More than 3,000 people came together for NCMR2007 in Memphis this weekend and though I wasn’t able to attend, I would like to channel the messages and motivation expressed at the conference. The Free Press Action Center, which organized the event, is hosting some video and audio of all sessions on its conference page. More on the conference blog
Additionally, they’ve released calls for action regarding stopping big media, saving the internet, and promoting media reform and justice.
Jeff Cohen of Fairness and Accuracy in Media:After pointing out some disturbing stats that prove that broadcast media favors right wing pundits and commentators, he itemized his three goals for reform.
* Challenge the mainstream media to open up.
* Build independent and non-profit meida.
* Structural reform of the Internet, promoting community access and preserving network neutrality.
Chellie Pingree of Common Cause:
Chellie made the fascinating observation that when Jummy Carter was asked to observe electiions in the U. S. as he has done throughout the world, he had to decline because the U. S. did not meet the criteria for such observation. Specifically, that elections be run by non-partisans and there be national standards. Neither of which is true here.
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now:
Amy told a disturbing story of the Covey Plantation. Covey was a slave â€œbreakerâ€. that is precisely what it sounds like. Slaves that were resistant or troublesome were sent to Covey for training. One of those was Frederick Douglass. Douglass escaped and his his way north and the rest is history. Except this bit of history that is not widelty reported – the Covey Plantation is now the home of â€¦ are you sitting down?â€¦ Don Rumsfeld!
Sen. Bernie Sanders (That felt good to type):
Bernie told us emphatically that, if you are concerned about foreign policy in Iraq; if you are concerned about health care; if you are concerned about the economy; if you are concerned about global warming; you are kidding yourselves if you are not concerned about corporate control of the media. And he reminded us that the media is just as responsible for the war in Iraq as Bush.
Norman Soloman of the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Norman made the astute observation that the New York Times will correct misstatements of fact, but not statements like, â€œThe Bush adminstration is seeking democracy in Iraq,â€ although it is just as untrue.