Tag Archives: Free Press

Raise a toast to the paper with the MOST!

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One of Rosalie’s favorite issues of her beloved InCity Times! pics:R.T.

By Edith Morgan

Fifteen and Still Ahead!

Happy fifteenth birthday to InCity Times – and good wishes for many more!

Many changes have happened in these 15 years, and I hope many more will take place in the coming years – we are still a long way from perfection, so the fight continues.

Over the last several decades, as more and more MONEY considerations dominate all that we do and think, the press has become more timid, more conservative, more limited in what it covers, and in how it does it. So much “news” is copycat nowadays, so that when you turn on major TV channels, they all are covering the same story, as though nothing else was going on anywhere else. And events seem to be reported as though they have always had two equal sides and need to be fed to us through the eyes of the same experts.

As the mergers and the absentee owners proliferate, true free press is more and more a fiction, and we are fed a variety of pablums, squeezed between more and more outrageous advertising.

But none of that has ever been true of InCity Times! It seems to be the only true FREE press still alive in the city. Yes, it is often very outspoken, direct, even brash – but there has never been any censorship or holding back. And many of the positions taken by InCity Times writers and contributors proved to be ahead of the times, fighting for causes that at the time were labeled as “far out” but succeeded in becoming mainstream. (One of ICT Editor and owner Rosalie Tirella’s campaigns, for example, has resulted in the freeing of elephants from their servitude in the circus.)

The [Jack] Hoffman columns were always among my favorites, as he exposed regularly (in his inimitable style and unique sentence structure!) the political “dirt” taking place around the world. On a more scholarly and educational note, I always enjoyed John Monfredo’s columns, and I hope that many parents took them to heart.

Over the years, much free space has been given to so many groups serving various underserved and barely noticed parts of our population – I have often turned to InCity Times’ listings of our elected officials’ titles, addresses and phone numbers so that those who do not have the latest media at their fingertips can also access their elected officials.

InCity Times is in the best traditions of American Journalism: every little American town used to have at least one newspaper that told it “like it is,” that was run by a fearless boss who was not intimidated by the power elites.

When I came to Worcester in 1967, there was a morning and evening edition of basically the same paper – the Telegram in the morning and the Gazette in the evening: same owners, same view points. Those were the days when peace marchers were “egged” and considered disloyal, and worse. Green Hill Park was being used pretty much as a dump (the city mulching operation was there, and a the quarry was being filled in with God only knows what. Eventually the I 290 route cut several lively and viable parts of Worcester in half – and so it went.

But now these things no longer pass with impunity – and I know that at the very least, InCity Times will be there to expose and oppose these things – and our editor Rosalie will lead the charge.
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Rosalie, last week

National Conference for Media Reform wraps in Boston

BOSTON – Sunday marked the end of the 2011 National Conference for Media Reform in Boston — an energetic and inspiring gathering that brought together more than 2,500 grassroots activists, policymakers, journalists and scholars from across the country, as well as thousands more online.

Participants explored more than 80 sessions on topics ranging from how to fix the Federal Communications Commission to Wikileaks, online organizing and disaster response to the new face of media consolidation, public and community media to feminism and immigration. Discussions spilled out into the hallways of the Seaport World Trade Center, generating new energy and ideas for the growing media reform movement.

Net Neutrality was one of the hottest topics of conversation after the House of Representatives passed a bill Friday attempting to rescind the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules. On Friday at the conference, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi condemned the vote. “No one should be guarding the gate on the Internet,” Pelosi said.

At the keynote session Saturday, U.S. Rep. Ed Markey delivered a powerful call to continue to fight for an open Internet. “In the Net Neutrality battle, when the FCC put forward its Open Internet Order, I wasn’t happy,” he said. “I wanted it to go further. … But regardless of how we viewed the FCC’s order, we all can agree the Internet needs to be an open, level playing field for everyone that can’t be controlled by a central authority, whether it’s a corporation or a country’s totalitarian regime.”

Media reformers left Boston with a renewed commitment to aggressively advocating for policies to support better journalism, sustain public media, stop runaway media consolidation, and protect the free and open Internet.

“You can’t try to appease the people who are trying to kill public and community media, people who want to kill independent journalism, the people who are trying to keep you disconnected and in the dark,” said Craig Aaron, the new president of Free Press, which organized the conference. “If you want to win, you can’t be afraid to go into the streets sometimes. But if you want to win, you also need to be at the table when decisions are being made. And that means we’re going to need lobbyists, organizers, media makers and evangelists letting people know that the media system they have right now isn’t the only option.”

Challenging the corporate domination of politics and policymaking in Washington was also a recurrent theme at the event. “If we don’t take on the corporate political machine and refuse to be marginalized,” said outgoing Free Press President Josh Silver in a farewell address, “our nation will be overrun with more poverty, more financial meltdowns, more environmental disasters, more sick people without access to health care; and a media system with less journalism, fewer independent voices and more corporate censors with names like AT&T and Comcast.”

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps urged people to continue to fight for better media, calling it the “single most important thing” needed to preserve our democracy. “Citizen action can still work, even in this age when so few people wield so much outrageous power,” he said. “Many other issues crowd in for our attention, but those other issues depend so heavily on how media treats them that their reform depends upon media’s reform.”