Media Democracy for Mothers Day!

by ,

[ Click here for a downloadable Mothers Day card ]

What kind of media legacy will we leave our children?

Must we say goodbye to an Internet as diverse as human thought?

Will local educational and community television become no more than poignant memories?

ACT NOW to protect Internet freedom of choice and community television.

This Mothers Day, show your support for the future of our democracy by helping stop Congress from making a lasting mistake. Both the House and the Senate are considering major telecommunications bills which would demolish the principle of ���network neutrality,��� or Internet freedom of choice. The House of Representatives��� COPE Act, and a similar bill introduced by Senator Ted Stevens, would allow Internet providers to control our Internet traffic to an unprecedented degree - limiting online consumer choices and reserving the right to block or slow down any site at will. The bills would also undermine support for local educational, community and government cable tv
programming, and give thumbs-up to telecommunications ���redlining,��� the practice of delaying or denying new services to low-income and rural areas. These bills would shrivel our communications freedoms and our democracy, now and for future generations. What could happen:

�Ģ Parents and children enter a world where the Internet becomes ever more highly commercialized, and where the price of access skyrockets despite increased ���competition.���

�Ģ Ipod users find that their ISP slows down access to their favorite online source for music and video downloads, directing them instead to a favored rival company.

�Ģ Small businesses have fewer choices for telephone, TV and online services, as the business giants bundle products and shut out small competitors.

�Ģ Citizen journalists are unable to make full, free use of available technology as community TV is starved for life, and costs skyrocket for bloggers seeking to post video and audio clips on grassroots websites.

Take Action!
1. Contact your elected officials and tell them to vote NO on any telecom bill that does not protect (1) network neutrality, (2) local educational and community TV programming, and (3) buildout requirements to serve low-income and rural communities.

Use the online forms at saveaccess.org or savetheinternet.com, or write your own email messages; you can find your Representatives' and Senators' contact info, as well as their voting records on media democracy issues, HERE. Tell your Representatives to vote NO on the COPE bill (HR5252) unless it is amended to protect network neutrality, local franchising, and buildout requirements. Urge them to support stand-alone legislation protecting net neutrality. Tell your Senators not to support the Stevens bill, or any telecommunications bill that does not include these protections.

2. Call Senator Cantwell���s office at 202-224-3441 and tell her that the Stevens bill must be amended to include network neutrality protections.

Senator Maria Cantwell has been a supporter of media democracy issues in the past, but she has not yet taken a stand in favor of Net Neutrality legislation. It���s our job to convince her that this is a crucial issue for her constituents. (Not in Washington State? Call or email your own Senator on the Commerce Committee.)

3. Tell your family and friends to take the same actions, and join our email list for updates!

This is a fight we can win, but only if we show our support now, loud and clear. Take action now!

article originally published at .
The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey