Legendary journalist Bill Moyers electrified an
audience of more than 3,500 in Minneapolis on June 7 calling the
media reform movement "the most significant citizens' movement
to emerge in this new century."Moyers was speaking during the
second day of the National Conference for Media Reform, an event
that has gathered thousands of people dedicated to making the US
media system more democratic, diverse and accountable.
Watch Moyers' speech now: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y0r71L7cojE
Moyers said that the work of activists has "challenged
the stranglehold of mega-media corporations over our press"
and fostered "alternative and independent sources of news and
information that people can trust." "You're not alone,
and you know what we need to know," he told the audience. "So
it's up to you to tell the truth about this country we love... It's
up to you to remind us that democracy only works when ordinary people
claim it as their own."
"Decisions in the next few years will result
in profound changes to the media landscape," said Josh Silver,
executive director of Free Press. "The National Conference
for Media Reform takes these critical media policy debates out from
behind closed doors in Washington - and puts them into the public
arena where they belong. This event highlights the movers and shakers
in independent journalism, media accountability and the fight for
the free and open Internet."
More than 250 presenters are featured at the National
Conference for Media Reform. Among them:
- Legendary journalists and modern-day
muckrakers like PBS broadcaster Bill Moyers, former CBS News anchor
Dan Rather, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and author Naomi Klein.
- Political leaders and policymakers including
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Keith
Ellison (D-Minn.), and FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan
- Internet visionaries and new media innovators
like Lawrence Lessig of Stanford Law, Tim Wu of Columbia Law,
Arianna Huffington of HuffingtonPost.com, and Jane Hamsher of
- Civil rights leaders and social justice
activists like Kim Gandy of the National Organization for Women,
Van Jones from the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Alex Nogales
of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and Rev. Lennox Yearwood
from the Hip Hop Caucus.
- Music, film, and independent media makers
like radio host Davey D, Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films and
Greg Watkins of AllHipHop.com.
Sessions covered a diverse range of key
media and technology policies including: media ownership, the future
of the Internet, war coverage, public broadcasting, media and elections,
copyright, the First Amendment, online activism, ethnic media, and
Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform
the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote
diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and
universal access to communications.
Free Press was launched in late 2002 by media
scholar Robert W. McChesney, journalist John Nichols and Josh Silver,
our executive director. Today, Free Press is the largest media reform
organization in the United States, with nearly half-a-million activists
and members and a full-time staff of more than 30 based in our offices
in Washington, D.C., and Florence, Mass.
Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund, our advocacy arm, are
nonprofit organizations that rely on the support of our members.
Media play a huge role in our lives. TV, radio, the Internet, movies,
books and newspapers inform and influence our ideas, opinions, values
and beliefs. They shape our understanding of the world and give
us the information we need to hold our leaders accountable. But
our media system is failing.
This broken system isn't natural. For far too
long, corrupt media policy has been made behind closed doors in
the public's name but without our informed consent. If we want better
media, we need better media policies. If we want better policies,
we must engage more people in policy debates and demand better media.
That's why Free Press was created. We're working
to make media reform a bona fide political issue in America. Big
Media companies have plenty of lobbyists to do their bidding. We're
making sure the public has a seat at the table, and we're building
a movement to make sure the media serve the public interest.
Free Press believes that media reform is crucial not just for creating
better news and entertainment, but to advancing every issue you
care about. A vibrant, diverse and independent media is the cornerstone
of a healthy democracy.