Click away! – R. T.
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.”
By Rosalie Tirella
Really, Nicole Apostola and Mike Benedetti have no shame – the ultimate ass-kissers/wipes. Jeff Barnard the blogger dies. A few weeks before he passes he tells his readers he expects his website to stay up for a few months and then be dismantled by his wife. This, he writes, is what he wants. This, he writes, is what he told his wife to do – his last wishes – made pretty much upon his death. I, as a reader, think: Makes sense. His last wish. He is passing … the blog was his life, his life-blood, actually. His wife will honor his request – most likely made on his deathbed. I would do the same for my husband.
But Jeff’s wife is either 1. grieving so intensely she has allowed herself to be bamboozled by the fake Mike Benedetti and equally phony Nicole Apostola or 2. she just doesn’t want to honor her husband’s final wishes. or 3. Nicole and Mike fast-talked a dying/weak Jeff B. into keeping the show going.
So the website is hijacked by Apostola and Benedetti. Continue reading 1 dead blogger and 2 ass-wipes
By Jim May
Change is gonna come. To the Internet once again. So fasten your seatbelts.
In my last InCity Times article I discussed how the future personal “computer” for most people would likely be their nextgen cell phone-PC-GPS. That trend is happening now with iPhones, Androids, and their ilk.
Another trend that is fast becoming a reality is universal wireless broadband Internet. Wireless broadband is really cheap and easy to set up. To understand what it can do, just look at how many new iPhone “apps” appear daily. Whether in terms of cost, speed or ease of use, wireless broadband outperforms the “delivery” of almost all media today: radio, TV, newspapers and telephone. It would not be unprecedented for the USA to make the giant leap forward in a way that surpasses every other country on such a humungous scale. That’s kinda what we Americans do.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently proposed a plan to provide nearly universal wireless broadband nationally in the next 10-20 years. Such a plan would upend the media giants and transform TV, radio, telephony and who knows what else. Needless to say, the media giants are not too happy about the FCC’s plan. Continue reading “High Fiber,” Part 2: Are we ready for such rapid change?
By Jim May
Hey, America, are we even we ready for this? A recent proposal by the FCC will make many of the stalwarts of American media-communications technologically obsolete within a decade. Telephone landlines providers, TV broadcasting, Hollywood theaters and cable television are just a few of the “old” technologies facing mammoth industry shakeups or possibly ruination.
The proposed FCC plan ambitiously reimagines our nation’s media and technology by establishing high speed Internet as the country’s dominant communication network. For me, this is like watching the symbols of the “old” technologies — Verizon buildings, Hollywood studios and 30 Rock itself — institutions that shaped our country’s culture in the 20th century – tumbling over Niagra Falls into the abyss.
Fewer than three years ago, the iPhone showed how much functionality “really small screen” devices can have combining cell phone-with-PC-camera-GPS. So in order to keep up, Apple’s competitors are designing next-gen products that will outperform even your current PC, the one that gives you movies live through wireless Internet now. Continue reading “High Fiber”: the first star of the really small screen era