Watch the National Media Reform Conference

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Moyers & Company Senior Writer Michael Winship and I are attending the National Media Reform Conference in Denver, Colorado. Now in its ninth year, the gathering, organized by Free Press, has become an annual check-in for media makers, media reformers and others concerned about media and Internet policy, increasing media ownership diversity, quality journalism and the ways in which media and the Internet can (and should) strengthen our democracy.

Free Press is offering a live stream of some of the panels and keynotes that will be going on over the weekend. We’ve embedded their livestream below. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter using #NCMR13. Check back next week for interviews Michael and I will conduct with conference attendees.

In 2008, Bill Moyers gave a rousing speech at the NCMR held in Minneapolis. In it, he describes how the media reform movement “was born” during his 2003 interview with Nation reporter John Nichols and Robert McChesney about how media consolidation and for-profit newsrooms are harming our democracy. You can watch Bill’s speech courtesy of Free Press’ YouTube Channel.

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  • Anonymous

    Democracy cannot function without an independent press, and during the majority of our history that press was funded by the readers…. of newspapers. Only a citizen funded press can give journalists cover to speak truth to power. Journalism is a calling. Without the defense of this breed….. democracy will fail.

    I see the only solution to avoid America ending up fascist, is a citizen funded press. A) that is an ethic, among free citizens… How can that be engendered? B) One idea is to have ISPs fund content. For example half the ISP bill shall be paid to content, with an upper limit for any concentration. There can be money credits. There can be good taste credits. Why not?

  • Anonymous

    Someone responded to this, saying that one person’s violent act would change all the ineffectual response to Bill Moyers reporting. It was taken down. I respond that violence begets violence, and that the current media system thrives on that….. and no change happens.

    In my experience it is usually a male in his 20’s that thinks violence works. I heartily recommend reading Gandhi’s autobiography. He dealt with a lot of violence, machine gun massacres, but he did not respond with reflexive reaction.

    It is useful to read about European history between 400 and 800 AD. The oldest a king of France got to be during that era was 42. And those kings could not read, though there was literacy in Rome 400 years prior. Why 42? Because somebody with a stronger sword arm would prevail. One can drive a bus into a lake. It would be stupid. advocating violence is like that. Read history and you can find out many things, among them…. what does not work well.

    The corporate funded press thrives on violence. It preys on the young. It brands the young males about 13. It tries to raise them to violence by refusing to cover civil protests or real cool art actions…. thus invalidating them. Read Gandhi. His tools work. Took India from the Brits, Took the blacks out of segregation. Are we in heaven yet? Nope. But only with a functional press, funded by you, me and the peeps, can we avoid the fascist trend that is on the advance.

  • Jimmi Shrode

    There is no free independent press. The Meida is owned by corporations. Coporation tailor content to what seels. The Corporation’s Bottom Line effects the outcome of the Media. Modern Televsion news is to provide you with news about Movie Grosses, Television Ratings, what is one television and Celebrity Gossip and snippets of attrocities to keep you in fear.

  • Anonymous

    Wholeheartedly agree with you on the citizen funded press. National and local public radio is on the right track, and even though corporations sponsor a good deal of public radio, my understanding is corporations have very limited editorial power. PBS is the same way. The trick is getting people to peel off their Fox and MSNBC habits and get turned on to PBS. There is quality news out there – at some point citizens have to take responsibility for their viewing actions.

    I’m not completely understanding your following statement below:

    “The corporate funded press thrives on violence. It preys on the young. It brands the young males about 13. It tries to raise them to violence by refusing to cover civil protests or real cool art actions…. thus invalidating them”

    Can you give examples of the corporate funded press ignoring civil protests? Certainly occupy wall street rec’d a ton of press. The recent Taco Bell strike in NY has received some press. The multiple Chicago teacher unions protests rec’d attention.

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