Communication rights, and
especially local and regional work to cement them at home, often gets
overlooked, but it is key to so many struggles for health, safety, and
MA has been here for 38 years, always on one kind of edge or another, and we want there to be a year 39. Please join us.
do we protect the right to dissent? Crackdowns on journalists,
whistleblowers and activists are legion as a toxic combination of greedy
telecoms and an unaccountable government try to plug every remaining
space for free expression and organizing. They won't rest until the
Internet is a toll road for big spenders, and a spy net for the rest of
the corporations that run the government won’t help dismantle their own
influence. The system that lulls us into complacency as our human
rights get whittled away wants us doing busy work, not challenging them.
Keeping the challenges going, steady and strong and right here at home
in California where we live and work together, that can only be
supported by you. Media Alliance will keep lighting the fire. With your
The arc of justice is realized by claiming the space to create alternate narratives.
got some great gifts for you, a 30% discount off the mind-bending
titles from MIT Press, including Low Power To The People, the chronicle
of the pirate radio movement. Local filmmaker Donna Lee's video story of
blogger Josh Wolf's 226 day stay in federal prison to protect his
videos, a crucial moment in the history of citizen journalism and
Chinook Book, a modern-day coupon book featuring discounts and gifts at
local sustainable Bay Area businesses to help you really buy local.
Our freedoms are being threatened more
than at any time since the McCarthy period of the fifties. Not
just by the antics of politicians, but directly in our living space:
Massive surveillance with the latest technology; the militarization
of the police; online monitoring of our messages; the unrestrained
killing of African-American and other minority people; media
As always, resistance and opposition
are coming from activists on the ground. This is especially true in
the Bay Area. At this month's forum, activists will tell us what they
are doing to fight back against the incipient police state.
Shahid Buttar, Director of Grassroots
Advocacy, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF),
Tessa D'arcangelew, Leadership
Development Manager at the ACLU of Northern California:
Zaki Manian, San Francisco Organizer, Restore the Fourth
Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director, Media Alliance
Posted by Dorothy Kidd on University of San Francisco
This brief academic paper by USF Media Studies Professor and former MA board member Dorothy Kidd examines democratized media in Honduras and South Korea.
"Some 30 years after the commission’s publication of Many Voices, One World, I analyze the contribution of contemporary grassroots communication praxis to the democratization of communications practice and theory. Because if the neoliberal shift captured global information and communication systems for corporate giants and state powers, it also created conditions of radical possibility. Media activists around the world have appropriated technologies that were first designed for military, state and capitalist apparatuses, and have reshaped them to meet urgent information and communication needs of majority populations underserved by commercial or public service media. As the MacBride Report promised, these media have provided living examples of more democratic communication.
The Honduran Network of Indigenous and Garífuna Radios, andMediACT in South Korea, exemplify this movement to democratize communications from within social justice movements. South Korea is a relatively wealthy, urban and industrialized country, and one of the most digitally connected nations in the world; whereas Honduras is primarily rural, with high rates of poverty, and where only 4.5 percent of Hondurans have regular access to the internet. Nevertheless, people in both countries share long struggles for democratization against colonialism and military rule, and more recent pressures to conform to neoliberal development agendas. Operating in very different national contexts, the Honduran Radio Network and MediACT are both deeply embedded within local centers, linked together through a complex web of global social justice movements and radical communicators, who are connected both face to face and online.
If you missed the October 8th Civicmakers Salon on public broadband in San Francisco, here's a recap:
Last Thursday civic tech enthusiasts, local
government representatives and telecommunications industry
professionals gathered together to discuss what the future of public
broadband in San Francisco looks like. This was third event CivicMakers has hosted on the issue, and momentum is building, as evidenced from a standing room only crowd at the event.
A decade after the city’s first initiative
to bring free city-wide wi-fi to its citizens the lack of public
broadband is again a hot topic and there is growing consensus that we
need to find a solution. As we learned, there is no question about the
necessity of making internet accessible to all however finding the right
approach is a bit more complicated. The question is as much about
technology as it is about people, access, and fairness.
Our emcee and CivicMakers co-founder, Brian
Purchia set the tone for the evening, “We are going to solve this
problem — it will happen. What is it going to take? And who is
responsible for making this so? That’s what tonight’s event is about.”
The Chairman and CEO of Orange, Stéphane
Richard, started the discussion by sharing some examples from France. He
pointed that while Europeans are constantly learning from the Silicon
Valley, there are a few things that work well in Europe that San
Francisco could learn. One such example is offering fiber optic cable at
a price that makes it truly accessible to all.
There was a general agreement about the
importance of fast internet not only for a more connected city, but for
deeper economic implications. Today, over 100,000 people in San
Francisco don’t have access to internet at all while 50,000 are using
dial-up connection. In today’s connected world a digital divide like
that equals economic disadvantage.
CPUC Commissioner Catherine Sandoval noted
that availability of broadband speed internet will become a crucial part
of urban competitiveness of cities, just like rent. She highlighted the
need to learn more about people who do not have access so the
government could best help them. As California brings Internet to
under-served and un-served areas of California classifying certain urban
areas as such might be a part of the solution.
San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell emphasized that internet is a necessity, not a privilege, and as such a basic economic right.
There is a very real digital divide that exists in San Francisco that
the city is trying to solve. The report that is due to come out soon
will address potential solutions for the problem and it is important to
act on it soon as possible since the need for it won’t go away. New
proposed legislation includes solutions such as mandating that
construction projects lay a public conduit line for future access when
they lay down fiber.
Jay Nath, the Chief Innovation Officer at
the City of San Francisco reviewed some public broadband benefits and
challenges. On the one hand there are things like universal access,
bridging the digital divide, and the economic and educational
opportunities associated with it, which are all positive. On the other
hand the city needs to take into consideration some challenges, most
notably the scale of public investment, the fact that while it has been
done in many small cities few bigger ones have implemented it, and
predatory incumbent practices.
During the panel discussion we heard many
interesting perspectives on different issues related to making
universally accessible public broadband a reality. Three key takeaways
from the panel were that the public broadband access is a political
issue, that access is critical on multiple issues, and that there is big
infrastructure involved that will have impact of both privacy as well
as the role of government in communications.
This is a problem that is going to be
solved. There is a growing chorus of CivicMakers that want to help make
it so, including in that is our extensive list of co-sponsors for the
event, Startup Policy Lab, Mozilla, Free Press.net, The Greenling
Institute, Demand Progress, Media Alliance, Engine, EFF, Internet
Archive, Zero Divide, and the Community Technology Network. We will keep
you posted with updates and share the City Hall report when it is
released. Stay tuned!
Parker, who founded and directed the Communications office at the United Church of Christ, won a historic lawsuit causing the first ever broadcasting license to be removed for failure to serve the public interest and continued to advocate for unbiased broadcasting for decades following. His NY Times obituary is below.
Rest in power, Reverend Parker. You set an example for us all.
Rev. Everett C. Parker, who won a landmark broadcasting case and led a
civil rights crusade to hold television and radio stations accountable
for presenting racially biased programming and for failing to hire
blacks and other minorities, died on Thursday in White Plains. He was
death was announced by the United Church of Christ, where he was the
founder and longtime director of its Office of Communications. With
church support, he used the office as his civil rights platform for 30
a nation with a history of racial discrimination, it was not unusual
decades ago for minorities to be ignored or to have their dignity
trampled on radio and television. Station executives, under no pressure
from federal regulators, gave little thought to segregated shows or
on-the-air slurs, let alone to minority hiring.
as the civil rights movement gained momentum in the 1960s, Dr. Parker, a
minister and director of communications for the socially conscious,
1.75-million-member United Church of Christ, began to survey the
performances of radio and television stations in the South. He
identified WLBT-TV in Jackson, Miss., as a flagrant purveyor of racist
blacks made up 43 percent of the viewing audience, he found, the
station did not cover civil rights news or the black community and often
referred to blacks pejoratively on the air. Typically the only blacks
shown on WLBT were in police custody. Dr. Parker, who had worked in
broadcasting, asked the National Association of Broadcasters to issue
guidelines to give blacks a more positive presence on television, but
the industry group refused.
behalf of his church and some viewers, he petitioned the Federal
Communications Commission in 1964 to deny WLBT a license renewal for
failing to serve the public interest, as required by law. The F.C.C.
conceded the facts but dismissed the petition, saying the church, and
even viewers, had no standing to challenge the license. Only
broadcasters or others with an “economic” interest had such standing,
the commission said.
thought that through,” Dr. Parker recalled years later, “and concluded
that the public did have ‘standing,’ and an economic interest, because
they owned radios and television sets.”
appeal was filed, and in 1966, Warren E. Burger, then a federal
appellate judge, recognized the right of the church and viewers to
petition the F.C.C. But after a hearing, the commission renewed the
station’s license, leading to another appeal. In 1969, Judge Burger,
soon to be chief justice of the United States, ruled that the F.C.C.’s
record in the case was “beyond repair” and ordered WLBT’s license
nearly five decades of operation,” Judge Burger wrote, “the broadcast
industry does not seem to have grasped the simple fact that a broadcast
license is a public trust subject to termination for breach of duty.”
decision marked the first time that a license had been lifted for a
station’s failure to serve the public interest, and it established the
right of ordinary citizens to challenge a license. It began a new era of
heightened sensitivity by the F.C.C. and broadcasters to communities
with the power to threaten licenses, Dr. Parker, in the 1970s and ’80s,
joined other religious and civic groups — the Citizens’ Communications
Center, the Media Access Project and Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen
organization, among others — in challenging television and radio
stations on broadcast content and other issues, including employment
another petition by Dr. Parker showing that minorities were
underrepresented in the industry, the F.C.C. issued rules banning unfair
employment practices by broadcasters. But Dr. Parker found that
informal meetings with station executives, rather than federal
complaints, often led to reforms in hiring and content.
Parker recruited volunteers in many cities to monitor broadcasters’
programs and hiring practices. He widened his campaign to include
network, cable and telecommunications policies; set up programs to train
minority broadcasters; produced documentaries and children’s programs,
wrote several books, and lectured at Fordham University in the Bronx. He
became known as the dean of civil rights reforms in broadcasting.
we’ve ever wanted to do is make it possible for people to express
themselves through the system of broadcasting,” he told The New York
Times when he retired in 1983. “If broadcasters are to serve the public
interest, they need to be reminded that they serve all the publics.”
Carlton Parker was born on Jan. 17, 1913, in Chicago. He graduated from
the University of Chicago in 1935, joined the Depression-era Works
Progress Administration in Washington as a radio producer, and in
1936-37 was the station manager of WJBW in New Orleans. In 1938, he
opened an advertising agency in Chicago, but gave it up a year later to
train for the ministry. In 1939 he married the former Geneva Jones. She
died in 2004.
Parker is survived by his daughters, Ruth Weiss and Eunice Kolczun; a
son, the Rev. Truman E. Parker; seven grandchildren and seven
Parker earned his doctorate in 1943 from the Chicago Theological
Seminary. He worked for NBC in New York as a war program manager, and
from 1945 to 1957 taught communications at Yale Divinity School. In
1954, he created a public relations office for the Congregational
Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church, which became
the United Church of Christ in a 1957 merger.
in 2012 by the website Broadband & Social Justice how he would like
to be remembered, Dr. Parker said, “I want them to remember that I was a
guy who fought like the devil for the rights of minorities.”
Rev. J. Bennett Guess, a former executive director of the Office of
Communications, suggested in a statement that Dr. Parker’s legacy would
be far broader.
lifelong clarity and insistence that ethics, accessibility, diversity
and social justice are central to, not peripheral to, a fair and
effective media forever changed the landscape of broadcast journalism in
this country,” he was quoted as
saying on the church’s website on Friday. “By challenging previously
unchallenged assumptions about media ownership and access, he altered
the course of U.S. media history and skewed it toward fuller inclusion
for all people. His remarkable courage and tenacity will be forever
remembered by history.”
A Review of American Daydream by Margot Eve Pepper
American Day Dream is situated in San Francisco and embedded in the things we love about the Bay Area, but also lodged in the rear corner of our minds that hasn't forgotten the Snowden revelations of June 2013. Or Cointelpro. Or every bit of sickening evidence that we are less free than we think.
In the long tradition of dystopian science fiction, but imbued with a humane and strongly feminist tilt, American Day Dream grabs hold of the red pill/blue pill dilemma of Hollywood's Matrix, but without all the futuristic shiny toys.
What if, right here and right now and right down the block, everything we see and do and own, isn't real? Job, home and friends are all a carefully planted illusion to keep us circling a hamster wheel for a social order running for the benefit of others.
In American Day Dream, the gadgets we love don't connect us to humanity. They are the tool that traps us into dreams and prevents us from seeing our own imprisonment.
The novel addresses the price of looking up from the screen into the void. What would you say to the person who tells you reality isn't real? Would you love them or hate them, or both at the same time?
The protagonist, a Marin-residing graphic designer with a seemingly cushy job at a biotech firm in downtown SF, temporarily breaks his circuits and faces a dilemma: remember that crack in the fabric of appearances or forget it as quickly as he can.
As he walks the road to choosing frightening reality or comforting dream world, the designer ponders who he used to be before his cushy condo, how friends, family and acquaintances reconcile their own illusions and what life might be like outside the penal colony.
And he meets a woman.
American Day Dream asks us to consider the joys, and the dangers, of authentic existence when the human experience isn't what we thought it was. When the price of the little compromises is more expensive than we ever imagined and everything we thought was true about life, really wasn't.
There is still a choice to be made in the world of American Day Dream, but time is running out on the dreamers. Jailbreaking isn't just for i-phones. It's for all of us before there is nothing left but pretty trappings on top of a penal colony.
In a society where we are being watched more than we can fully grasp, the distance between American Day Dream's Bay Area and our own is shrinking.
It's a small step between dawn to dusk surveillance and planting us in a customized-just-for-us existence to meet all of our needs as incarcerated worker bees.
American Day Dream makes that leap and then paints the picture of what the hesitant walk along the road of resistance might look like - without the superpowers of Neo - for just a guy and a girl in Northern California.
Posted by Alfredo Lopez on August 4th, 2015 MayFirst/PeopleLink
Attackers continued their assault on May First/People Link operations Monday evening shutting down the organization's website at https://mayfirst.org. All other services continue operating.
The Denial of Service attack targeted the website but, as collateral
damage, much of May First's hosting system was paralyzed for a short
time about 11:00 pmMonday evening. May First technologists restored all services except May First's own website, the specific target, by 11:30 pm.
The attack follows several days of Denial of Service attacks on May
First servers, targeting specifically May First member the National
Network of Abortion Funds whose website, http://fundabortionnow.org
was down for almost a day last week. That attack appears to have been
part of the campaign aimed at the pro-choice movement which included the
attacks last week on Planned Parenthood and various pro-choice
Today's action is the first time the attackers have targeted the May First/People Link website specifically.
"We consider our organization attacked when one of our members is
targeted so we've been under attack for several days now," according of
Jamie McClelland, MF/PL Leadership Committee member. "But the targeting
of our website means that these people are not just focusing on the
issue of abortion or trying to repress communication about it but
punishing an organization that allows that communication. This isn't
about choice specifically, this is about May First/People Link and,
because of who we are, it's about an entire movement in two countries."
Technologists continue working to return the website to service. No other services are affected at this time.
May First/People Link is a political progressive membership organization
specializing in Internet work and the sharing of services with most
members in the United States and Mexico. It is the largest organization
of its kind in either country.
Earlier this month, the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) issued a request
for comments on how consumers are being charged for video-related
services, the notice they are given before these costs appear on
their monthly cable bill and whether these fees cause consumers to
pay higher prices than the company’s advertised rates for monthly
service. The FCC has always had jurisdiction over how common
carriers, broadcast, wireless, satellite, cable companies and other
telecom entities address consumer interests in their business
According to the FCC
website, through the Consumer Policy division, they are “…tasked
with issuing orders to resolve complaints about unauthorized changes
in local telecommunication providers (slamming); conducting
rulemakings on slamming, truth-in-billing telemarketing and fax
advertising; and monitoring informal inquiries and complaints to
identify trends that affect consumers.” Unfortunately, many
advocates believe that the focus on consumers has been sidelined
since the passage of The
1996 Telecommunications Act. While the act spurred innovative
platforms for video distribution and creative content for internet
users, it was to the detriment of cable subscribers who realized no
real benefits, and instead have experienced nearly two decades of
limited choices for service, rising monthly prices and deteriorating
customer service. With consolidation happening at a breakneck speed
in the cable and broadband markets, it is time that the focus of our
21st century video market policy-making process be placed squarely on
the protection of the consumer.
For this reason, Media Alliance
applauds the FCC’s undertaking to augment their next video
competition report with detailed pricing data and information through
their comment process. We have long advocated for increased
transparency when it comes to the billing practices of pay-TV and
broadband providers and are further encouraged that the FCC’s
action is not an isolated incident.
Washington, D.C. are increasingly losing their patience with the
unscrupulous practices of the pay-TV industry and are calling for
inquiries with the interest of consumers in mind. Last
year, Senator McCaskill asked probing questions of cable providers
who experienced first-hand how cable operators have overcharged and
misled consumers with complicated fee structures and surcharges.
Time and time again, McCaskill has sought to bring accountability to
the pay-TV industry by calling for legislative hearings around cable
The momentum continued with a letter
on July 9 from Senators Al Franken (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bernie
Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) calling for the FCC to
collect detailed pricing data on broadband and cable services on a
state-by-state basis and comparatively in rural versus urban areas.
Their letter also recognizes the lack of competition in the pay-TV
industry citing that fact that only “37 percent of Americans have
more than one option for high-speed broadband providers.” The
senators declared that a lack of competitive choices and a
marketplace that continues to move toward more consolidation has left
Americans with “de facto telecommunications monopolies” across
the nation. These are factors that need to be addressed at a granular
level by federal regulators.
The FCC’s action to collect broadband
and pay-TV pricing data will go a long way in helping consumers
better understand exactly what it is they are paying for in their
monthly bills. The pay-TV companies have this information. We
simply need our leaders in Washington D.C. to ask the right questions
so that regulators can then deconstruct the fees, surcharges,
equipment rentals and other miscellaneous costs.
Thanks to leaders in the nation’s
capital, we are taking the first step towards creating greater
pricing and billing transparency for consumers of pay-TV and/or
Internet subscription services in America.
Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on July 22nd, 2015 Media Alliance
The Media Alliance 2015 Northern California Press List is out!
The 2015 Northern California Press List provides 1200+ media
contacts in an easy-to-manipulate Excel spreadsheet, including
daily/weekly newspapers, televison and radio stations, hyperlocal news
websites, and selected national alternative press.
Media Alliance produces this community press list to help nonprofits
and activists reach the media consistently without having to pay the
prohibitive prices charged by commercial public relations efforts.
Pair your press list with a Media How To Guide, if you haven't already, to get everything you need to know for low-cost high-impact guerilla publicity.
The press list retails for $50 (discounted for MA members) so make sure to let people know about it who could benefit from the resource.
Our new telephone number as of May 4, 2015 will be (415) 746-9475. ED Tracy Rosenberg can also be reached directly via mobile phone at 510-684-6853, which is unchanged.
The good news: The new space will provide the classroom, workshop and event space that Media Alliance has been missing in Oakland, contained within a new vibrant art space with lots of cross-fertilization and fun, creative things going on.
Being a part of the community will allow us to permanently lower our rent while increasing our physical capacity in a long-term secure space dedicated to art and social justice, freeing us from the commercial real estate market and the exploding costs in our adopted Oakland home.
It was a difficult decision to leave Oakland, a city MA has grown to love after the forced exodus from San Francisco in 2005, but the long-term security and stability of the nonprofit in today's always-challenging financial conditions was our first priority. Media Alliance intends to continue robust participation in public policy throughout the Bay Area, but especially on both sides of the Bay, which are both our professional and personal homes.
There will be a little moving upheaval during the last week of April and first week of May, but bear with us and we'll do our best to be fully up and running as quickly as possible.
And stay tuned for classes and events. We've heard you these past few years about wanting more of that, and this new office is designed with more public events and workshops in mind.
Thank you for your support and sharing the excitement of this move with us. Any helping hands in the last week of April for the schlepping of boxes are very very welcome.
Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on June 5th, 2015 Media Alliance
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dealt a blow to cable regulation when Chair Tom Wheeler declined to join democratic commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel in dropping the presumption of effective cable competition in most cities and counties.
The presumption means that the burden of proof to assert that cable competition is insufficient falls on city and state governments who must mount a case to prove their point. Failing a monumental effort on their part, federal regulators will presume that effective cable competition exists.
Clyburn and Rosenworcel argued that "streamlining" should not take the form of an expedited process to avoid oversight and accused the agency of racing past the statutory requirements and providing such broad relief to cable companies as to increase burdens on local franchising authorities and potentially result in price increases for consumers.
However, FCC chair Tom Wheeler voted in favor of the presumption and it passed the commission on a 3-2 vote.
Media Alliance agrees with Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel and hails them for their attempts to preserve oversight by franchising authorities and not streamline away local cable regulation.
Below is the public interest letter sent by several organizations including MA asking the FCC not to presume effective cable competition.
This video produced by the Champaign-Urbana Independent Media Center and the Illinois Campaign for Prison Phone Justice exposes the actions of phone service provider
Securus Technologies and the Illinois Department of Corrections in
gouging nearly $12 million a year from the families of the incarcerated
from over-priced phone call.
Sign the petition to encourage the FCC to finish reforming the prison phone call system and cap phone rates for all kinds of phone calls for good.
Nathalie Lawhead is the creator of Tetrageddon Games, an open
source freeware arcade. Having just coming off her Nuovo Award winning
turn at the 2015 Game Developers Conference, Nathalie spoke with Kevin Robinson about her site, being an award winning game developer, and working in the gaming industry.
Kevin Robinson: How have things been since your Nuovo Award at GDC, has anything changed?
Nathalie Lawhead: I would say a lot more confidence
in what I’m doing. I’m still kind of blown away about that, I did not
expect that. Just being a finalist was huge. Winning was amazing.
For anybody creative, confidence in what you’re doing and the risk of
starting your own business is the biggest battle, so that was a really
big deal for
KR: Tell us about Tetrageddon Games
NL: It’s focused on the humor and satire of online
life, kind of like a parody of digital reality. I like to say it’s like
if Monty Python made games. It’s completely random and absurd. The
game is constantly changing is the theme.
KR: How long have you been involved in gaming and what got you started?
NL: I first started out as a net artist and people
liked what I was doing and they started calling what I was doing
“games”. At first I hated the title because it brought in all kinds of
assumptions from people playing it; “What am I supposed to do?”, “What
is this?”, “This game makes no sense”.
KR: Do you think people have preconceived notions of what a game is?
NL: I think they used to have more conservative
views. A game had to give you a mission, you had to have a goal, you
had to be asked to do certain things. Now there’s even a term called
“alt games”. It’s so cool that people are willing to create new labels.
Games are transitioning to be seen as art.
KR: Did you play video games as a child?
NL: I did play DOS games alot, early PC games. Chopper
Commandos, Doom, Quake 2, I was into first person shooters. My fondest
memories was playing the early DOS games where you played on the actual
floppy disc. I loved that.
KR: Where’d the name AlienMelon, as you are also known as, come from?
NL: I started doing web development and I choose a
name that started with an A, because when you look up directories
that’s what comes up first and also I like calling myself an alien. I
like alien invasion and end of the world scenarios so it kind of made
KR: You’re a post-apocalyptic sci-fi fan. What are some of you favorite films in that genre?
NL: I like the one that Tim Burton made, Mars Attacks!
KR: On other note, you being a woman in the industry, what’s that like? Have you thought about that or not?
something you can’t ignore. You do encounter a lot of sexism, but I
think less than ever now. People are willing to speak up and you have
men supporting women too and that makes a massive difference. I
remember there was a site called Flash Goddess that got a lot of very
sexist replies and that’s when I first started thinking there’s a real
problem in our culture. For better or for worse with this whole Gamergate thing it brought the attention and people are willing to engage in this conversation and start making changes.
KR: Did you feel comfortable and supported at GDC?
NL: Yea, it’s
interesting when I was working in the game industry I got a lot of
sexism, but with the indie community I haven’t encountered any of that.
The fact that I’m a woman isn’t even brought up unless it’s in a
KR: Any advice that you would give to any upcoming female game designers or developers?
NL: Your first game
probably won’t be any good and it doesn’t even have to be playable, just
start doing it. It’s like a muscle you exercise and you become better
and better as you go.
KR: What’s next on the horizon for you?
NL: I got an opportunity to put it on Steam now, so
I’m working on getting a Steam version out there. I think that’s going
to be a really big deal for me. I’m also trying to get it on
Most of all it speaks poorly of our cultural and democratic priorities. Billions are spent on media that sell and influence,
producing messages that serve vested political and commercial
interests — yet the room clears out fast when the conversation turns to
the topic of paying for public-interest journalism.
Indeed, for all the declamations and examinations
of journalism’s importance to our democracy, actually funding its
noncommercial, public-interest practice is one of the lowest priorities
of the charitable sector — inclusive of major and individual
lack of subsidy has crippled public-interest journalism, which is not
competitive in the commercial attention economy, and not easily or
ethically monetized, particularly at the local level.
good news is that such harsh conditions have produced a tough strain of
nonprofit survivors. These organizations — members, for example, of the Media Consortium or the Institute for Nonprofit News — are drought tolerant. They take root in niches and keep blooming.
organizational terms, they’re high-achieving, efficient, networked and
media savvy. Their potential as engines of public-interest information
is off the charts.
opportunity and mission they represent has not yet been fully recognized
and embraced across the spectrum of philanthropy.
The sap may be rising for the new crop of news nonprofits — but a garden will not grow unless you water it.
today’s parsimonious funding economy, that means infrastructure for new
news nonprofits is rudimentary, newsrooms operate on shoestring
budgets, founders heroically take on operations as well as editorial
roles, and their ventures only thrive relative to their ability to
sacrifice and work for free.
dedication is beyond question, as is the lack of support. Let’s look at
the numbers for a better sense of journalism’s low position in the
current funding ecosystem.
Journalism as a subset of media funding
Up-to-date numbers for journalism philanthropy are elusive. A good benchmark comes via a Foundation Center report that tracked $1.86 billion in grants of $10,000 or more to “media” projects of all sorts in the United States from 2009 and 2011.
That alone, however, did not necessarily add up to more money for news production.
that sum, 55 percent — about $1.02 billion — went to developing “media
platforms” across the Internet, broadcast, film and video, TV, mobile,
production (and training) received about half that — $527 million,
accounting for 22 percent of all media grantmaking during the three-year
period under scrutiny.
Journalism’s position in the individual-giving spectrum
Americans gave $335.17 billion to charity in 2013, according to Giving
USA, the majority of which went to religious organizations ($105.3
billion) followed by education ($52.07 billion) and human services
media are are handily adapting to the information economy and
developing all sorts of marketing and revenue streams. The philanthropic
sector remains enormously wealthy. And individual giving remains a deep
and largely untapped wellspring.
nonprofit journalism — and specifically public-interest news production
in communities that lack it — remains a neglected, and even
is the imagination, the conscience, the commitment and the will to
strengthen this emerging, and desperately needed, charitable sector?
Private Thoughts is a new privacy series of short videos on surveillance and
privacy from Restore the Fourth SF Bay Area. On UASI (Urban Areas Security Initiative) and fusion centers and on federal and state level privacy legislation including the Surveillance State Repeal Act, CAL-ECPA and SB 34 and SB 741, which are transparency rules for the use of automated license plate readers and cell phone stingrays.
Posted by on April 3rd, 2015 Media Alliance and Common Cause
n 2014, the term “net neutrality” became a household word as media titans battled over two versions of the Internet, one a participatory open network and the other a pay-to-play walled garden.
The open Internet won, in one of the biggest public interest victories of the last decade.
What happened, will it stick, and where do we go from here to keep building a 21st century cyberspace that will advance economic growth, equality, creativity and social justice?
Hear from activists and experts on the inside of the net neutrality campaign and find out about local efforts to keep up the momentum including municipal and community broadband, stopping Internet surveillance, and preventing more media consolidation.
This interactive workshop for high school and college students will make you think about the Internet you use everyday in a different way and give you the skinny on how you can be a part of building the Internet future at your school.
Free to high school, community college and 4-year college students in the Bay Area and faculty. Others asked to pay a nominal fee to attend.