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The single largest owner of radio stations, Clear Channel, not only owns over 1200 radio licenses in the United States, but also a third of the billboards and the second largest concert promotions business. They relentlessly pursue many other related media properties which they combine into monopolies in order to dominate their markets. Clear Channel's business model focuses on cutting costs by eliminating local programming and using satellite feeds to replace local announcers, busting its unions, and undercutting its competition through massive advertising deals. "By mechanizing and industrializing radio, they are taking all of the personality out of it. Pretty soon we will be listening to a bunch of glib sexy robots who have been market researched to appeal to us, even though they have nothing real to say," says Pete Tridish of the Prometheus Radio Project. Keep an eye on this site as Prometheus, Media Alliance, Reclaim the Media and other groups launch a national campaign against this stupid, greedy monster.Read more.
Join us in Seattle this September as we confront the National Association of Broadcasters and their ongoing quest for greater consolidation of corporations' power over the public airwaves, and as we continue to build a powerful media democracy movement. Keynote speaker Amy Goodman (host of Democracy Now!) will speak on Indepedent Media in a Time of War.
Watch this space carefully as conference plans will be developing rapidly! Our list of featured participants currently includes Jen Angel (Clamor), David Barsamian (Alternative Radio), Lark Corbeil (Washington News Service), Deepa Ferndandes (Free Speech Radio News), Mark Hosler (Negativland), David Korten (Positive Futures Network), Art McGee (TAO Communications), Tram Nguyen (ColorLines), Ron Sakolsky (Seizing the Airwaves) and Thenmozhi Soundararajan (Third World Majority), as well as colleagues from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, the Independent Media Center, Media Alliance, Media Island, NLG Center for Democratic Communications, Prometheus Radio Project, Vancouver Co-op Radio and many other broadcasting, print media and media watchdog organizations.Read more.
One of the most powerful lobbies in the country, the National Association of Broadcasters represents the owners and management of the corporate media; the organization works tirelessly to keep control of the airwaves away from the public and firmly in the hands of big business. The NAB has fiercely opposed Low-power FM licensing for community radio stations, fought to get rid of public service requirements for broadcasters, and pressured Congress against enacting campaign finance reform measures which would have granted free airtime to rich and poor candidates alike.Read more.
Join us in Seattle this September as we confront the National Association of Broadcasters and their ongoing quest for greater consolidation of corporations' power over the public airwaves. Our Community Media Conference, including workshops, major speakers, rallies, music, teach-ins and microradio broadcasting, will support the continuing development of a national, grassroots media democracy movement.
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NAB: The WTO of broadcasting
One of the most powerful lobbies in the country, the National Association of Broadcasters represents the owners and management of the corporate media; the organization works tirelessly to keep control of the airwaves away from the public and firmly in the hands of big business. The NAB has fiercely opposed Low- power FM licensing for community radio stations, fought to get rid of public service requirements for broadcasters, and pressured Congress against enacting campain finance reform measures which would have granted free airtime to rich and poor candidates alike. The NAB has also pushed for ownership deregulation in the broadcast industry; now American radio industry is now more consolidated than ever before, with the largest single owner (the cartoonishly villainous Clear Channel) owning over 1200 stations in the US alone. When the NAB met in San Francisco in Sept. 2000, they were greeted by large-scale protests from citizens' groups calling for democratic access to the public airwaves. This year, we will meet them again at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle, the infamous site of the 1999 WTO Minsterial. The NAB has chosen Bill O'Reilly, conservative host of "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News Network), as keynote speaker for the 2002 conference.
Media and Democracy Radio Features
The Media and Democracy Radio Project is an educational campaign sharing high-quality information about current media issues from a diverse range of perspectives. Taking inspiration from the long American tradition of linking press freedom to core democratic values, and from such thinkers and writers as Thomas Jefferson, Ida Wells and John Dewey, we hope to inspire listeners to awaken critical skills needed to understand the biases inherent in any media source, and the particular biases afflicting the corporate, "mainstream" media. These three-minute spots, narrated by prominent progressive voices including Howard Zinn, Starhawk, Anuradha Mittal and Jim Hightower, will be aired on community radio stations across the country during the months of August and September. Watch this site for further details.
We nned your organizing help! We are planning educational workshops to take place in Seattle this summer, producing radio spots, writing articles, contacting speakers, building puppets, organizing rallies and figuring out how to best fight the undemocratic supercorporations which have taken control of our public airwaves. Get in on the discussions by joining our email organizing list, and let's broaden the movement together.Read more.