What happened in St. Louis? Notes from the Seattle reportback meeting

On June 2, Reclaim the Media hosted a reportback meeting for Seattle-area folks who attended the recent National Conference on Media Reform in St. Louis, or who just wanted to hear about what had gone on. We had two special guests at the meeting, who just happened to be visiting Seattle: Timothy Karr, campaign director of Free Press, and Jennifer Pozner, executive director of Women in Media and News (WIMN). Jenn took notes (thanks Jenn!) so we can extend this conversation into the months ahead. |[notes by Jennifer Pozner]

National Conference on Media Reform reportback meeting
Seattle, June 2 2005

Jonathan Lawson, Reclaim the Media, introduces meeting and asks everyone to take 2-3 minutes to introduce themselves and comment on the NCMR and lessons learned.
Spoke on a panel at the St. Louis NCMR, also the previous one in Madison. Interested in how activism for media justice, media reform, media democracy, grassroots/independent media and media literacy education are interacting at the level of building a national movement as well as in local/regional projects.

Susan Gleason, reclaim the media:
I went to the conference in Madison and felt this was a big improvement over that conference in a lot of ways. Some standout experiences for me were a couple of the speeches – plenary sessions not that exciting but amazing speech by Malkia Cyril and great to see Sydney from Media Alliance up on closing plenary having strong grassroots presence. Both of them more rooted in “what’s the work needed to be done, let’s be real, let’s get to work, be specific about the work.” In the programming itself, I really enjoyed going o a media activist victories session that featured – one session was grassroots victories that included San Antonia Media Empowerment Project. Deanna. UCC – Church of Christ. Projects so rooted in individual communities needs and meeting poor communities, people o f color, small pockets across US – meeting their needs. MAINE – Midwent Information Network where they’ve built up network of public access network linked up to low power FMMountain Area Information Network. Dee Dee Halleck and Schwartzman, telling us about media history. Indy media in the title, the presence of independent media needed to be stronger, and still what’s needed is an event that’s just about the indy media and lets the radio./print/video/online folks get together and converge. Our ability to get together and strategize together hasn’t really happened yet, and is needed. One of the critiques that I have is that, coming from indy magazine world, among indy media magazines for one didn’t have much a presence there even though Ms. The Nation America Prospect, In These Times, Yes mag, etc. – were there but didn’t have our own caucus or come through in the programming. Couple of unexpected friends came from criminal justice, drug policy reform, judicial reform; also global trade issues and etc. – both came hoping to know how indy media and reform folks could connect and wasn’t explicit how people could connect – why else are we doing it but to work for justice and these . Women’s caucus was a highlight as well, great energy there. I had a role coleading an action clinic on Sunday morning. 830am slot – and it was really pretty lively. 150 people there, it was huge. How to start a media activist network in your local area. Mostly we thought the expertise was here in the room, and we broke out into groups, and .et the stuff come out – and it did. Brenna helped facilitate one of the breakout groups, experienced facilitators. Amy someoneorother.

Jennifer Pozner, ED of Women In Media & News (WIMN), spoke here.
[Since I was the notetaker, I didn’t jot down what I said, but the crux of my comments, I think, were that I was impressed with the plenary comments made by Malkia, Janine and Sydney, who helped frame the conference in the way I thought it needed to be framed – on the other hand, was frustrated that they had such a limited amount of time to speak each; it felt a little tokenistic compared to the many repeated times we heard the usual (white, male) suspects speak ad nauseum, repeatedly, often four or five times per individual, about the same things that are usually said at these conferences. It was a clear illustration of power politics at play, even among very well intentioned, very strong and important allies. The best part of the conference was, as always, the amazing networking opportunities to talk and connect up with an amazing group of people from a range of positions within the media movement. I was glad to see a couple of racial justice/media justice discussions in panels and workshops, and attended one during which Graciela Sanchez from the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio blew me away. On the other hand, I was very disappointed that there was not one panel discussions, workshop or session on women as stakeholders in the media landscape, as a constituency directly and negatively impacted by negative media content, structure and policy, and as a constituency that holds great power where social change is concerned. The only time women were the specific focus of discussion was for about five minutes during a very short speech sandwiched in at the end of the Saturday night plenary, given by Kim Gandy, the President of the National Organization for Women, who was introduced insultingly by Al Franken, who said only that Gandy was “a real nice lady, yeah, she’s real good,” and then read a quick perfunctory paragraph from her bio – that compared to the glowing, personal introductions each man who spoke was given as “heros” of the media movement and of the left… even people like Copps, who are allies on certain things but terrible on others – for example, terrible on “indecency” and other media censorship issues that always clamp down hardest on women and LGBT folks. Anyway, I was really disappointed in the sexism implicit in the decision making process that allowed women’s concerns to be ignored on almost a wholescale basis. On the other hand, I was proud and impressed by the women’s caucus that I cofacilitated with Liza Dichter, of the Center for International Media Action (CIMA). The caucus was productive, effective, respectful and full of energy, which was great – although it was simply too short a period of time to get much accomplished considering that this was the only 90 minute period during the whole conference where these 80 or so women who attended could talk about their issues of concern. On the whole, I am glad I attended and think that there was a lot of positive work that happened, but want to see some education happen for white male allies in the media movement.]

Karen Toering – reclaim the media – had the opportunity to attend MCMR and participate on a panel. So as not to echo overall, I felt equally that, like Jenn, the things that were missing from Madison were more evident in St Louis, however there was a lot of expectation that wasn’t met. Folks have articulated that to some degree. The panel I did work on was around cable franchising and is largely what I work on for reclaim the media here. Reasonably well attended, Sydney levy from media alliance, inja coates, ed nazursky, Karen young, etc. – cable franchises on a grassroots level. Conference was reasonably affordable which helped. Well promoted because many people seemed to know about it. A lot of energy going into this conference about representation from the grassroots. From a very personal perspective, I felt that although I saw some grassroots orgs, the grassroots orgs of color were represented by people of color and the mainstream were represented by young white people, and very few grassroots orgs represented by multiracial, multicultural and multi economic. A little disappointed by the fragmentation of what was there. Well established groups working in coalition, but not a lot of connection/ mentorship among those out there working together and I found that disappointing. The caucus piece was a terrible mistake. I happen to be a woman, I happen to be a person of color and I happen to be interested in other issues and would have like to caucus. It’s hard to balance. Some people come to hear from experts and be educated; others come to network and share resources, and it’s hard to balance the two. The caucuses were all at the same time. But because of the mass of the conference it gave people like me to get opportunities to talk with people I wouldn’t normally have a conversation with. Because I work in grassroots areas I don’t get to talk to policy wonks except in my own little circle. Bringing the academics, policy wonks, funders, grassroots all together – if you were strategic you could establish a good stack of business cards. A lot of time when we do work at grassroots level we’ve preaching to converted, but because of vertical integration at the conference it gave opportunity for people doing grassroots and policy work to connect. You just can’t have everything, you can give it a shot but someone’s not going to be happy with what goes on.

Bart Preecs, live in Edmonds, work on a tech advisory board and telecommunications. Charter member of policy wonk… came away from conference convinced that the biggest issue will be the telecom act. Anything you can think of will get easier, better; if we get a bad bill and there’s a lot of reason to think we might get a bad bill; starting with $100 million in war chest in big business to do telecom rewrite work. Crucial issue and I’m looking for ways to leverage this issue as best I can. I chose to go to the one reaching out building media reform links w/ faith communities. National council of churches, packed room, standing in the back, seriously interested in seeing connections and building bridges. I’m talking to social justice director at Seattle greater council of churches. They’re hesitant to take on new issues now (homelessness, economic equality, etc. – plate overloaded). I made the same pitch to them – media infrastructure will affect all their other issues. Their social justice committee will maybe discuss cohosting a community meeting on telecom rewrite act – what are the issues raised, get people out from the community. Bill gates may not speak for me and my issues on this issue…
It would help churches if group like reclaim the media could cosponsor the meeting. I would strongly encourage this group and others to sponsor the meeting.

Karen – there has to be public interest. Our legislators have to know the public is interested in this topic – without that it will happen behind closed doors, no media coverage, etc.

Brenna Wolf: most exciting thing about St Louis was going to conference in Bellingham a week later and doing regional stuff going on in a local level. The Bellingham people are very well organized in many ways. Regarding the conference – the best thing, there were a bunch of great moments. There was a good panel that made policy interesting. Room was engaged. Policies that will affect community media, national radio federation, alliance for community media w./ tony riddle, sashia minehart community wireless from Illinois, multimedia presentations, complex issues around digital technology, etc. – people held for ,more than an hour. That was good. For me tat was what the conference should be. I notice that when we come to larger gatherings we need to get back to roots of local community organizing. Saul allinsky – to organize around big money we need to organize among people. I’d love to see a whole weekend on what we were going to do, not just Sunday. In one room I heard someone ask, “what’s a facilitator?” the other thing I’d like to see coming out of St Louis, there’s stuff happening with RTM, I think it’s really hard to go to church council and say pretty clearly and what the telecom act is and why community should get involve din just 10 minutes – we need to practice talking about these issues. It’s also why we hear the same people talking about the issues, they sound more familiar and etc. so skills sharing and skill building, but we need to recognize that we’re experts here, too. For every bad that we got there could have been another person from the south. In the media justice panel - Northwest had nobody in the region at the media justice session. Thy noticed that there’s a lot of northwest people, but not choosing to come to that particular panel. The south, they were like, we just want to say if you want this to happen we have to have people from the south involved. There’s amazing work and great people doing great work. I went to the dred scot museum which was right across the street.

Rebecca Wolfe - I teach at western Washington university. Got involved w. dean campaign. Got involved with north seattle DFA group. I have a lot of new friends in the shoreline area. I’m in Edmonds but most friends in shoreline, Lake City, Lake Forest. Fremont and Ballard. One thing connects with another, etc. I hardly know where to start. I went to St. Louis because I wanted to learn more about all aspects of media reform. The question is how are we going to save this country? How can we get senate and house, and maybe white house, back? We have four working groups: children’s group, environmental concerns, election reform and PCOs – precinct committee officers. I wanted to go the conference because I wanted to start a media reform group at the group. At our monthly meetup, I showed media reform issues there. I want to provide some leadership on this, and people were really excited. In general I thought it was quite well organized. Like you could do meals and rooms on your own. I was a little star struck, I skipped Phil Donahue but I heard all the highlighters, Amy and bob mcchesney, they inspire me. I talked to some of the people bought some books, didn’t have enough time in the exhibit area. Picked up a class set of everything and brought it back on the plane. I had a lit table at my local meeting. I did a long critique of it at the end and offered suggestions – we’re asking reclaim the media to get a panel for the state federation of democratic women, a conference statewide with dynamic women want to make it more progressive and we want to work on media reform and election reform, those are our two things, in shoreline. We’re going to have three sessions on media reform in two days. We’re still working out the fine points. I couldn’t be too critical on the fine points, I couldn’t be too critical. I just found out what’s happening and I found out a lot is happening.

Ken LeBlond– new to media reform movement, went just wanting a broad range and didn’t have laser focus. But with that said, I was overwhelmed by things that were there, people that were there. Attended the FCC panel, advertising and commercialism, lawmakers and panel with Bernie sanders and Diane Watson. Last day really good session on lobbying policymakers. How to approach state local and federal lawmakers. I went to eh northwest caucus and enjoyed that. Met some people from Oregon and other places that were doing similar work. Met guy from Washington state U. doing internship at Free Press. I’ve been volunteering for Free Press, met with Ben Scott who was my supervisor of sorts.

Mike Weisman – this was my second conference that I went to. I realize that I think about this, as I thought about it I was constantly comparing one to another. I thought they were very different. I thought the programs/ content was very different from last time. Was intentional and seemed to be an effort to not repeat themselves. Main thing I got out of it was really a tremendous public groundswell on these issues and they get it. What I was always looking for at this conference was how we would harness that to ride it, to help it move forward to guide it to success. I didn’t walk away with any answers and I don’t know that anybody else did, either. I really feel that time is running out to fix this. This is a window in time, it’s a historical reflection pint. People will continue to be interested in these issues- how advertising and materialism in media affects our behavior, consumerism, e4tc. – but how can we develop change, I don’t know. That was the Q. everyone was asking. I came home and still don’t have any answers.

Sabrina Roach – KBCS, work in development and outreach. I wasn’t able to go to the conference and wanted to hear what it was like.

Beth Feld was able to go to the conference and am here to learn. Really interested in media reform and get concerned that there are some many different aspects and it’s hard to choose what I want to do. I’m a student at U-dub in communications – how to bring those two things together – working with lance Bennett, etc. that’s where I’m going to focus at the moment to get more people involved.

Brian Allen – I didn’t go either. My area of focus is technology – information, broadcast. LP-FM stations; I’m completing LPFM buildouts, impending noncommercial educations NCE applications, which is coming up. At least six months out, maybe – not sure. Depends on audio engineers. I had been beginning to focus on western Washington and expanded NCE prep to all of Washington to figure out the best way to expand regionally. There should be something on the website eventually.

Tim Karr – campaign director at Free Press since late Feb. prior to that exec director at Media Channel, mentored by Danny Schecter. Made the jump from journalism to media reform after working with danny and took on media channel in its second iteration. I come from a journalist’s perspective and i see my piece in this to try in some fashion to restore if that’s the right word, or create a vibrant fourth estate. Not the traditional woodward and Bernstein, but noncommercial media that serves as public advocate that challenges institutions, health. I was not involved in early planning of conference, but was involved in implementation of it. We had team of 14, and 20 volunteers working nonstop through the week. I’m here to listen. We sent out evils, we’ve heard great debates from indy media sites have been critiquing the way free press handled the conference. So there’s an interesting debate. We’re engaged with that. We should say I’m coming from a memorial service. I’m not in a suit as Free Press standard m.o.
As an insider. I work out of NY, though FP is located out of Northhampton. First time we worked together as a group. We usually deal by telephone. Very impressed with intensity of my colleagues. I went to Madison conference as an outsider. I think we still have a lot of work to do. We have 190K e-activists in the 501c3 – our PBS campaign is successful in growing our base. We started out in MoveOn style w/ sending letters to congress, etc. then try building that base to get involved locally and then report back to us and take the list and return them to your communities and say hey, you need to know about reclaim the media, grand rapids information democracy, etc. . There’s membership org that’s our 501c4 – more flexibility in lobbying – 2500 members. One thing we’re doing is launching action center, localized action center. These are the issues, orgs, here’s how you contact them, connect. For the national orgs, free press got common cause and etc. to engage in media freeform, we’re not sure what we’re supposed to call it. There’s concern about how resources should be shared. There’s tension. We’ve been very successful raising foundation money and they’ve sucked up all the money. There’s no money passed along to local orgs, they don’t have the exposure we have. How do we balance what we need to do national level, with what is happening on the ground – Seattle to Omaha. Broaden the movement not only by geography but race, etc.

Cross-talk:

- democracy for America model takes money and puts it back into local level.
- Tim: we budgeted local hearings across country. Some money will go to local area groups.

Bart – your next campaign for next 6 months is about pbs?

Tim – 6 campaigns. Take CPB/PBS and engage large population to that and then other ideas and engage local constituencies to these and other issues. It’s not about PBS, that’s only a small part of it. PBS is the most trusted brand in America. They’ve been surveyed as such. So that’s a huge area. There’s this noncommercial media structure. New digital landscape. If you’re concerned about pbs you should also be concerned about this.

- PBS
- Telecom act is one campaign under ownership.
- also campaign on broadband (cheap affordable ubiquitous)
- noncommercial media
- cable
- propaganda campaign – video news releases

Karen: I used the generic broadband letter of concern to our state legislator.

Jonathan: how can local and national work together? I’ll introduce this topic – 2003 FCC struggle, which pulled a lot of people into media activists as an abiding interest we’re invested in. founding conference in September in 2003, designed as a shadow conference from the National Association of Broadcasters. We had a bunch of speakers talk about a variety of issues. National ownership struggle, FCC – significance. During the conference, that was time when Powell announced the ownership review. Activists sat around strategizing – media tank, media alliance, Prometheus radio, FAIR, liza dichter, inja coates, we’re going to rely on friends at center for digital democracy and others at national DC groups, but we understand best how to work with local community groups in Seattle with DC wonky policy issues w/ the fact that TV sucks, radio sucks. What they need is not to be brought to that realization but to be shown the right way to shove the battering ram. that’s what we’re able to do. Across the country these little campaigns to motivate and educate our congress and senators about these issues and generate tons of letters. Final result of national letter campaign, Free Press, NRA and common cause and others – 3 million letters and growing. The more inspirational number is 500 or 750K generated by local groups and setting up computers and etc. – people not only sending letters but going back to churches and synagogues and local precincts and building activist based not just focused on one particular policy but will be a movement in the sense of the civil rights movement. A movement focused on transforming society in the largest sense. The big picture, starting with the little, local picture. How our radically local campaigns – local cable franchises better- but by networking with other local group’s grassroots level, leverage national grassroots campaign. At same time directly involved in national campaigns. Teaching planning, etc.

Reclaim the media campaigns:
- Karen Toering is running campaign to get a better deal out of our local franchise agreement.
* voters in north Seattle are very engaged and want to be involved in this issue; bob fergeuson aggressive on this.
* have a local council debate between Carolyn Edwards and bob ferguson. Carolyn said we had to give up a couple of stations but no one was using them anyway.
* Every time there’s a debate, someone should stand up and ask the question.

- we’re going to be able to do something on the telecom act
- low power FM is a favorite issue or ours. We got cantwell to expand low power radio across the country. A house bill will be introduced on the 9th. We want one or more republican congress people to sign on. Most legislators in western wash are indoctrinated, esp. on eastern side of the state.
- Seattle city schools has Nathan Hale High's station. The school board may be considering selling the station to help solve a short-term budget crisis. We are trying to get them to take that option off the table.
- Spokane’s low power station facing trouble from commercial station in Idaho that wants its frequency.
- 2005 is year when radio licenses up for renewal possibly targeting one or more stations for scrutiny. No chance of revoking license, but longer term goals – getting ready for TV license renewals. Projects are large and daunting, so we don’t know if we can marshal the resources to do this well. Group of people like us and extended community of activists, we might be able to do it.
- Media issues at state level – working with state reps about. There remains a lot of interest in Washington state. Local and regional campaign around NPR, PBS and CPB.
- Finally, media policy, media literacy. Reforming totalizing mainstream media sphere. Nurturing national program s like Democracy Now and Free Speech but local low power and community media.
- the weekend after the ST Louis conference – RTM helped launch what will become the northwest community radio – that noncommercial nonNPR stations are doing th most amazing work. Labor of love. Volunteer staff. Doing g-ds work, public affairs production, air one time and then never again. Sometimes distributed but no tracking of when they get aired. There’s a native American cultural and news program at KSVR in Mt Vernon. This is a show that should be on air in Seattle. What we’re talking about it a network that will provide a structure for content sharing and mentoring. So kbsc and kboo can share knowledge and tech knowhow and programming with low power and community and pirate stations that need help. Also boost shared community around community radio. You just know that when you get in the car and drive, you can know where the community stations are going to be. Know where you can hear which programs. A way for community stations in the region to spread a net of knowledge in policy issues and media’s role in politics and community life.
- The good news was up until last week this was all us just talking – but we had a meeting and 28 folks from stations from Idaho, Vancouver, etc. – drove hundreds of miles to western Washington early Sunday morning. Inspiring, provides an example of what we can do if we put our mind to it.

Karen toering: reclaim the media does greater and deeper organizing so that there are more faces at the table that represent more of the thoughts and ideas and vision of the community. So, that’s one of the things that I get really excited about. Sometimes when we sit around the table as a small group and talk about our goals, we have a clear purpose to actively engage with communities of color – but also to be really well respected in the academic and larger community we feel are part of the work that we do. We’re constantly picking up groups of interest along the way and having more people know about the work that we do and we’re looking at our own infrastructure to be able to walk the talk and be the people and the org that we want to see out there. That to me is very exciting about the possibilities of what we can do. Throughout this whole process of the campaigns if we create the backbone – we would like the org to become the kind of entity when they need resources at the grassroots level that they can come to us, and we’d have the capacity to make it all over the city and give people the resources they can use.

Rebecca Wolfe – now planning a statewide convention for women democrats … we want them to mobilize on media reform, sohey will go back and get busy in their communities. State Sen. Maralyn Chase is helping plan this convention, and will be a great ally. Our topic is Democracy or Fascism: A Critical Choice. How this connects with human rights abuses, election reform, media reform. I went to advocacy camp last year – they talk about the three legged stool – has to be top down AND bottom up. Has to be both.

Jonathan: Jan Strout who is codirector of RTM and works with NOW will be working on this.

Susan: I’d like to hear from out of town guests. Can we hear a little from Jenn about the media work you’ve been doing across the country with women’s groups?

Jenn Pozner (notetaker): talked about WIMN’s media literacy, training and advocacy work with grassroots, women-led social justice groups such as Women for Afghan Women in Queens, NY. Talked about content as a key way in with these sorts of groups, who say they want progressive PR skills first, not necessarily discussions of upper level policy issues from the get-go. Talked about WIMN’s multimedia presentations on college campuses, and how one heartening thing is that a good percentage of audiences who attend these talks are young men – the fact that young men are attending feminist media criticism events is very positive. Talked about the need for media justice groups and activists to really listen to and partner with social justice groups on what those groups need, not just come in and tell them what they need, not to dictate our agenda about policy but to build trust with community based groups by helping them with what they need around media, and then eventually hopefully they will become allies on the reform side.

Susan: media strategies – content and strategies is a great way in for getting people involved. Celia Alario did revolutionary media strategies workshop – 60 people from huge regions went to so many lists – even nursing – she will come back up. She was a huge hit. Bringing in progressive pr folks who have something to offer. And those lead the discussion to the structural critique – how you work with existing problem of the media., and how you also engage the larger structural change. How do you turn this thing around?

Jonathan – media reform as media reform not the only thing we need to be talking about. In the movement, what does media reform, media democracy, media justice. Is media reform a part of the social justice movement or vice versa?

Tim: one the things we’ve always said, if media isn’t your first concern it should be your second concern. I’ve never understood it. It starts to ring hollow if it doesn’t rung true for afghan women in America and how can they come to that understanding what we need to do. The conference was structured programmatically.

For most people – it’s about quality of content/programming. And access.

The language is a movement. What makes a movement?

Prof: publications, organizations, etc. coming out of it becomes a movement.

Tim: I moderated a grab bag with media Benjamin – bill fletcher from trans African, noah winer from moveon. I asked, why are you here? They all had different answers. There’s an overriding sense. We haven’t figured out how to speak about media reform to this broader community. I don’t know what it will take. There’s a common complaint around media across all sectors of society. What are the commonalities across the way?

Jonathan: one of the advances – the real work is the panels and in the hallways and in the bars. The plenaries are the public face. They’re the capstone of the arch. They’re also what the subsequent media coverage is all about. What happens there is significant. You had Chellie Pingree in her last 10 minute speech she said, we’re all here together - whether your issue into spectrum or ownership or policy.. a rather narrow, national range of policy focuses… but earlier you had Sydney Levy and Malkia Cyril, articulating a broadly social justice movement rooted critique. Wide range of things. On topic of media policy reform, a lightbulb moment for me, I think it was Janine Jackson from FAIR was talking the first morning, an expansive version of media policy reform – media policy is certainly the national laws that govern how the media sphere operates, and the international rules that govern noncommercial space, but it’s more than that. Hidden policies that govern news coverage issues, i.e. why are Israeli violence and Palestinian violence covered differently? Why are certain voices marginalized by powerful media institutions? This is also a matter of policy.

Independent media has a role to play in policy reform—Democracy Now's slogan "going to where the silences are" is a diagnosis of a policy-based deficiency in the corporate media… it's a vast political mistake to drive a wedge between grassroots media and policy reform, as Steve Dunifer does in his article "Lipstick on a Pig/the folly of media reform," which was published in the issue of Confluence distributed at the NCMR. Much, not all, of the Indymedia critique of the St. Louis conference was along the lines of this article.

Jenn Pozner: talked about institutional media reform as outlet-oriented, not just policy oriented industry-wide. For ex., WAW and WIMN may partner this year to conduct studies of NY media coverage of Afghan, immigrant and Muslim women and then to have editorial meetings with these outlets, at which we will present a how-to guide we’ll create for media to use to more accurately, respectfully and authentically cover Afghan Muslim and immigrant women. If adopted, standards from a guidebook like that wouldn’t be a policy regulation kind of change, but it’d be institutional change within key outlets, nonetheless.

Cross-talk:
Using work reform is always going to open up to attack from progressive who think their position is more likely to succeed to fail… media democracy is more effective semantically. We can’t even decide what it is… democracy can mean many things, but it means something.

Tim: center for American progress, focus groups in Philly des Moines and Tucson. I just received first draft of results. Eyes glaze over. There’s a difference between broadband and internet. Whole issue of how you frame the language of media reform. Geographically, Philly different from des Moines, etc. – the average American, and I don't even know what I mean when I say that, but the average American doesn’t know what we mean when we say media reform. There’s a big chasm there. We know that media is a common complaint

Community internet has grassroots feel to it; municipal broadband sounds governmental.

Karen: Jenn touched on how we need to get in there and work with groups who do social justice and make it a second issue. They’ll be

Graciela sanches idea about media justice or power better than media reform or democracy because if working with communities marginalized… etc.

Jonathan: Not to have a single term or gateway but to have many multiple and shifting focuses – orgs that take on media s part of preexisting other social justice work. They’ll have their own framework and understanding about how to mobilize. That will flow into the movement in a trickle up model of messaging.

Susan: So exciting from this conference. Energy from academic community, building this into their activism, feeding it.

Tim: discussed the funding by media corporations of conservative think tanks, etc.

Mike: Academics are interested but not getting instruction, leadership, that they need.

Karen: one of our best weapons is deep research.

Jonathan – as Susan suggested, Lance Bennett and folks at UW are interested in organizing with media activists in the community – soon will convene a meeting on campus to solidify.

Final thoughts:

Susan: really glad we did this. Heard back from different sessions.

Jenn: need for understanding when and how to give up privilege; also need meeting for framing, messaging. Consider Graciela Sanchez as much an expert as Bob McChesney as much as me or Celia Alario as much as Maria Jinajosa from CNN or Jeff Chester from DC media policy group...

Bart: echo Jenn and Jon about framing and messaging. Movements – coalesced around women’s suffrage, civil rights, environmentalism. People will not march in the streets around reform, it’s a passive thing. But they will march in the streets for justice.

Tim: need another conference tomorrow. Focus group is a small important part of it. Several conferences on justice reform alliances happening; there are almost too many of them. Maybe like jenn said, we need something on messaging? Weekly conference calls, fits and starts.
Karen: When are we going to work?

Karen: we need to just do it, not be afraid to make mistakes.

Tim: the movement have been events driven.

crosstalk: need an online permanent conference, community, posterity.

Democracy now started a ‘web-inar’ rather thank seminar.

Tim: community driven blog.

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