Reclaim the Media receives Stoney Award from ACM

The Alliance for Community Media honored Reclaim the Media with the George Stoney Award for Humanistic Communications, during the ACM's international conference in Monterey last week.

The ACM bestows the Stoney award annually "to an organization or individual that has made an outstanding contribution to championing the growth and experience of humanistic communications." The award was also presented to Fred Cohn, board vice-chair of Access Monterey Peninsula and Monterey deputy city manager. Previous Stoney award recipients include Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and independent media producer and activist DeeDee Halleck.

Presented in Monterey by Thurston County TV executive director Deb Vinsel, this year's award recognized Reclaim the Media for its community organizing work, combining media policy activism with support for community media and media literacy education. The ACM also noted RTM's record of pursuing substantial organizing and policy challenges with extremely limited financial and volunteer resources.

The Stoney award honors documentary filmmaker George Stoney, who helped establish public access video programs across the US and Canada, and was an early advocate of video as a tool for social change. Stoney is professur emeritus at NYU and lives in New York.

Accepting the award in Monterey, Reclaim the Media codirectors Karen Toering and Daniel Hannah noted the importance of collaborations between independent media producers and social justice organizations, calling particular attention to the grassroots media activist groups around the country who are working to envision and build more just media systems.

Reclaim the Media's work in the Northwest benefits from ongoing collaborations with Media Alliance (San Francisco), Media Tank (Philadelphia), Media Democracy Chicago, the Youth Media Council (Oakland, CA) and the Prometheus Radio Project (Philadelphia), as well as with regional community groups and media producers.

At the ACM conference, Karen and Daniel urged local public access cable centers across the country to build relationships with grassroots media activists in their own communities, and to work together on behalf of stronger community media infrastructure and more just media systems.

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