Reclaim the Media: a Community Media Convergence Sept 10-15, 2002

Reclaim the Media: a Community Media Convergence was RTM's founding conference. Scheduled as a "shadow" converence for the National Association of Broadcasters' annual Radio Conference, the meeting also coincided with then-FCC chairman Michael Powell's announcement of his full-scale "review" of media ownership regulations. Our conference took on a significance of its own as the hundreds of media activists and community media producers who gathered in Seattle strategized pledged to work together to continue building a media democracy movement, starting with a national campaign to fight deregulation of media ownership regulations.



Surrealist Subversions: An evening with Ron Sakolsky
8-10pm, Independent Media Center, 1415 Third Ave.
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A week of Media Democracy events kicks off tonight with an event celebrating music, art, radical politics and public participation in making media. Ron Sakolsky is the author or editor of several books, including "Seizing the Airwaves: a Free Radio Handbook" (with Stephen Dunifer), "Sounding Off: Music as subversion/resistance/revolution" (with Fred Ho) and "Surrealist Subversions" (Autonomedia, 2002).


Disarming the Weapons of Mass Distraction: the National Media, 9/11 and the War on Terror
7-8:30pm, Independent Media Center
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Today the world pauses to reflect upon the devastating violence of Sept. 11 2001, and the devastating violence which has taken place around the world in the year since. Have the national media helped us understand the political and moral complexities of our position in the world? Or have they served instead as weapons of mass distraction?

David Domke (Assistant Professor of Communications, University of Washington)and John Hutcheson, a Communication MA student working with Domke on post-September 11 research, lead a discussion of how national media coverage contributed to political and news discourse in the aftermath of 9/11, and how that coverage helped shape American emotional, intellectual and ethical responses in the past year. Discussion participants also include freelance journalist and media trainer Leah Kohlenberg (, University of Washington graduate students and Indymedia activists.


Rally for the Public Interest
3-6pm, Freeway Park
Bands and speakers warm up the park for Friday and Saturday's major events.

Scheduled bands: Peanut Butter Sluts; Bad Things; August Spies; Lonesome Teardrops; Hot Rod Lunatics. Scheduled speakers TBD.

Conference Reception
6-9pm, Independent Media Center
, 1415 Third Ave. [ map ]

Reclaim The Media organizers, independent journalists, media activists and friends from across the continent will get together at the Independent Media Center to meet, relax and discuss weekend events. Speakers include Thenmozhi Soundararajan (Third World Majority, Jeff Perlstein (Media Alliance) and Sarah van Gelder (Yes! Magazine)

Negativland: Creative Media Resistance
9-11pm, Rendezvous, 2320 2nd Ave. (21+)
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Mark Hosler, founding member of Negativland, hosts this video/lecture presentation illustrating the creative projects, hoaxes, pranks and "culture jamming" that Negativland has been doing since 1980. Mark’s presentation covers issues of media-literacy, creative and humorous anti-corporate art/activism, the role of advertising and corporate power in our lives, intellectual property issues, and the evolution of art, law and resistance in a media saturated multi-national world.

In the last 22 years, Negativland have released 19 CDs, two books ("Fair Use: The Story Of The Letter U And The Numeral 2" and "Deathsentences Of The Polished And Structurally Weak") and have been sued twice for copyright infringement. They have become outspoken artist-activists (particularly in the world of intellectual property), providing a soundtrack to the growing global movement against corporate power in our lives. They were the subject of Craig Baldwin's 1995 film Sonic Outlaws, and composed the soundtrack for the 1997 documentary The Ad and the Ego; Negativland coined the term "culture jamming" in 1984.

Strategy conversations will continue late in the Rendezvous' comfortable back room.


Rally for the Public Interest
11am-6pm, Freeway Park
Rally for the public interest and against corporate domination of public broadcasting resources. Diverse bands and speakers, plus informational tables from diverse community media and activist organizations.

FCC Commissioners are on the NAB's guest list today, and conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly is the NAB's keynote speaker. They can all expect to be visited from on high by the Angels of the Public Interest, reminding federal regulators and industry bosses of broadcasters' ultimate responsibilities to the owners of the airwaves.

Scheduled bands: Leña; tree root; X-Kid; Audio Infidels; Agent 86; Hollow Points.
Scheduled speakers TBD.

Freeway Park Workshops for Friday are as follows:
Ham Radio Demonstration 9:30am-10:30am, with Partytown Radio / Brad Johnson
Drawn Books--The Future of Art 3:00pm-4:00pm, with Donna Barr

Media and Democracy Teach-In and DIY Media Festival
10am-6pm, Town Hall (8th and Seneca)
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Through in-depth panel discussions and workshops, local and national media critics and activists will draw connections between diverse media issues facing our communities. Meanwhile, workshops will offer training in diverse DIY activities--transmitter and antenna building, zine production, wireless Internet, webcasting, interviewing, you name it. Panels are TENTATIVELY scheduled as follows:

Media and Democracy Teach-In and Keynote Events, Town Hall Seattle
Media and Creating Community
Gabriel Martinez (KDNA, La Voz del Campesino)
Thenmozhi Soundararajan (Third World Majority)
Roberto Astorga (Fred Hutchinson Center)
Jeff Hoyt (Voice of Vashon)
moderator: Valerie Rose (Eat the State!)
  How do we Get the Media We Want?
Henry Kroll (Media Democracy Legal Project)
Lark Corbeil (Washington News Service)
Lorraine Chisholm (Vancouver Co-op Radio)
Jeff Perlstein (Media Alliance)
moderator: Jonathan Lawson (Reclaim the Media, Indymedia)
Media Ownership
Bob Hackett (NewsWatch Canada)
Jen Angel (Clamor Magazine)
John Sandifer (AFTRA)
David Korten (Positive Futures Network)
moderator: Martha Baskin (Free Speech Radio News)
Sustaining Community Media
Karen Toering (Alliance for Community Media)
Sarah van Gelder (Yes! Magazine)
Rahul Gupta (South Asian)
Ana Nogueira (Independent Media Center)
moderator: Sheri Herndon (Independent Media Center)
Microbroadcasting: the Road Ahead
Pete Tridish (Prometheus Radio Project)
Ron Sakolsky (Seizing the Airwaves)
Sandi Woodruff (SAMBA)
Larry Hildes (NLG Center for Democratic Communications)
Paul Nelson (It Plays in Peoria)
moderator: jonathan jay (Free Radio X)

LUNCH BREAK (12:45-2:15pm)
The FCC and the Public Interest
David Barsamian (Alternative Radio)
Beth Cunningham (Adbusters Magazine)
Karen Young (Chicago Media Watch)
Alan Korn (NLG Center for Democratic Communications)
moderator: Jonathan Lawson (Reclaim the Media, Indymedia)
Open Access: Cable and Broadband
Karen Toering (Alliance for Community Media)
Mike Weisman
Inja Coates (Media Tank)
Jan Strout (Seattle Community Access Network)
moderator: Adam Bahner (Seattle Central Community College)
Clear Channel
Hannah Sassaman (Prometheus Radio Project)
Davey D (Hard Knock Radio,
Peter Hart (FAIR)
Jeff Perlstein (Media Alliance)
moderator: Brad Johnson (
Media Goes to War
Rachel Coen (FAIR)
Geov Parrish (Eat the State!)
Mahdy Maaweel (Somalisan TV)
Pramila Jayapal (Hate Free Zone)
moderator: Sonali Kolhatkar (KPFK)
Media and Representation
Tram Nguyen (ColorLines)
Jenn Pozner (Women and Media in News)
Deepa Fernandes (Free Speech Radio News)
Naomi Ishisaka (Colors Northwest)
moderator: Nhien Nguyen (International Examiner)
Media and Movement Politics
Art McGee (Media Alliance)
Oriana Bolden (Third World Majority)
Joe Szwaja (Seattle International Human Rights Coalition)
Dan Merkle (Center for Social Justice)
moderator: Laura Saponara (AFSCME, Media Alliance)

DINNER BREAK (5:00-7:00pm)
doors open at 6pm
$5-10 suggested
Welcome and Earth Charter invocation: Rick Ingrasci (Whidbey Institute)

Sonali Kolhatkar (KPFK)

Davey D (Hard Knock Radio, KPFA)

David Barsamian (Alternative Radio)

musical guest: Jim Page

keynote introduction: Nicole Bade (East Timor Action Network)

keynote address: Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!)
"Independent Media in a Time of War"

Town Hall Workshops for Friday:
Do It Yourself Publications: Starting your own zine! Discussion and workshop 1:00pm-2:00pm, with Dan Halligan (Tablet) + Jen Angel (Clamor Magazine)
Free Speech on the Internet 3:00pm-4:00pm, with Paul Lawrence (ACLU)

7-9pm, Town Hall
(see above) Doors open 6pm
Sonali Kolhatkar (morning news host at KPFK Los Angeles, board member of the Afghan Women's Mission)

Davey D (co-host of KPFA's Hard Knock Radio, host of website Davey D's Hip Hop Corner)

David Barsamian (author of The Decline and Fall of Public Broadcasting and host of Alternative Radio)

musical guest Jim Page
Keynote Address: Amy Goodman (host of Democracy Now):
"Independent Media in a Time of War"

Punk Show (Reclaim the Media fundraiser)
8pm, Second Avenue Pizza, 2015 2nd Ave. (all ages)
[ map ]
Mea Culpa, with Mexican Blackbirds, the Midriffs


Movement-Building Strategy Conversations
9am-noon, Madison Renaissance Hotel

Building on connections made during Thursday's introductions and Friday's panel discussions, media activists are invited to meet for a morning of facilitated conversations with a common objective: how do we proceed in building a North American Media Democracy Movement?

Rally for the Public Interest
11am-6pm, Freeway Park

Bands, Speakers, street theater, puppets, informational tables, how-tos, and celebration of community radio and local independent media. Speakers at a 1pm rally will focus attention on Clear Channel, the nation's largest radio owner and an egregious abuser of the public trust, on the roles played by the NAB and the FCC in pressing forward anti-democratic, anti-community communications policy at the federal level.

Featured rally speakers for Saturday include Mark Lloyd (Civil Rights Forum on Communications Policy), Hannah Sassaman (Prometheus Radio Project), Jenn Pozner (Women in Media and News), Brad Johnson (ex-Clear Channel) and representatives from labor organizations whose members have been hurt by radio industry consolidation, including Jobs With Justice, AFTRA, IATSE and AFM.

Scheduled bands: Section One; Really Rottens; Mothra; GloryHoles; Amy Denio; Caught Red Handed; Old Man Smithers.

Freeway Park Workshops for Saturday:

Become a Radio News Stringer - Help Change the World One News Story At a Time! 11:00am-12:00pm.with Free Speech Radio News folks Deepa Fernandes, Martha Baskin, Pauline Bartolone
Know Your Rights: For Radio and Demonstration 12:00pm-1:00pm. with Larry Hildes (National Lawyers Guild Center for Democratic Communications)
Digital Animation and Comics 2:00pm-2:30pm , IMC. with Ron Austin
Radio Operations and Organizing 24/7 2:00pm-3:00pm, Freeway Park. with Reckless
How to Assemble Low Cost LPFM 3:00pm-4:00pm, Freeway Park. with Sandi Woodruff (
How To Build A Low Cost FM Transmit/Receive Antenna 4:00pm-5:00pm, Freeway Park.Sandi Woodruff (
Make Your Own Media 4:00pm-5:00pm, Freeway Park. with David Barsamian (Alternative Radio)

Workshop: Building Community Wireless Networks
Noon-1pm, Independent Media Center
, 1415 Third Ave. [ map ]
with Ken Caruso + Matt Westervelt (Seattle Wireless)

Panel Discussion: Media Literacy Education: Theory and Practice
2:30-4:30pm, Independent Media Center
, 1415 Third Ave. [ map ]

A panel discussion with educators and curriculum planners, on the importance of media literacy education to a democratic society. Participants include Gary Marcuse (Face to Face Media, Vancouver), Wendy Ewbank (Seattle Girls Academy), Jeff Smith (Grand Rapids Institute for Media Democracy), Daniel Hannah (Seattle Independent Media Center), Matt Lawrence (Ballard High School) and others.

SCANzavanza: Media that Matters
2-6pm, Seattle Community Access Network Studios, 1125 N. 98th Street
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Meet the producers of Seattle's best public access television programs, and celebrate civic media-making as Seattle Community Access Network presents the second annual SCANzavanza -- a celebration of public access cable TV in Seattle.
2-6pm: tours of SCAN, hands-on media production opportunities
3-5pm: broadcast; with Amy Goodman

Evening party and presentation of Macaroni Awards (recognizing the year's most ruthless broadcasting pirates)
7pm Club Nation, 1921 5th Ave
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Tonight the NAB bestows their annual Marconi awards. Not to be outdone by a bunch of industry insiders, Jeff Pierson (host of SCAN's "Deface the Nation") hosts this sendup of the year's most ruthless broadcasting pirates. Early nominees include FCC chair Michael Powell, NAB CEO Eddie Fritts, and Clear Channel CEO Lowry Mays...
Admission included with conference registration.

Punk Show (Reclaim the Media fundraiser)
10pm, Lobo Tavern, 422 Eastlake Ave. E $5
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Quick 66, Audio-Infidels, Hot Rod Lunatics


Community Media Mixer
11am-3pm, Garfield Community Center, 2323 E. Cherry St.

Local community and activist groups and regional independent media-makers come together to meet and strategize. What issues are community groups facing with the media? How can independent media help serve and sustain the community, and how can we support and sustain independent media?

film premiere: Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture
Independent Media Center, 7-9pm

Director Jill Sharpe's new documentary is a fascinating rap on the 20th Century movement called Culture Jamming. Stopping over in San Francisco, New York and Toronto, the film catches the jamming in action with Batman-inspired Jack Napier of the Billboard Liberation Front, Disney arch-enemy Reverend Billy from the Church of Stop Shopping and Media Tigress Carly Stasko, and asks: Is Culture Jamming civil disobedience? Senseless vandalism? The only form of self defense left?

A group of short independent films curated by Josh Breitbart of Brooklyn's Rooftop Films will screen with Culture Jam.

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