Monday, July 7, 2008

Welcome to the Ohio Media Reform Blog!

Dear Media Reform Advocates,

Welcome to our new blog. I can get anyone interested in posting articles a writing account here. Please give us your feed back on the Media Reform Conference. I had a great time and have a lot of ideas for some projects I'd like to discuss with you all, but first I'd like to hear your thoughts on the conference.




Chris Johnson said...

Thanks for getting the ball rolling Justin!

Chris Johnson said...

I will go ahead and be first to share my thoughts on the Conference.

This was my second National Conference on Media Reform, I attended the 2005 conference in St. Louis as well. During 2005 the focus was on building independent voices and pushing back against the "big machine" of media consolodation and corporate power. I couldn't help but notice that this time around there was an underlying theme not just that our media is trouble, but that our very democracy is in trouble. I think this speaks to just how far backwards we (as a country) have gone in such a short period of time.

I felt the conference was fantastic overall and I love the accessability of some of the most important voices of our time. I like that I can approach Naomi Klein and ask her a question or that I can say hello to Amy Goodman and get her thoughts on an issue. I think this only emphasizes that we are all in this together. Certainly the "Media and the War" panel was fantastic and the panel which I thought was the most informative was actually the last one I attended which discussed the "Bigger Picture".

In this panel there was a great discussion about the need to tie our talk about media reform to the greater problem of the type of capitalism that persists in society. This type of economic model does not promote our values and does not work toward uplifting the best in society. It is important to look at Media Reform as a symptom of this problem and it is important to recognize this in order to effectively fight both. It is also important to tie our fight for media reform to the overall values which we wish to acheive. Some of the values discussed within this panel were as follows:

1. Everyone has an absolute standing and worth.
2. People are more important than profits.
3. Democracy is fundamental to our society.
4. Inequality erodes dignity
5. Equality is essential to dignity and democracy.

Another subpoint that should be mentioned is to be able to counter the idea of "personal morality", which we so often hear, with the idea of a "social morality". We have to have a story about the way that the world works, locate ourselves within that story, and then create and work toward a vision of the way we wish the world to be. I think these points can and do relate to our struggle for media reform.

So I suppose the question that everyone has when they leave the conference is where to begin and what is best for our individual communities. Is it a matter of education and disseminating educational information to our communities? Is it a lack of public spaces for social commentary? Do we start with pressuring our leaders or is it more effective to pool our resources, become our own leaders, and develop a voice that can be heard?

Obviously the questions and answers are different depending on the community, but I think a blog like this is a good place to start.

I look forward to hearing more thoughts on the conference.