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National Conference on Media Reform Panel: Visioning a Media System that Serves Our Democracy and Culture

[My apologies to the other panelists; a computer crash wiped out my notes—these were taken by hand.]

Joseph Pulitzer's Saint Louis Post-dispatch was just sold. A driveway paving dispute is on page 16; Iraq news is on page 28.

Infinity [a large broadcasting conglomerate] came into WBCN, Boston, and fired 19 people. We had a successful strike and won the station back.

According to a Pew study, we are not a marginalized, cranky minority. 70 percent are dissatisfied with an industry that claims they're only giving the people what they want. And 70 percent of media professionals: our stories get spiked, we're extremely dissatisfied. I'm a network (ABC) refugee. We had joined media to spotlight the problems of the world. But media is one of the problems of the world.

I founded Global Vision to tell stories from the bottom up. We started on a $200 a week budget. We ran 156 weeks of coverage of Africa.

PBS told us human rights is 'an insufficient organizing principle' for a TV series—unlike cooking or home repair. We fought, station by station; this was years before the current wave.

We created MediaChannel.org to monitor the media, because we couldn't afford $100 million for a TV channel. Walter Cronkite agreed to be our eminent personality; he made a video that made me sound like a moderate! That led me to realize we have a lot of allies in unlikely places. Every PTA and teacher's union is concerned [about TV violence, the dumbing down of media, and media ownership rules]. Media was number 2 in MoveOn's member survey, but they're not addressing it.

We have to cross the partisan divide. Michael Moore and the NRA on the same side. Its unfashionable, but we have to find common ground.

We've got to stop fighting over funding crumbs. Common Cause realized that campaign finance was about buying media advertising. We need to fight for what we want, not just what we're against.

The National Conference on Media Reform: Twin Fires of Change
By Shel Horowitz and the Speakers and Presenters at the Conference

National Conference on Media Reform Panel: News, Information and Corporate Media
By Shel Horowitz and the panelists

National Conference on Media Reform Panel: Online Organizing
By Shel Horowitz, the panelists, and the audience

National Conference on Media Reform Panel: Engaging New Constituencies in Media Reform
By Shel Horowitz, the panelists, and the audience

National Conference on Media Reform Panel: Media Reform One Community at a Time: Case Studies in Local Organizing
By Shel Horowitz, the panelists, and the audience

National Conference on Media Reform Panel: Visioning a Media System that Serves Our Democracy and Culture
By Danny Schecter


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