Media Politics

Writings by Jonathan Lawson

King County says yes to Comcast, no to community media

Reclaim the Media STATEMENT on King County Council's Dec. 2004 proposal to extend its cable franchise agreement with Comcast

Reversing course from stated goals and rhetoric, the King County Council has capitulated to the wishes of the Comcast Corporation in a new agreement to extend Comcast's

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Indymedia servers seized by FBI following international investigation

by Jonathan Lawson

Independent Media Center activists today reported that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents confiscated hard drives housing a number of Indymedia websites from the Dallas and London offices of internet service provider Rackspace. The seizure, evidently occasioned by a court order,

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Seattle coalition issues statement on fixing radio

[a joint release from Reclaim the Media and AFTRA]

A Seattle-based coalition is calling for a host of changes to our nation's commercial and public radio landscape, including support for ownership limits, artists' rights, community media access, content diversity and local accountability.

Giving

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Cantwell moves to protect educational stations

Senator Maria Cantwell today announced proposed legislation which would protect a handful of educational radio stations from the danger of having their frequencies snatched by larger commercial or public radio stations. Cantwell spoke before an audience of teenagers at Mercer Island High School, where

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Media Politics: Dollars and Censorship

There is no doubt that most of us who are looking forward to seeing Michael Moore's latest film Fahrenheit 911 this summer or fall will have little difficulty doing so, at least those of use living in medium-sized or large metropolitan areas. Of course, that's no thanks to the Disney executives who in early May announced that they were instructing subsidiary Miramax not to follow through on its commitment to distribute Moore's film. By the time you're reading this, Fahrenheit 911 will have been royally feted at Cannes and will probably be safely in the arms of another commercial US distributor more than happy to line its pockets with the lucre likely to be created by the film's pre-election release.

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Principle, not Profit: Seattle's History of Alternative Media

by Jonathan Lawson

In the first decades of the last century, Seattle wasn't a two-newspaper town, as it is barely managing to remain today. Its four or five major newspapers included one of the country's most prominent examples of a now-extinct species: the labor-owned newspaper.

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Media Politics: Chump Change for King County

by Jonathan Lawson

King County cable subscribers are probably about to suffer a major loss in the cable service they���re paying for, as government officials quietly sell out valuable technology access for chump change. In fact, it may have happened by the time you���re reading

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Media Politics: A Necessary Autumn for the Seattle IMC

November 24 marked the quasi-official fourth anniversary of the Independent Media Center, the date of the first message posted to www.indymedia.org (now seattle.indymedia.org).

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Media Politics - An Open Letter to NPR

by Jonathan Lawson

Dear Kevin Klose,

Let me congratulate you on National Public Radio���s receipt of a $200 million bequest from the estate of Louise Kroc. As President and CEO of NPR, you must have been pretty tickled to get the word.

As someone who has spent years working in the trenches of

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Media Politics: Press Freedom Survives Govt. Attack in BC

On Oct. 9, newspaper headlines across Canada solemnly announced the death of Izzy Asper, the country's biggest media mogul. Most of those headlines appeared in papers owned by Asper's megalithic CanWest Global, which owns something like 60% of all English-language dailies in the country, plus one of the largest TV networks and other holdings. Under Asper's watch, the company's newspaper operation had become a poster child for the ways consolidated ownership can harm journalistic values and editorial independence. Editors and columnists who resisted upper management directives, or disagreed with the "national editorials"imperiously dispatched from headquarters, were shown the door.

Read more. Jonathan Lawson (Jonathan Lawson/)
The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey