Help Celebrate ACME’s 5th Birthday!

October 1, 2007

From the Action Coalition for Media Education:

“Greetings media literacy education friends and colleagues, and happy FIFTH BIRTHDAY from all of us here at ACME!

In honor of ACME’s fifth birthday party, we invite you to consider joining or renewing your membership to the Action Coalition for Media Education. If you are already a member, you already know about ACME’s TEN BENEFITS of membership.

But, if you are new to us, you may not know that five years ago this fall, more than three hundred scholars, media educators, journalists, public health advocates, and interested citizens gathered in Albuquerque, New Mexico to create something unique. The world’s first independently-funded and volunteer-run media literacy education coalition: ACME.

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Media Literacy Series at CCTV

November 29, 2006

From the Cambridge Community Television November 29, 2006 E-Newsletter:

CCTV and SCAT Team Up to Produce Media Literacy Series

“CCTV and our colleagues at SCAT (Somerville Access) have teamed up to produce a new media literacy TV series called ‘Critical Focus.’ Details about the series can be found at the show’s weblog here.

The program will be shot live each month, before a studio audience at either CCTV or SCAT, and cablecast to both cities simultaneously through a newly activated interconnect. And we have limited seating in the studio for those who wish to participate, through their comments and questions, in the conversations among the featured panelists. The first episode is about Media and War, and will be shot live in the SCAT Studio at 90 Union Square in Somerville on Thursday, December 14th, from 8-9 p.m. CCTV has a total of 10 tickets to give out to CCTV members or friends who wish to be part of the studio audience. So if this is a topic in which you have specific interest or questions, please contact John Donovan directly at (617) 661-6900 x123 or

Tickets for the other episodes will be announced about a month in advance of each episode. The first episode shot in CCTV’s studio will be on Thursday, January 11th, from 8-9 p.m.; and the topic will be ‘Growing Up with Media: How youth and media influence each other.’ Subsequent episode themes include: ‘Race and Religion in the Media’, ‘Gender and Sexuality’, ‘How Media Ownership Affects Content’, and ‘Changing the Media.’ If you know of people who should be invited to participate in any of these episodes, please add your comments to the show weblog or contact John Donovan directly.”

CTCVista Project Fall/Winter 2006 Digest

November 21, 2006

Over at the CTC Vista Project Digest Colleen Kelly from Project: Think Different writes about P:TD’s new Media Watch Team in her article titled, “Media Literacy on the Streets (of Boston)

“Our objective through the Media Action Series is to create a culture in which young people believe in their power to create change in the media and beyond, and to provide youth the education and access to resources to become well informed, socially responsible, and participatory citizens of society.”

The fall edition includes:

  • One Alumna’s Advice for CTC VISTAs, by (former CTC VISTA) Molly Szymanski – “Working on a project that requires knowledge of local resources can be difficult especially if you haven’t been in the city long enough to be familiar with community networks.”
  • Rethinking “Internet for Everyone” & Social Networking, by (current VISTA) Brittney Fosbrook – “Why would case managers use this technology tool, they questioned, if they could barely navigate the internet? It is true, many of the people in the office have not been provided with the intensive technology training that I have taken for granted.”
  • Community Networking Hits Media Mainstream (Almost)!, by Frank Odasz – “Perhaps future programs will focus on the lessons learned from thousands of community technology centers and community networks struggling to educate citizens, generate local content, and provide fiber and wireless broadband access.”

Learn more about the CTC Vista Project here.

Globe Columnist Reponds to Local Radio Consolidation

September 4, 2006

In Adrian Walker’s column in the Globe today, titled “Tuning out a community“, he talks about the recent sale of Boston radio station WILD-FM (see “Further Radio Consolidation Impacts Boston Communities“).

Walker writes,

“The sale was another reminder that a so-called minority-majority city seldom feels like one when money and power come into play.

. . . What’s done is done. But there is a large community in this city clamoring for ownership and a larger voice it can call its own.”

He also writes that some Boston residents have begun organizing in response.

Read the article here (requires free registration).

antiracism watch blogger meeting!

July 13, 2006

The first Greater Boston antiracism watch blogger meeting will be held on July 19 (Wednesday), 6-8 pm at Community Change, room 605, 14 Beacon Street, in downtown Boston across the street from the MA State House.

We will discuss ways to increase readerhip of and postings to the blog, review effective forms of antiracist media analysis, and discuss action/learning opportunities for antiracist media reform.

This blog ( was constructed to monitor and hold local media accountable for racist representation and to analyse how white power and privilege frame media content. The blog is a joint project of Community Change, Inc ( and ACMEBoston.

For further information and an invitation to join the antiracism watch blog team, contact Janet at

Project: Think Different on WHDH TV Boston

June 18, 2006

This morning at 11:30 am, Youth Urban Update on WHDH TV (Boston NBC affiliate) featured a segment with Project: Think Different's Project Manager, Melissa Krodman, and four of the artists featured on P:TD's "Empowerment: The Power to Break You Free" record: Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo, Banjineh Browne "Optimus" of the Foundation Movement, Kedaar Kumar of Heist, and Lyrical.


Melissa talked about how P:TD, as a non-profit media arts organization, is using music and video to "shape popular culture so that it's empowering" and to produce "socially conscious messages." She went on to say,

"A lot of our work is media literacy, engaging people in raising their awareness about how the media effects our perspectives of self and of our communities. As a solution to negative imagery and stereotypes that we see in our media, we're producing socially conscious and empowering messages. This album we put out, Empowerment, is all about that. We're harnessing the power of music to shape popular culture and raise the lowest common denominator so that we are all more engaging, civically active human beings."


Lyrical said that what attracted him to P:TD and his wanting to be on the album was "the opportunity to speak a different side of music that is not reflected as much in mainstream media". He said, "kids are being lulled to sleep to believe that what they see from other artists is reality" in commercial videos on mainstream channels. "It's easy to sell sex, violence, and materialism but it's a little harder to sell a positive message unless it's believed by the people around it that it can sell."

Melissa said that P:TD "is trying to popularize a new form of message."

"We're trying to really change what you're hearing on the mainstream. So, that one day you will turn on your commercial radio and you'll hear a song about the struggle in Palestine, or hear about the struggle happening in the streets, or what it's like being a teenager dealing with violence everyday. These are the kinds of messages we are trying to popularize.

We believe that popular culture, just because it's popular doesn't mean that it has to be substance free."


Iyeoka said the music on the CD, "It's still real stories, but it's our stories. It's our choices of what we decide to talk about. It happens that what we decide to talk about is positive and it doesn't degrade other races or other people."


When asked what issues he is dealing with in his music, Kedaar Kumar of "Heist" said, "We're trying to bring forth awareness about poverty and commercialism with our tune on the album." He said that Heist is trying to "make amends with what we're seeing, negativity in the community," and said "that's what we feel we need to do."


When asked why the artists think that sex and violence sells so much through commercial media, Banjineh said,

"Very few people control all the outlets in terms of where you are hearing that information," and "since they control those outlets most choices are not made available to folks. Often times if that is not something that is available to people they say 'uh, oh something positive, that's corny and they associate it with corny music.'"

Check out Project: Think Different.

Buy the Empowerment CD.

Project: Think Different on Youth Urban Update this Sunday!

June 16, 2006

If you live in the Boston area, be sure to check out Project: Think Different's Program Manager, Melissa Krodman and artists from Empowerment: The Power to Break You Free this Sunday on WHDH-TV.

Melissa writes,

"This Sunday, Urban Update on local NBC affiliate WHDH Channel 7 will feature Project: Think Different's Special Youth Edition! Please watch June 18th at 11:30 am! (Right after Meet the Press) The episode will feature PTD's program manager as well as 4 young artists from our recent album release, Empowerment: The Power to Break You Free.

Kedaar Kumar from Heist, Iyeoka Okoawo, MC Lyrical, and Optimus from the Foundation Movement will discuss their own activism through music and how society can better support socially conscious artists who are utilizing their talent to affect positive social change.
Tune in on Channel 7 at 11:30 am, this Sunday!"

Media Justice and Communication Rights Organizing Institute

June 16, 2006

The Center for International Media Action is asking media activists if they are "Interested in a Media Justice and Communication Rights Organizing Institute to build collective visions for change and develop political organizing and advocacy skills?"

If so, then take their "SURVEY to inform planning and let us know what you need!"

CIMA writes:

"For several years media activists have been discussing the need for ongoing opportunities for skill-building, collective learning, and long-range visioning and reflection. One strategy to meet these needs is a new Communication Rights and Media Justice Organizing Institute. The Organizing Institute is envisioned as an initiative to build political organizing and advocacy skills and strategies to transform media and communications systems to serve democracy, human rights and social justice.

Development of the Organizing Institute is being guided by a planning committee and coordinated by CIMA: Center for International Media Action and the Community Media & Technology Program at the College of Public and Community Service at the University of Massachusetts (Boston) The Organizing Institute will be shaped by and for media activists and advocates. With this in mind, we invite you to take an on-line survey designed for members of the planning committee and any activists, organizers, advocates working on media and communications issues who might be interested in the Organizing Institute. The purpose of the survey is to gather input on the kinds of resources and training offered through the Institute and to develop program components that are uniquely tailored to different groups working on these issues. Please send the survey to anyone you think might be interested.

The survey will take about 30-40 minutes to complete, and you can save it on any page and return to it as long as you are accessing the survey from the same computer. To exit and return to the survey at a later time, be sure to first save your responses by clicking "Next" at the bottom of the page, and then click Exit at the top right hand corner of the screen. To read more about the survey or take the survey, please click here.

PLEASE COMPLETE YOUR SURVEY BY JUNE 26 AT THE LATEST (so we can incorporate your input in the materials and preparation for the July 5th planning meeting).

If you have questions about the survey, or would like to learn more please send an email to You can also click here to learn more about the Organizing Institute.

Many thanks for your time!

The CIMA Team"

Big Media Bans United Church of Christ Ad

April 7, 2006

(From Media Policy Blog)

This morning MPB received a disturbing update from the United Church of Christ's Accessible Airwaves campaign that their ad promoting the church's inclusive nature wasn't being allowed to play on the big networks. They are fighting an uphill battle to get their message on the major networks.

What happens when the major networks are the only mainstream outlet to reach the public? What happens when you can't buy time on their network because they deem it "too controversial?"

Read Rev. Bob Chase's letter to the blogging community asking for our help to raise awareness about this issue as well as watch the video here:

Watch the video.

This commercial has also been rejected by all the major networks, using such baffling reasons that it is "too controversial" or "political advertising."

More insidious, and a signal for anyone concerned about the impact of media consolidation, is that the networks have banned it from the cable stations that they own, including several stations that ran our ad last year, removing a critical communication link that the UCC has with the public. See this story here and a great OpEd piece in the San Jose Mercury News here. Even the Viacom owned LGBT-targeted LOGO network refused to air the ad "because of the political nature of its content."

Of particular importance to us is that we produced the ad in Spanish and NBC has kept the ad off Telemundo and the good folks at Univision have seen fit not to air the commercial there, virtually eliminating our reach into the Latino community. See our press release…[here].

Remember, we want to pay for these commercials, not get free air time. This begs a huge question for us: why do some religious voices find expression in this country and others do not?

In a related development, there was a significant story in the NY Times this morning featuring our General Minister and President John Thomas and his personal campaign to expose the organized effort on the part of the religious right and their political allies to undermine mainstream faithgroups. You can read this article at here.

Thanks for your support as we seek to assert our first amendment rights.

–Rev. Bob Chase

NAMAC: Media Justice and Media Reform

January 23, 2006

There's an excellent piece here by Jon Stout of Free Speech TV at the NAMAC site that breaks down the different approaches of the Media Reform and Media Justice movements.

He quotes from Malkia Cyril (Youth Media Council):

"The logic of the media reform movement mirrors the logic of corporate media, [which] mirrors the logic of America, … and we need to change that."

He goes on to write:

"To build our movement, they contend, we need to connect media struggles with the daily fight for economic, environmental, gender, and racial justice. Only by building such a broad, unified, and politically and economically powerful base can we effect the systemic changes truly needed."

A must read.


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