National Conference on Media Reform 2008

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

OK, I’m psyched. Next weekend (June6-8), thanks to a tip from pfiore8, I’m going to attend the National Conference on Media Reform 2008 that is taking place here in the Twin Cities. Here’s a peak:

When I registered, I was asked whether I was representing a particular organization and what my position was there. I registered as a “Contributing Editor” at Docudharma (kewl, huh?), so I’ll be your eyes and ears at this event.

If you want to know the importance of an event like this, you might remember that it was at this same conference last year that Bill Moyers gave one of the most important speeches of our time on the state of the media and our democracy. You can watch this speech here and here.

Bill Moyers will once again give a keynote address this year on Saturday morning. But in addition, here are some of the other names I happen to recognize who will be speaking:

Amy Goodman

Arianna Huffington

Baratunde Thurston

Catherine Crier

Cenk Uygur

Christy Hardin Smith

Dan Rather

David Sirota

Duncan Black

Eric Boehlert

Jane Hamsher

Jeff Cohen

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Matt Stoller

Naomi Klein

Phil Donahue

Robert Greenwald

Van Jones

But here’s where you come in. I would like to ask you to take a look at the list of speakers and the schedule of breakouts and give me your input of where I should go and who I should listen to. I’m hoping that perhaps some wisdom gained or connection made at this conference could be fed into the next stages of The Maddow Movement that Buhdy has so effectively led.

So I’ll gather all the information I can and come back here to write about it. But I won’t be able to attend everything and there are some tough choices to make. Let me know what you think.

I’m also wondering if any other Dharmaniacs are planning to attend. If you are, I’d love to know and perhaps we can not only connect there, but divy up the work of taking in all this wonderful progressive content.


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  1. you were going to get to relax over the weekend???

    Get to work!!! Check this stuff out and tell me what you think, will ya?

  2. slightly less politically relevant but I am looking forward to it all the same.

    I look forward to your impressions of the conference.

    • Edger on May 31, 2008 at 16:56

    I’m a little biased because I’m a big fan of hers but if I were you I’d definitely be one of the first in line to listen to what Katrina vanden Heuvel has to say about media reform. She’s been writing for one of the oldest progressive news organizations for a long time – The Nation – and wrote a great piece in 2007 to mark the four year anniversary of the Iraq invasion:

    As we mark what may well be the most colossal foreign policy disaster in US history, we mourn the death and destruction–which has not ended. We mark the lies and delusions that launched this war–since they too are continuing.

    The majority of the American people have found their way to the truth and are demanding an end to this catastrophe. Yet the political system continues to crawl hesitantly toward accepting the enormity of this failure.

    End the War (On Terror), Katrina vanden Heuvel, 03/18/2007

    I’d also go hear Elizabeth Holtzman, who also writes for The Nation and is light years ahead of all mainstream media, but she doesn’t appear to be on the speakers list, unfortunately. Though maybe if enough people on blogs suggest it, it will convince her to be there.

    The Impeachment of George W. Bush, Elizabeth Holtzman, 01/03/2006

    • Edger on May 31, 2008 at 17:38

    from the Hartford Courant, isn’t there.

    Decline Of Journalism, Thomas D. Williams, The Public Record, May 31, 2008 (today)

    If some doomsday industry analysts are to be believed, newspapers are laid out and stacked neatly inside their own future death warehouses, not only in the United States, but worldwide.

    “October (2006) was a pretty depressing month for national newspapers. While circulations slide, the industry news has been dominated by job cuts and staff unrest, particularly among journalists,” England’s Guardian Unlimited reported a month later. A month earlier, Der Spiegel, the intellectual German news magazine, disclosed that more and more, German journalists are leaving the print media to get safer and more lucrative jobs with corporate public relations agencies.

    More recently in March of this year, Newspaper Association of America Chairwoman Susan Clark-Johnson summed up the current economic climate in the NNA Internet site by declaring, “It’s a hellish time for the business of newspapering.” And, Techcrunch reported: Figures released by the NNA show that the decline of newspapers is more rapid than previously thought, with total print advertising revenue in 2007 plunging 9.4% to $42 billion compared to 2006, the biggest drop in revenue since 1950, the year they started tracking annual revenue.”

  3. so I looked at the sessions instead.  Most of my picks are Internet-centric.

    Here are a few I would probably go to:

    Film: This Brave Nation

    (Q & A with Robert Greenwald, Brave New Foundation, and Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation, will follow.)

    How Independent Media Creates Change

    Speakers:  Daisy Hern├índez, Jane Hamsher, Jefferson Morley, Robert Greenwald, Tracy Van Slyke

    From Broadcast to Broadband: The Next Frontier of Media Reform

    Speakers: Amy Goodman, Malkia Cyril, Robert W. McChesney, Tim Wu

    Everyday Heroes: The Power of One in a Connected World

    Speakers: Allie Pates, Eric Klinenberg, Mr. Spocko, Robb Topolski, Romeo Ramirez

    Online and Offline: Connecting the Grassroots and the Netroots

    Speakers: Brian Reich, Chris Parandian, Cristen Perks, Ira Horowitz, Richard Beach

    Netroots: What’s Next?

    Speakers: Baratunde Thurston, Cenk Uygur, Duncan Black, Gina Cooper, Robin Marty

    Organizing for Change on the Social Web

    Speakers: Andrew Slack, Chris Rabb, Craig Newmark, Deanna Zandt, Ruby Sinreich

    Have a great time NL!   I’m glad you will be there representing DD.  Way cool!    

  4. this should be a blast!

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