indymedia but never a big place if policy is not changed?

You must be realistic in these times. I mean our country reelected George W. Bush - I highly doubt its ready to realign capitalism, so why do we at least try and make sure that as technology moves forward the people are provided with more then they have now. If you just keep pumping our small amounts of indymedia it will not change alot. After all people buy the NYTImes, LA TIMes, watch CNN and Fox News. We must change the policy to support indymedia, rather than trying to just have indymedia. Without good policy, indymedia will die.

Everyone is trying to work towards the common goals of creating a better democracy. Why can't we see that there is room to have an org. such as Free Press and room for indymedia. Stop attacking those who support you and start fighting those who don't care at all.
 

say that again?

"You must be realistic in these times. I mean our country reelected George W. Bush"

keep saying it & maybe everyone will believe that it's true, but that has nothing to do w/ reality.
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

Seems like any energy or ideas that this conference could have generated are going up in flames. That's too bad. I can sympathize very much with people that felt marginalized by the conference - I know at times I did too. I can also sympathize with the person who commented on the lack of critical analysis of the role of capitalism and the state in all of this.

However, you get out of these things what you put into them. Not only whatever work you put in them, but also the attitude you go at them with. Realize, not everyone is going to be happy. There's always going to be something that goes wrong, some group that feels they're not getting everything they want, and some people left off the back patting thank you list. Oh well. Roll up your sleeves and deal with it.

I for one, would have loved to see discussions on the adverse affects of capitalism on art, culture, and media. I would've loved to have seen something come from an anarchist perspective. It would've been nice if there was a free media center for anyone to use in the conference. It would've also been nice if more people recieved scholarships, and attendance fees weren't so high.

But we can't change what happened in the past, and spending hours and days fighting with each other about what went wrong at one of many conferences like this is wasting valuable time. I think alot of people are focusing too much on the negative (and I saw this at the conference as well) and not enough on positive things that might've happened.

Realize, there's not going to be any power sharing or agenda setting on a level that satisfies everyone. There's not going to be enough discussions, or enough time to have all the workshops and skillshares that we want. Such is life. I think one plus is that there was alot of free space in the entire hotel to organize meetings (not only provided by Free Press, but simply unused space in the hotel), workshops, skillshares, etc. You might not get more than 5 people to show up, but it's a start.

Conferences like this are meant for alot of backpatting, cheerleading, and celebrity encounters. I don't see that changing in a huge way anytime soon. However I do think that if we focus our frustrations into positive discussions (instead of walking away frustrated or just complaining about it online) and actions for the future.

I would say that anyone should e-mail their comments directly to the organizers, whose contact information is not that hard to find on the internet at all. Furthermore, don't just complain - if you saw something you'd like as a session, suggest it. If you want your group or organization to be involved, then get involved. If you think you can do better, than organize your own damned conference. Next time this kind of thing comes around, show up with your own ideas and suggestions and if you think you can contribute a workshop than by all means - do it. There were tons of opportunities for impromptu sessions. Granted, they were sparsley attended - but something is better than nothing.

I knew going into this conference that there wasn't going to be anything really radical happening. It's a media reform conference - there's lots of different people from different backgrounds. You had everyone from anarchists like myself to Phil Donahue talking about God. That's not a bad thing though. I think a great job was done to bring so many people from so many different groups under one roof. After that, it's up to all of you to do your own legwork.
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

Actually, it would be interesting to see labor press activists take the initative organize a real national media conference organized by and for labor, POC community and alternative press outlets - including the IMC. (why do we wait for the small clique of professional progressive media critics and academics to do this?) Such a conference, or a series of regional conferences might explore different strategies for building a new non-corporate democratic and participatory media network and alliance based on horizontal mutal support - not to 'reform' the exisitng corporate media, but to create a vibrant new media committed to articulating the intersts and concerns of the rest of us - using what resources we can marshal.
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

To: Anonymous Poster
Yeah, I could see where a description of the person creating the disturbance would not be germain. In fact, let's do away with all descriptions because, after all, wouldn't they offend someone? Don't ask for the Gender because, that's sexist. Don't ask for an age, that's discriminatory. Let's call the police but not tell them anything about the focus of the call. In the world you describe, I envision it going something like this.

Police: This is the police dept., what is your emergency?

Caller: This is the Latte-Da coffee shop and we've just been robbed.

Police: Can you give me a description. What race was the subject.

Caller: I'm not going to say, that's racist.

Police: Was the subject male or female?

Caller: Can't say, that's sexist.

Police: How old was he/she?

Caller: I won't say, age has nothing to do with this.

Police: How tall was he?

Caller: I never said it was a man, you're putting words in my mouth. I'm not saying how tall this person was because they might have poor self esteem issues?

Police: Can we establish the suspect was a human being.

Caller: Not without bringing speciesism into play.

Police: Thank You. Attention car 3A, respond to the Latte-Da coffee shop for an armed robbery. Suspect is of some unknown species.

DAYS LATER, The manager of the Latte-Da Coffee Shop calls a press conference to berate the police on their poor service and inabiility to catch the suspect. He calls for much tighter oversight and supports some half baked idea of a COB.
 

Re: Day One @ The NCMR

To SEIU rank and filer:

That is exaclty what we need! I am an IMC volunteer, but I strongly believe we need to tie ourselves much more tighly to labor and poverty. Not that other forms of oppression are not important, but the combination of labor and an horizontal IMC network is excellent. In fact at the conference there was a workshop on globalizing the movement and the man from South Korea (MJ) sdiscussed just this, as the independent media movement in South korea is tightly linked to labor. This is an excellent answer the question is how does IMC and labor come to the table to figure something like this out.

As for the conference briefly, conferences can be all sorts of things. This was a powerplay by the moderates of the media movement to bring it center to serve their agenda. for those of us involved in indymedia and interested in more profound issues than media reform, we must be better prepared and we must fight for the heart of this movement as the constiutency is growing fast. we must not leave the movement to be definaed by McChesney and Nichols, because they have a liberal centrist agenda and the last thing on their radar is the role of capitalism! we must challenge and to do this we must ORGANIZE. DIY is great but it must be connected to social and political realities. If we do not organize to create common cause and depend on a etwork to do the work we are dead in the water!
 

hacker

email:ca920105 (at) gmail.com
I just like spam! I'm collocting junk email...
 

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Quote-of-the-Moment

An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)
 

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