BE THE MEDIA: A Mini Conference

October 26, 2006

A Mini Conference Promoting Democracy, Access and Social Change

Thursday, November 30, 2006
Time: 11:30 am – 6 pm
Lunch at noon. A box lunch will be provided
Third Sector New England’s NonProfit Center
Lincoln Plaza
89 South Street
Boston, MA 02111

From the Conference website:

“Sponsored by: Progressive Communicators Network-Boston and Third Sector New England

Co-Sponsored by: Project Think Different and the Community Media and Technology programat the College of Public and Community Service at The University of Massachusetts/Boston

The media is a powerful tool for social justice organizers and non-profits working on community and social issues, but it can also present formidable challenges, particularly for under-resourced groups. This mini-conference will help participants understand the link between strategic communications and organizing strategies, and to learn essential communications tools and techniques. More importantly, the conference will help build awareness about the Boston media landscape and ways to improve access for community and social justice groups in the future. It will include workshops, discussions, and presentations on: the use of new media technology to enhance your communications capacity; understanding current media reform proposals and their challenge to media democracy; how best to frame your stories in the media to highlight your issues; and ways to pitch your stories to mainstream media. The conference is geared for beginning communications staff persons and those who are doing communications work as part of their current positions, such as organizers, executive directors, or policy advocates.”

Register here.


Creative Voices Call For Stronger Net Neutrality Rules

October 25, 2006

The Center for Creative Voices in Media filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission yesterday calling for “strong and enforceable” Net Neutrality conditions for the AT&T – BellSouth merger.

What is at stake here is nothing less than the future of the Internet, and whether the future Internet will be open or closed to independent and diverse voices and viewpoints. Not just creative voices – all voices. Will consumers retain the freedom to access any website, as they could when government policies were in place that ensured nondiscriminatory access, or will they be restricted to visiting sites approved by – or in business with – the “gatekeeper” that provides high speed Internet access?

The entire comments can be found by following this link.

“Does Bigger Media Equal Better Media?”

October 23, 2006

(via Free Press)

“October 23, 2006
Rik Panganiban, SSRC, 212 377-2700, ext. 644 or
Gloria Tristani. 202 454-5655 or

***Press conference TODAY, 1 p.m. EDT***

Does Bigger Media Equal Better Media?
Four New Studies Cast a Critical Eye on Media Consolidation

Today at 1 p.m. EDT, the Benton Foundation and the Social Science Research Council will host a telephone press conference to announce the release of four independent academic studies on the impact of media consolidation in the United States.

WHAT: Telephone press conference to unveil four important studies on media ownership


Gloria Tristani, President, Benton Foundation and Former FCC Commissioner
Joe Karaganis, Program Director, Social Science Research Council
Dr. Carolyn Byerly, Howard University
Dr. Phil Napoli, Fordham University
Peter DiCola, University of Michigan

WHERE: To join, call 888-694-4676 — conference code #8013008

The studies are available at <; and <;

The studies focus on two questions that are central to upcoming FCC deliberations about the regulation of media ownership:

·  How the concentration of media ownership affects media content, from local news reporting to radio music programming.

·  How minority groups have fared in an increasingly deregulated media environment, both as owners of media outlets and as historically-underserved audiences for news and other content.

The studies are intended to inform the FCC’s re-examination of media ownership restrictions and have been filed with the FCC during the initial public comment period ending Monday, October 23.

Benton president and former FCC commissioner Gloria Tristani said: “These studies make clear that there is no support for the contention that media consolidation correlates with better, more local or more diverse media content. To the contrary, the studies strongly suggest that ownership restrictions should be tightened, not relaxed.”

The four studies examine key relationships between ownership, programming, and community impact, with a particular focus on:

The Radio Industry. Peter DiCola, of the University of Michigan and the Future of Music Coalition, examines how the concentration of radio station ownership affects the diversity of music programming.

Minority and Women-owned Media. Carolyn Byerly of Howard University takes a critical look at FCC data on minority and women-owned media.

Minority News Consumption. Carolyn Byerly, Jamila A. Cupid and Kehbuma Langmia examine minority perspectives on the media coverage of minority communities, drawing on 196 interviews with African-Americans, Africans, Latinos and Asians in the DC and Maryland area.

TV/Newspaper Cross-ownership & Public Affairs. Michael Yan of the University of Michigan analyzes the relationship between newspaper and television cross-ownership and the provision of local news and public affairs programming.

The telephone press conference will take place today at 1PM EST. The authors of the studies will briefly present their findings and be available for questions.

To participate, please call 888-694-4676 and provide the operator with the reference code for the event: 8013008.

The studies are available online at <; and <; . To arrange interviews with individual researchers after the press conference, please contact Rik Panganiban at 212-377-2700 x 644 or email


About the Benton Foundation: A private foundation since 1981, the Benton Foundation (<;) works to advance a public interest vision and policy alternatives for the digital age and to demonstrate the value of communications for solving social problems. The foundation is based in Washington, DC.

About the Social Science Research Council: The SSRC (<;) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1923 to bring research to bear on public problems. It works on a wide range of issues, from media policy, to the social impact of HIV/AIDS, to changes in systems of higher education. The SSRC is based in New York City”

Channel One News?

October 22, 2006

Media Education Foundation writes:

“On, Tues. Oct. 17, the Knight Foundation granted Channel One a $2.25 million to teach teens about the personal freedoms guaranteed them by America’s First Amendment.

MEF (the Media Education Foundation), ACME (the Action Coalition for Media Education), and other media education organizations question whether Channel One is the appropriate organization to do this education. MEF is streaming a section of their film, “Captive Audience: Advertising Invades the Classroom” below to help educate about Channel One.”

Play Video

(You need Real Player to view this video. Click here to download Real Player.)

“The Net at Risk”

October 18, 2006

Tonight on PBS, Moyers on America presents “The Net at Risk“. Following the program there will be a live online debate here about the future of the Internet with Hands Off The Internet‘s Mike McCurry and Ben Scott of Free Press.


Call for Articles on Media Literacy

October 18, 2006

Academic Exchange Quarterly (peer-reviewed print journal)
Call for Articles—Fall 2007
Feature issue: Media Literacy

The increasing technological and commercially-mediated environments of young people invite teachers and scholars worldwide to study what it means to be literate in a millennial age. Given the convergence of scholarship in the domains of media literacy/education, cultural studies, media studies, educational media/technology and critical pedagogy, this issue of AEQ seeks to make theoretical and practical connections among commercial media, educational technology and new forms of literacy among young people.

Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, produce and communicate a variety of media texts and forms. On a global scale, there exists many different perspectives on how to media educate youth, but not all agree on what extent youth audiences are active participants in the process. This issue of AEQ seeks both theoretical and practical insight into the learning process as it shapes (and in turn is shaped by) the communication technologies that permeate the lives of young people both inside and outside the classroom. We are interested in how media literacy is enacted pedagogically as well as technologically within various educational settings. How can teachers use media literacy to empower students? How can enacting media literacy shape the future of education and schooling? How can educators and leaders prepare students to engage in more democratic and ethical uses and designs of media and their associated technologies?

Who Should Submit:
We encourage submissions from teacher-scholars at all levels and across disciplines who have enacted media literacy principles into their classrooms or have studied the media literate uses of specific educational media and/or technologies. Please identify your submission with keyword: MEDIA

Submission deadline:
any time until the end of May 2007; see details for other deadline options like early, regular, and short.

Submission Procedure:    or

ACME Summit 2006 Podcast

October 7, 2006

ACME Summit 2006 Podcast

The ACME 2006 Summit is underway at Champlain College here in beautiful Burlington, Vermont. Last night, ACME Board President Rob Willams welcomed hundreds of attendees including students, educators, health professionals, journalists, media-makers and other concerned citizens.

Diane Wilson, author of An Unreasonable Woman: Being a 21st Century Citizen/Activist and Bill McKibben, author of Our 21st Century Media Culture: Re-Visiting the ‘Age of Missing Information’ both spoke during the opening plenary session.

Visit the ACME Summit 2006 podcast to hear audio from last night and check back throughout the weekend. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed to receive updates as new audio becomes available.

Participate in the ACME Summit 2006 audio blog by leaving your comments and joining in the conversation.