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.

Tony has a strong history in community media and in media activism, having served for many years as director of the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and more recently as the primary program consultant for the Funding Exchange's Media Justice fund. His arrival at the ACM last year was cause for celebration by media democracy advocates, who had been hoping for years that the ACM would take a more active role in educating and organizing its thousands of members (mostly public access TV producers and managers) around media literacy and media policy issues.

Seattle's cable franchise negotiations with Comcast are now underway, and Reclaim the Media is working with community allies to make sure that the resulting re-franchise provides strong benefits to the public in return for the filthy lucre the company will be extracting from Seattle customers for the foreseeable future. This will definitely be a topic of conversation on April 20.

Note: unfortunately, Tony Riddle's community meeting is scheduled nearly on top of Noam Chomsky's lecture at the University of Washington, Illegal but Legitimate: A Dubious Doctrine for the Times. But when tickets to that event became available, it took the University Bookstore all of five minutes to pass out the whole lot. Didn't get a Chomsky ticket? Come hear Tony Riddle instead. Anyway, Chomsky delivered the same lecture recently in several European settings; the University of Edinburgh has posted streaming video.

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