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Nolan Bowie at NFCB ConferenceReclaim the Media participated in the National Federation of Community Broadcasters annual conference in Portland, Oregon this past April, where we had the opportunity to hear Nolan Bowie, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Nolan delivered a keynote address about the critical need for universal communication technology (universal broadband and/or wifi internet access) in a time of uncertainty and risk – whether the dangers be health-related (avian flu pandemic), security related (war/terror), national disasters (hurricanes/earthquakes) or economically-driven (peak oil/dollar collapse). The full audio recording of his talk is archived on the NFCB website.

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RTM at the Baptist Peace Fellowship, Atlanta

RTM's Daniel Hannah and Oregon Indymedia activist Amy Dalton are presenting a workshop on critical media literacy and media activism at the Baptist Peace Fellowship summer conference in Atlanta, July 10-15. Here's the official description:

Media for the Peace & Justice Movement: from distortion to connection

Daniel Hannah and Amy L. Dalton will present a workshop on the role of media in peace and justice organizing, with special attention to how churches in North America can use media activist strategies in their faith communities. Participants will be introduced to a critical analysis of the mainstream media landscape in North America, including an examination of media as a business, the role of advertising and public relations in the media, and the invisible political assumptions that frame most media we consume. We will then look at how social justice movements are responding to this reality through media reform advocacy and grassroots media mobilization. We will close with a dialog about how churches in particular can employ these strategies such as teaching media literacy, making DIY media, advocating for media reform, and strategically engaging the mainstream media within faith communities.

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Hey, Seattle City Council: This is what we were talking about

During Reclaim the Media's campaign to persuade the Mayor's office and the City Council to negotiate a more publicly-beneficial deal with Comcast, one of the arguments we made was that the government-programmed Seattle Channel needs to be run with greater public oversight, and needs to devote more of its programming time to the nuts-and-bolts of civic government accountability--i.e. broadcasting (and rebroadcasting) pCouncil meetings, public hearings, etc. The channel is the past has been criticized for serving as a propaganda mouthpiece for the Mayor and for powerful City Council officials, rather than supporting government accountability.

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Interns! Interns!

The times, they are a-changin', at least according to the academic calendar. And as RTM says goodbye to our spring intern, we welcome a summer intern from whom we expect great things!

This spring we've been lucky to work with Vanessa Collier, a rising senior at the University of Washington. During the spring quarter, Vanessa worked with RTMer Daniel Hannah to compile information on local TV media monitoring, and to design a local monitoring project for Seattle. RTM, working with the Backbone Campaign and local volunteers, will be completing this project in the fall. We'll be making Vanessa's research available on the RTM website as the project continues. Thanks Vanessa!

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Seattle School Board considers selling high school station

The cash-strapped Seattle School board is desperately trying to figure a way out of a $20 million budget hole; the options they've placed on the table include selling Mercer Island High School's 30-year old student-run station KNHC. Get the details here and here.

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Sacred Activism and the Media

RTM is organizing a couple of sessions at this weekend's Sacred Activism conference in Lynnwood, WA.

The first is a panel on Media and the Good Life, which I'm moderating. Panelists are YES! Magazine managing editor Sarah van Gelder, and independent filmmaker Velcrow Ripper, director of Scared Sacred and the forthcoming Fierce Light.

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Prometheus Northwest Radio Tour 2006

This spring, folks from the Prometheus Radio Project will be traveling around the Northwest, meeting with community broadcasters, allies and others interested in safeguarding democratic communications in the US. They'll be joined on some tour stops by Reclaim the Media - we'll be talking about our plans for organizing a Northwest Community Radio Network.

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The End of Empire: David Barsamian and David Korten, April 29

Reclaim the Media, NW Unitarian Univeralists for a Just Economic Community, and YES! Magazine present:

THE END OF EMPIRE: Another World is Possible
an evening with David Barsamian and David Korten
Saturday, April 29, 2006, 7pm
(doors open at 6:30pm)

University Unitarian Church
6556 35th Ave. NE, Seattle (65 or 71 bus)

Please join us for a public conversation on imperial power and the prospects for democracy in a globalized and interconnected world; featuring two of today?s most articulate critics of American empire.

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Speak out on Seattle's cable deal with Comcast!

SPEAK OUT on Seattle's proposed franchise deal with Comcast! The city's single public hearing on the franchise, which will set cable service standards for the next ten years, is scheduled for March 30. Learn about the issues on RTM's website and by attending our March 27 preparatory meeting. Here's the information:

MONDAY, March 27, 5:30pm
Panama Hotel, 605 S. Main, Seattle (www.panamahotel.net):

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Media Environment Workshop: Politics, Activism and Reform

from our friends up in Bellingham:

Media Environment Workshop: Politics, Activism and Reform
Saturday, April 8, 9am-5pm
Fairhaven College, Bellingham

Admission free, lunch provided.

This daylong conference will include four workshops: Race, Politics, and the Media (with Naomi Ishisaka, ColorsNW Magazine); Media Activism (Susan Gleason, YES! Magazine); Media Reform and Policy (Michael Karlberg, Brad Howard, WWU) and a freelance journalism workshop (Silja Talvi). Jonathan Lawson, Reclaim the Media will present the keynote address.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey