More from the National Conference on Media Reform

(Part 2 of our own DD reporter’s media journey – 11:30 AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

I’m gonna start this one with the juicy stuff. I just got called “crazy” by Bill O’Reilly. So I think I have now arrived, haven’t I?

Yes, Faux News is at the event filming for O’Reilly. In a break-out session I attended where one of the panelists was Robert Greenwald, he took a few minutes at the opening of the session to point them out and we all had a bit of fun at their expense.  

Now on to more serious stuff from The National Conference on Media Reform. The opening keynote speaker was Lawrence Lessig. He had an interesting message for this crowd. It was basically that no reform of anything happens without election reform. But his presentation was much more rousing than that. He talked about a flaw at the core of the “people’s house” being dependency…the dependency of elected officials on crony capitalism. One of the more interesting lines in his speech was when he talked about big business learning early on in this country that the “return from regulation is better than the return from competition.”

Lessig’s speech is a little hard to capture in terms of its impact because he presented one of the most amazing powerpoints with it that I have ever seen. In talking with some young folks at lunch, they agreed with this. So I was able to rest in the idea that my impression was not just due to my lack of tech sophistication.

If you’d like a taste of what Lessig had to say, you can see a video of a similar powerpoint at a new website he has been a part of creating to further this kind of reform called Change Congress. The video is here.

One of the breakout sessions I attended on Friday was titled How Independent Media Creates Change. The panelists all talked about experiences they’ve had with creating real change in the world outside of mainstream media. A couple of the presenters are well known to most of us in the blog world…Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films and Jane Hamsher from FireDogLake.

But the ones I found most interesting were Jefferson Morley from the Center for Independent Media and Daisy Hernandez from ColorLines.

Their stories were interesting, but what really impressed me is the overall work they are doing. The Center for Independent Media has alternative media in six states: Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico and Washington. Jefferson Morley spent most of his career working for the Washington Post, but found that he couldn’t reform media from inside media, so he left to start this venture. If you live in one of the states where they operate, I’d highly recommend checking them out.

And I highly recommend that everyone check out ColorLines. Here’s how they describe themselves at their website:

Currently in its 9th year of publication, ColorLines is the leading national, multi-racial magazine devoted to the creativity and complexity of communities of color. ColorLines features the best writing on the issues that affect these communities.

My takeaway from the first day of this conference is that there is a richness to the alternative media on the internet now that is even more powerful than I had realized before. The world is literally at our fingertips.


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  1. I’ll be off to open the day with the keynote from Bill Moyers. Yeah!!!!

  2. change the game, the board, and the rules::: the internet is now the medium with the message and bloggers are the credible voice of news analysis.

    the obstacle in seeing this is the gauze the powerful place over our perceptions… they keep telling us we have no power. or that we need to be empowered (baloney because then we wait for power to be given to us).

    we are, each, born with power. we’re hijacked out of it at every turn. through the weight of our own personal infrastructures (big homes, cars, lots of debt) and just the material stuff which we fill our physical spaces. hard to move sometimes. and then, we feel like we can’t just leave it.

    trust me, we can. i had to and found out how easy it is…

    back to the point::: the internet as the medium with the message

    we have to keep getting the buzz out and announcing ourselves. instead of thinking someone or something will anoint us. we can just prevail. if we want to. i really think political cocktail parties are worth considering.

    we’re already a formidable force, a prevailing force. we just need to recognize it. as you just did.

    keep the essays coming!

  3. get a docudharma thong sent around for us to sign, so you could give it Mr. Moyers!!!

    and why did Bill0 call you crazy?????

  4. They do some in depth stuff from a variety of perspectives. I don’t mind admitting I have stolen some great ideas and talking points from there.

    Thanks for filling us in NL, wish we could all be there with you but you are doing a terrific idea of being our eyes and ears.

  5. I know you are having fun and learning a lot….thanks for sharing the experience with us!

    ps please give Moyers a big sloppy kiss for me!

  6. He’s calling other people crazy?  Denial is alive & well at fox.  He’s the symbol of what is wrong with the media in America today, and sadly, he doesn’t even know it.

    • geomoo on June 7, 2008 at 19:58

    You would make an excellent journalist.  It’s not easy to take so much info and summarize in a way that gives us a good flavor of the event, and a lot of leads to follow up on for those who are interested.  Really good stuff.  It is much appreciated.

    Without the internet, we would be toast.

  7. …if you get a chance, would you ask one of the media pundits why there’s been no mention of:  

    An annual conference of influential politicians and businessmen, began Thursday in Chantilly, VA:

    The Conference will end Sunday and deals mainly with a nuclear free world, cyber terrorism, Africa, Russia, finance, protectionism, US-EU relations, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Islam and Iran.

    “…Although it is an international forum, many prominent American officials and politicians attend the conference, including Secretary of State Condoleeza RiceChairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and Paul Wolfowitz…James Johnson, the man tasked with selecting Barack Obama’s running mate, is also on the list to attend the conference…”

    Also at the Bilderberg meeting will be Richard perle and Henry Kissinger.

    I understand that the Bilderberg group meets “off the record” yearly, and that “no (official) policies are decided”.  Still, doesn’t anyone in the “conventional media” think that a meeting of approximately 100 prominent world politicians, think tank advisors, financiers, business people, and a few media types like the Editor of the WSJ is worthy of higher profile reporting?  Especially when they are discussing policies and issues that so impact Americans and the rest of the world?  

    • Robyn on June 7, 2008 at 20:04

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, hen you win.

    • RiaD on June 7, 2008 at 20:05

    i’m sooo glad you’re there…..can’t wait for the slew of essay that will result!

  8. Thanks for your continued reportage.  Very interesting!  Also, it’s good to know you are enjoying being there and deriving so much from the experience.

    • kj on June 8, 2008 at 02:32

    to check out.  🙂   thanks, NL.  

  9. Speaking of Bill Moyers, have you seen this video of Moyers at the Media Conference, kicking some Fox News Producer’s ass?

    More at At the National Conference for Media Reform 2008. Fox personality Bill O’Reilly producer, Porter Barry ambushes PBS Bill Moyers to pepper him with questions regarding his political affiliations and his “refusal” to appear on O’Reily’s show. Moyers disputes Fox’s “facts.”

    Uptake Political Correspondent Noah Kunin was nearby and obtained this raw video.

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