jonathan's blog

Democracy or Fascism? WA Women Dems focus on media

Reclaim the Media's Jan Strout and Susan Gleason will speak on media and democracy at The Washington Federation of Democratic Women's annual convention, June 17-19 in Shoreline. The theme is Democracy or Fascism? A Critical Choice. Events begin Friday evening with a screening of Rich Media, Poor Democracy followed by discussion.

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Bellingham media activists on the move

This report/invitation from our friends in Bellingham:

Dear friend of community & independent media,

Thank you for attending and participating in the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center's first Bellingham Grassroots & Independent Media Conference! The conference was a great success, with almost 200 individuals in attendance and tremendous enthusiasm and support for local media projects.

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June meeting will focus on Comcast

RTM's June community meeting will be focused on our Comcast campaign to win a better cable franchise agreement for Seattle.

The meeting will be held Thurs. June 16 6:30-8:30 pm at the Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave. E. on Capitol Hill. [directions]

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Presenting... the Northwest Community Radio Network

On Sunday, May 22, some of our region's most creative and inspiring community radio producers met at Western Washington University in Bellingham to discuss an exciting idea whose time appears to have come: the creation of a regional community radio network, linking noncommercial stations from Alaska to Oregon.

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Free speech and media democracy

On Sunday, June 19, RTM's Jonathan Lawson and Seattle media activist Sharon Maeda (Media Justice Network, former Pacifica Network ED) will discuss free speech and big media as guests on Speaking of Freedom, the American Civil Liberties Union's monthly television program. Hosted by ACLU-Washington communications director Doug Honig, the program airs on SCAN public access TV in Seattle (channel 29/77) at 7:30pm the third Sunday of each month, and is later rebroadcast on cable stations in Vancouver, Longview, Olympia, and Snohomish County.

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RTM Community Meeting, May 10

May 10 is the date for Reclaim the Media's first Community Meeting--a chance for local media activists to get together, talk about what to expect from the upcoming National Conference on Media Reform (whether or not you're going), and discuss current and upcoming media activist campaigns in the Northwest.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 10, 6:30-8:30 pm
WHERE: At the CAMP Firehouse (Central Area Motivation Program), 722 18th Ave at E. Cherry, in Seattle's Central District.

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Meet the ACM's Tony Riddle: April 20

Next week, Seattle gets a brief visit from Tony Riddle, executive director of the Alliance for Community Media. On Weds. April 20 he'll host a public conversation about community media (5:30pm April 20, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 17th and Yesler), organized by Reclaim the Media's Media and Democracy Coffee Club.

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Grassroots Media Conference in Bellingham

From our friends in Bellingham:

Saturday May 21, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Bellingham; Garden St. Family Center 1231 N. Garden St.

Speakers include Patrick Reinsborough of Smartmeme on "Winning the Battle of the Story: Creating a Culture of Change," Bert Sacks on "Sanctions, War, Occupation, and other Failures of the Media", John Sinno of Arab Film Distribution and much more! Celebrate the growing local and regional culture of independent media production, mobilize support for grassroots-powered media reform, build awareness of local and regional radio, video and web-based media projects. If you are interested in participating or want to get more information please contact Nate Johnson at or 360-510-4833, or visit

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A Regional Community Radio Network

The Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alaska for our purposes) is full of active community radio stations including FMs, AMs, LPFMs, pirate stations and Internet broadcasters. These stations are often very connected to their local communities, they're disconnected from one another. Commuity radio collaborations are few and far between, and ongoing relationships are extremely rare. This is too bad, because large and small stations have so much to learn from each other--as do urban and rural stations, Canadian and US stations, etc.

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National Media Reform Conference, take 2

May 13-15 is the date, St. Louis the place for the second National Conference on Media Reform, organized by Free Press. Three days of workshops, panel discussions, inspiring keynotes and informal strategizing will cover a host of topics, including info on upcoming legislative battles, media literacy and critical tools, and information on how to build local campaigns on behalf of independent media and media accountability. Details on the draft schedule.

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