Two nights ago, I attended a fund-raising event to support what is very much a grass roots organizing group, Grass Roots Organizing (GRO). John Nichols, Washington Correspondent for The Nation, was the keynote speaker. After the scheduled program (I’ll be posting on that too), Nichols agreed to sit down with me in the empty ballroom to discuss the state of the media in the United States (see the video below). The bottom line is that these waters are fraught with danger, and media reform advocates too often find themselves playing defense, even with Democrat control of the Presidency and Congress. Nichols is in a good position to know about media issues, given that he co-founded Free Press with Robert McChesney. BTW, Free Press will be holding its 2011 National Conference for Media Reform in Boston from April 8-11.
In a second video clip (see further below), Nichols discussed the travesty and the danger of the United States Supreme Court case of Citizens United v. SEC.
What’s up with media reform? Free Press is active on many fronts. Click on this video to hear Josh Silver’s two-minute message regarding many of the most pressing issues.
I’ve found Free Press to be a terrific organization providing numerous ways for thousands of journalists, citizens and citizen-journalists to exchange ideas for improvement of our news-gathering and publishing. I’ve attended the past three Free Press national conferences, each of which drew several thousand people. I highly recommend that you visit the Free Press website and get involved.
This was the third year I attended the National Conference for Media Reform sponsored by Free Press. This year’s conference was held in Minneapolis. As in previous media reform conferences, I was reminded about many of the hurdles faced by those American citizens who are attempting to get serious and coherent coverage of the news. By “news,” I mean the type of information that is critically important in order to prepare us to make good decisions as citizens (i.e., voting). One of the most distressing things one learns from attending the conference is that very little news is available to those watch local TV “news” and read their local “news”papers.
One of the fundamental principles of Free Press is that there cannot be a healthy democracy without a vigorous news media. The problem is that our news media is sickly, poisoned by rampant commercialism. The modern corporate media is over-consolidated to such an extent that it reflexively kowtows to political power and repeatedly refuses to challenge abuses of that power.
McChesney/Nichols – Part I
Topics covered in Part I:
- Is the media reform movement paying too much attention to Bill O’Reilly and FOX?
- The basic aims of the media reform movement.
- More on Free Press and the reason for the media reform movement.
- The problem with over-consolidation of the media.
Free Press stands for the proposition that there is no stark divide between journalists and citizens.
In 1964, Rudolph Dreikurs wrote a child psychology book that is still considered a classic by child psychologist: Children: the Challenge. Dreikurs argued that using punishments to change behavior is inefficient. No amount of punishment will bring about lasting submission. Confused and bewildered parents mistakenly hope that punishment will eventually bring results, without realizing that [...]
Salon’s Michael Grieve reports on Michael Copp’s address to the YearlyKos Convention. Copps, an FCC commissioner, addressed the YearlyKos Convention in Chicago: a three-day gathering of about 1,500 bloggers and liberal activists. But his address was less a lecture than a call to action. “The country needs you, it needs a free press, it needs [...]
I was recently provided with a copy of Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sells Wars, Spend Election’s, and Destroy Democracy, by John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney. Written in 2005, this book is a great way to get an historical perspective on the state of journalism in America. “How bad have things gotten?” [...]