Seattle aims to become a world-class Internet city

Seattle is supposedly the nation's most wired city--but that's cold comfort to the many families in the Central District and Beacon Hill who are paying too much for unreliable cable Internet service, or who can't even get basic DSL. Take a look at this list of the world's top 20 cities for Internet speeds. What's the first thing you notice?

1. Busan
2. Seoul
3. Göteborg
4. Stockholm
5. Yokohama
6. Amsterdam
7. Paris
8. Tokyo
9. Aarhus
10. Helsinki
11. Rotterdam
12. Hamburg
13. Kosice
14. Bern
15. Berlin
16. Copenhagen
17. Espoo
18. Lyon
19. Lisbon
20. Oslo

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Listen Up Northwest program 76: Olympics

This week's Listen Up! Northwest takes a critical look at the Olympic Games and their effect on Vancouver and BC communities. Indigenous groups are protesting the construction of Olympic venues on unceded territory. Planned protests are running into strict message control exercised by Olympics organizers and the media. And the Vancouver Olympics will bring out the largest military and police presence on Canada's west coast since the end of the World War II. Some wonder what will happen to these security systems once the Olympics end. These stories and more this week on Listen Up! Northwest.

* download program 76
* general Listen Up! NW promo

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Position available: RTM seeks digital justice organizer

Reclaim the Media seeks a project organizer for its Seattle Digital Justice Campaign, to build and mobilize a diverse coalition of Seattle residents and organizations supporting broadband Internet as a public utility in Seattle. The organizer will conduct outreach and education, lead and attend community meetings, and recruit and maintain a base of community activists with a focus on youth, people of color, immigrant populations.

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Seattle announces plans to seek fiber partnership with Google

City of Seattle

Today Mayor Mike McGinn announced that the city of Seattle will respond to Google’s Request for Information (RFI) to build ultra-high speed broadband networks in communities across America.

Google’s vision of a fiber-to-the-home network with open access is very similar to McGinn’s plan to connect every home and business in Seattle with a fiber broadband network. McGinn has already created an internal city government task force of utility and technology leaders to create a plan for realizing this plan. That task force will also prepare a response to Google’s Request for Information.

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Independent media feel the 'heat on the street' in Vancouver

Dave Zirin, National Public Radio

As Canadian officials react to increasing public opposition to cost overruns and local impacts of the Vancouver Olympics, the independent media seems to be paying the price. Just as Democracy Now's Amy Goodman was held in November for trying to cross the border for reasons that had nothing to do with the Olympic Games, Martin Macias, an independent media reporter from Chicago, was detained and held for seven hours by Canada Border Services agents before being put on a plane and sent to Seattle. Macias, who is 20 years old, is a media reform activist with community radio station Radio Arte where he serves as the host/producer of First Voice, a radio news zine. Macias described a chilling scene of detention and expulsion. "I was asked the same questions for three and a half hours in a small room. They told me I had no right to a lawyer. I went from frustrated and angry to scared. I didn't know what the laws were or how the laws had been changed for the Olympics...why the crackdown?"

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Pro-choice advocates criticize CBS for accepting anti-abortion Super Bowl ad

Democracy Now

As we reach Super Bowl weekend, the game’s broadcaster CBS is coming under criticism for accepting an anti-abortion ad (update: now two ads) paid for by Focus on the Family. For years, CBS and other networks have rejected advocacy ads during the Super Bowl. Democracy Now! gets reactions from Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood and sportswriter Dave Zirin, author of A People’s History of Sports in the United States.

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Obama "a big believer in net neutrality"

Tim Karr, Save the Internet

The power of the open Internet was on full display Monday as President Obama responded to questions from the public in a followup to last week's State of the Union address. Appropriately, one questioner asked about the president's support for the open Internet itself. Watch the President's answer in this clip.

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Add your voice: support digital inclusion and an open Internet!

In Seattle and across the United States, organizations working with people of color, poor communities, and other marginalized groups are raising our voices for an open Internet that is fast, affordable, and accessible to everyone. Our communities should not have to choose between broadband access and Internet fairness.

Thanks to all the NW organizations that, like us, understand that digital access is a civil rights issue! Participating groups include One America, KBCS, ACLU-WA, the Youth Media Institute, Ozya, Washington Bus, Reel Grrls, Hidmo, the Minority Executive Directors Association, 206 Zulu, Common Language Project, the Community Alliance for Global Justice, Seattle NOW, WashPIRG, Hollow Earth Radio, Sustainable Ballard, the Langston Hughes Film Festival, the Community Alliance & Peacemaking Project, Newground Social Investment, and more! It's not too late to take the pledge: download (English) (Spanish) and return by email.

If you're an individual or organization in Seattle, add your voice to the Seattle Digital Justice Campaign!

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Howard Zinn on media and democracy

In 2002 Howard Zinn recorded this PSA as part of Reclaim the Media's Media and Democracy Radio Features series. Listen or download.

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Communications rights under attack in South Korea

Reclaim the Media

Communications rights and freedom of expression are under attack in South Korea, as Lee Myung-bak's New Right government takes disturbing steps to shut down independent media, and to defund media, arts, and cultural organizations across the country. The latest blow is an attack on the internationally-respected public media center MediAct, which has played a key part in the democratization of Korea's media system, trained thousands of people in media production, and developed many successful media policy proposals to open up Korea's mediascape to diverse voices. Recognized as an international leader in the communications rights movement, MediAct cofounder Myoung-Joon Kim (shown) is one of Reclaim the Media's Media Heroes.

Please take action now to express international support for MediAct. Join the Facebook group for updates, and click below to read more.

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