My Meeting with ACME Vice President Alison Brzenchek

February 28, 2006

This evening I met with Alison Brzenchek, ACME Vice President for Media Reform and Activism to discuss ACMEBoston and our work moving forward. Here are some of the things we talked about:

1. Receiving tools and resources from ACME that ACMEBoston could use for running media education workshops (ie, Alison's Powerpoint on Race and the Media, New Mexico Media Literacy Project Manual, and other resources).

2. The possibility of ACME doing a media literacy workshop for ACMEBoston members and other media educators, here in Boston.

3. We talked about a guest author/contributor for the Media Reform section of this month’s BACME newsletter.

4. We discussed sending BACME out to Media Tank's List (visit Media Tank's website to learn more).

5. I forgot to ask Alison if ACME has any connection to/relationship with NAMAC? I told her that Nettrice is on the board and that they are doing some really excellent work.

6. I mentioned that it would be great for ACME members to consider participating in a Critical Media Literacy Education “MediaWiki”. Allowing ACME members to come together through an online participatory forum to create media education materials and curricula. Once created, these resources could be highlighted by ACME Chapters and on the ACME website for download and use (very excited about this one!). Look forward to speaking with all of you more about this.

7. ACMEBoston proposal for the fall summit, “Critical Media Literacy for The Digital Age” (working title) workshop.

Look forward to continuing this discussion at our ACMEBoston Monthly Meeting next Tuesday March 7th at Community Change, where we'll screen "Class Dismissed" and talk about the planning for our event at the end of March or early April at UMass Boston.


Somerville Community Access Television Airs “Keep it Local” Tonight at 10 PM

February 28, 2006

The Somerville Journal writes in an article titled "FCC could limit public access TV":

"The Federal Communications Commission is considering legislation that would negatively affect, if not eliminate, public access television. The issues involved are not easy to understand, and they are not being explained by the commercial media.

In order to educate the public about these important issues, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors produced a 15-minute program outlining the proposed legislation and its possible impact on community media. The program, 'Keep It Local: The Value of PEG Programming,' will air Sunday, Feb. 26, at 11 p.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 5:30 and 10 p.m.

For more information about SCAT programming, visit or call 617-628-8826."in today's Sommerville Journal online."

MediaChannel, UFPJ and Partners Call For National Media Action

February 27, 2006

"The national day of local media protest announced last week on has received such a positive response that the organizers of United For Peace And Justice, the country’s largest anti-war coalition, decided to change the date from March 21st to March 15th. The media protest will now kickoff this years week-long 'spring offensive' against the war, just before the third anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq." –

Good overview of “Net Neutrality” Issues

February 27, 2006

This month Public Knowledge released a major, comprehensive study of
the controversial Net Neutrality issue, which suggested there is a
relatively simple way to maintain the open character of the Internet
without resorting to a cumbersome regulatory regime. In Good Fences
Make Bad Broadband: Preserving an Open Internet through Net
Neutrality, by John Windhausen, Jr., Public Knowledge looks at Net
Neutrality as an issue through the lens of potential discrimination
against service providers. Find an Executive Summary and the full
paper at:

I've just started to read through this paper but it appears to offer a well-researched and considered overview of the problems we currently face over control of the net. – (Who’s) Report(ing) It Now

February 26, 2006

There's a campaign over at, titled "Report It Now", a project created by an interesting alliance of partners: ACLU, Free Press, Channel One News (huh?),, & XM Satellite.

The site has an email action to tell your local media to "Restore the public trust in your news coverage", tips on how to report a story in your community, ways for parents to talk about the news with their kids, lesson plans for teachers, and more.

There's also a number of "authors" contributing to the site including Tim Karr (Free Press), JD Lasica (Ourmedia), and Norman Lear. While it's an impressive roster, it's whitewashed and male dominated. There isn't a single person of color on the list of "authors" and it's 8 to 3, men to women contributors.

While I support online tools for media change, websites like (and ACMEBoston) must work to build "Social Networks" across race, class, gender, and sexual-orientation both online and offline. We also have to participate in spreading resources and education to those who are already online and to make sure that content is relevant (see Andy Carvin's "At the U of Missouri Scholarly Communications Conference" and listen to the podcast).

As Lakshmi Chaudhry writes in the February 6 edition of In These Times,

"At a time when the visible digital divide may be shrinking as increasing numbers of Americans come online, it may be replaced by an invisible version that benefits those who are well-educated, well-connected and organized." – "Can Blogs Revolutionize Progressive Politics?"

Media Minutes for Feburary 24, 2006

February 26, 2006

This week on Media Minutes:

"The promise exists to dramatically expand access to wireless broadband by recycling analog TV spectrum. And the federal government spends billions on propaganda, while plans are in the works for even more."

Listen here.

To listen to past editions of Media Minutes visit this link.

Bleak Future for Free Flow of Web Information?

February 25, 2006

Tim Karr, Free Press Campaign Director, writes on his blog

"The profit motive of a few corporations would supplant the freedoms of all users, determining which innovations end up shaping our digital future. The threat is real. These companies could block us from viewing a favorite podcast or blog, cut off net phones unless we use the company service, or force us to download MP3s from their company store while slowing access to other music sites . . .

Only a public outcry can restore this founding principle, before it becomes a footnote in the history of the Internet’s fall."

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association, however, tells Congress "Putting so-called Net Neutrality principles into law may sound warm and fuzzy but they are not 'neutral' in any real sense. They represent a choice and a departure with serious consequences".

What do you think about the debate? (post your comments below)

To read the rest of Karr's post "Network Neutrality: Dead on Arrival?" click here.

To read the rest of the NCTA's position on Network Neutrality click here.