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Media Justice

Black Agenda Report, as usual, has great stuff:

We must engineer what the media system is designed to prevent, namely an ongoing public debate on whether media --- the broadcast spectrum, the internet, cable and telecom networks should be controlled by and for a wealthy corporate elite, or whether people ought to be entitled as a matter of right to speak with and to hear their own voices, and to access the broadband technology that undergirds prosperity in the 21st century. The present election cycle offer a priceless opportunity to lay out, in a series of public meetings across the country, a media reform agenda against which to measure the promises and performance of the next Congress and the next president. Holding and publicizing a series of public forums on media --- to give candidates for Congress and the presidency some specific demands to react to between now and election day, between now and the new year when they will be sworn in, is a goal well within the resources of the existing media justice movement.

Toward that end, we at BAR here offer a short list of the kinds of popular media demands that might come from such a national series of media justice forums, especially if there is significant input from African Americans.

And as CD says -- and bringiton, in his own way -- we're all niggers now:

Repeal statewide cable franchising regimes, restore the power to local authorities to negotiate cable franchises;

Each state should conduct a thorough and comprehensive survey of broadband availability in order to identify underserved areas and guarantee universal access;

Local news gathering and local news broadcasts should be a requirement for most radio and TV station licensees;

Payola, the limitation of airplay based upon bribes to network and station execs, should be vigorously prosecuted;

Entities with three, four and five broadcast licenses in a single market should be compelled to give up some of those licenses;

More broadcast licenses should be in the hands of community and not for profit broadcasters;

More broadcast licenses should be in the hands of minorities and women;

Cable companies should be required to set aside a fifth of all their channels for public, educational, and governmental use as a condition of their use of public rights of way.

Legislative and regulatory barriers to local government sponsored cable TV and wi-fi companies should be eliminated;

Guaranteed network neutrality on the internet;

Give a large percentage of newly available digital TV and radio channels to new local holders including nonprofits and minorities instead of allocating them automatically to existing broadcast licensees;

Cheap high-speed broadband being essential to job growth, to the delivery of educational and other services, and to local economic development in general, should be recognized as a human right of communities in the 21st century.

Repeal the designation of CDs and DVDs sent through the mail as “parcels” and restore the ability to mail them at bulk rates so that independent distributors using these media can find their audiences;

Repeal the postal rate increases that selectively penalize small magazines and which were written into law by the lobbyists at Time Warner;

Force US cell phone companies to adopt the European model, in which one phone can be used for any company's plan, any plan ends at the 1st of the month, and switching plans carries no penalties.

Of course there are other demands. You've got some. Want to make them heard? Organize a meeting in your town and publicize it. That's what video cameras and YouTube are for.

Not a bad list.

And I like the "Justice" frame. The absence of simple justice, of common human fairness, is at the root of so much that's wrong with the country today. All the way up to global warming. Cf. Psalms 7:11....

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I am going to have to start looking at the BAR.

Submitted by lambert on

There is -- and I know this will come as a surprise to some -- a lot of interesting work coming from the margins. Because change always comes from the margins, eh?

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes to all of the above.

Every good revolutionary knows that the first objective is always to seize the radio station; control the means of communication, and you have a chance to spread your message.

Not that I would ever advocate taking up for ourselves the literal reading of God’s prerogatives in Psalm 7:12-13, that would be wrong and probably get a visit from the Feds, but we can all certainly wish that the judgment of verses 14-16 will soon be fulfilled:

14. Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.

15. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.

16. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

Human rights, human justice.

Submitted by lambert on

And whosoever diggeth a pit
Shall fall in it
Shall bury in it
If you are a big tree
let me tell you that
we are a small axe

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Wer anderen eine Grube gräbt,
fällt selbst hinein.

(Blessings on the lyrical irresponsibility of German grammar.)

Submitted by cg.eye on

who can be bought off so cheaply (or are being blackmailed so thoroughly) that their loyalty seems capricious and temporary.

We'll have to do the harder task of opposing the media with media, as they rush to cut us off from it.