This Brave Nation

(9:00AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

I’ve just gotten home from my first day of attending the National Conference on Media Reform that is taking place here in the Twin Cities this weekend. Over 3,000 people from all over the country have convened to talk about how we can restore both our democracy and the media. It was a good day. My hope is to share some of what I’ve learned over the course of the weekend in several essays. And this is the first.

I’d like to start by highlighting the screening of a film I saw that was sponsored by The Nation magazine and Brave New Films. They have produced five short films pairing activists in conversation about their motivations, struggles and dreams. They are calling them This Brave Nation. Here’s the trailer:

This afternoon we watched the episode with Tom Hayden and Naomi Klein. It was fascinating, but won’t be released on the web site until June 29th. Once a week, starting on Sunday, one of the 5 episodes will be available on their website for a week – or you can get 2 copies of the whole dvd (one for yourself and one to give to a library/school) for $15 plus shipping.

The episode that is available today is a conversation between Carl Pope (founder and director of The Sierra Club for over 30 years) and Van Jones (founder and director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights as well as founder of Color of Change). You can watch that one here right now. Tomorrow (Sunday) the episode that will be available will be Bonnie Raitt talking with Delores Huerta.

I highly recommend that you take a few minutes and watch these as they are released. I think  these conversations will bring you both hope and challenge. These are all folks who have been and continue to be involved in the same struggles we all face together. Of the two episodes that I have been able to watch, I find many of my inner thoughts and questions discussed by these people who are honestly talking about what it means to commit yourself to making positive changes in our world.

And one more thing, Brave New Films will also be releasing another set of films in July called Meet the Bloggers (a bit of a play on “Meet the Press”). Here’s that trailer.



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  1. on an amazing keynote by Lawrence Lessig and a great session on How Independent Media Creates Change.

  2. I think this series deserves maximum exposure, so maybe tag all of them “This Brave Nation”?

    Original reportage at Docudharma!  Yay!

  3. bring it home ….

  4. …Bill’s discussing Scott McClellan’s assertions about the press should have asked “tougher questions”.  He’s talking to Greg Mitchell, Walcott & Jonathan Landy from McClatchy.  

    Interesting discussion.  A couple of points:

    1.  “They asked the right questions, of the wrong people.”

    2.  Celebrities & high profile govt. type cable news soundbites trumped the more objective reports:  Rice’s “smoking gun turning into a mushroom cloud”…

    They are having a thorough discussion of the media, Iran, Iraq.  Landry mentioned that some of the people that hyped Iraq are the same people that are now gettin on TV talking about Iran.    

  5. Sounds very interesting!  It’s good that you’re able to attend and bring back information to us in your enlightened and enthusiastic way!

    • kj on June 8, 2008 at 02:38

    🙂  i can’t believe you’ve been able to attend this conference and still been able to write this much so soon, NL. you have an amazing ability to process information, synthesize it, and get it “out there.”  truly impressed.  

    intersted in these videos.  wonder if some of us should review them here on the blog?

  6. this is exciting and encouraging. Can’t wait to see them. Isn’t Brave New Films an indie movie production house? Boy does the corporate media need reform! I hope the future media is web based as it is way more democratic and open.    

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