Media Democracy

Ads and logos are our shared global culture and language, and people are insisting on the right to use that language, to reformulate it in the way that artists and writers always do with cultural material.
~ Naomi Klein
As the mainstream media has become increasingly dependent on advertising revenues for support, it has become an anti-democratic force in society.
~ Robert McChesney "Who will tell the people?" Read here for news and ideas regarding the movement for media democracy in the United States.

SAVE THE NEWS: Toward a National Journalism Strategy

July 20, 2009
From Saving the News: Toward a National Journalism Strategy

"Journalism is a public good. As a society, we all benefit from quality news and information. But like many public goods, journalism has always been heavily subsidized. The subsidy model that prevailed for the past century — advertising-supported journalism — appears to be dying. If current trends continue, America could soon embark on an unprecedented social experiment by becoming the first advanced democracy to leave wide sectors of society and entire geographic regions without a fully functional, professional press. We are venturing into uncharted territory."

NICHOLS & MCCHESNEY: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again

February 5, 2010
John Nichols & Robert W. McChesney

The founders of the American experiment were even by their own measures imperfect democrats. But they understood something about sustaining democracy that their successors seem to have forgotten. Everyone agrees that a free society requires a free press. But a free press without the resources to compensate those who gather and analyze information, and to distribute that information widely and in an easily accessible form, is like a seed without water or sunlight.

Additional Information: 

The article is excerpted from John Nichols and Robert McChesney's new book The Death and Life of American Journalism and appeared in the January 25, 2010 edition of The Nation. Nichols is president of the Liberty Tree Foundation; McChesney is a member of its board of advisors.

NICHOLS, MCCHESNEY: The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers

March 18, 2009
John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney

reprinted with permission from The Nation

Communities across America are suffering through a crisis that could leave a dramatically diminished version of democracy in its wake. It is not the economic meltdown, although the crisis is related to the broader day of reckoning that appears to have arrived. The crisis of which we speak involves more than mere economics. Journalism is collapsing, and with it comes the most serious threat in our lifetimes to self-government and the rule of law as it has been understood here in the United States.

Additional Information: 

Read the Original article

John Nichols is president of the Board of Directors of the Liberty Tree Foundation. Robert McChesney is a member of Liberty Tree's Board of Advisors. Together with Josh Silver, they cofounded the media reform organization, Free Press.

NICHOLS, MCCHESNEY: The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers

March 18, 2009
John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney

reprinted with permission from The Nation

Communities across America are suffering through a crisis that could leave a dramatically diminished version of democracy in its wake. It is not the economic meltdown, although the crisis is related to the broader day of reckoning that appears to have arrived. The crisis of which we speak involves more than mere economics. Journalism is collapsing, and with it comes the most serious threat in our lifetimes to self-government and the rule of law as it has been understood here in the United States.

Additional Information: 

Read the Original article.

John Nichols is president of the Board of Directors of the Liberty Tree Foundation. Robert McChesney is a member of Liberty Tree's Board of Advisors. Together with Josh Silver, they cofounded the media reform organization, Free Press.

MANSKI: The New U.S. Democracy Movement

October 9, 2008
Ben Manski

Around the world, Americans are often maligned as self-serving, ignorant, and conservative. Yet Americans are generally a progressive people.

Public opinion research tells the story:

  • Most Americans favor creating a federal universal single payer health care system.
  • Most support trade policies based not on property rights, but human rights, environmental protection, and popular sovereignty.
  • Majorities believe that the U.S. should not act as the “world’s police force,” and large majorities support the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
  • Americans, by and large, believe that access to quality education is a basic right, and are willing to raise taxes to pay for it.

Additional Information: 

This article was written for Movement Vision Lab. Click here for the original edition.
~ Ben Manski is a Wisconsin attorney and the executive director of Liberty Tree

STVERAK: Investigations and explanations – two journalism tasks where nonprofits can thrive

April 14, 2010
Jason Stverak

The newspaper industry is struggling. According to a March 2010 report from the Pew Research Center’s annual Project for Excellence in Journalism, the American newspaper industry has lost $1.6 billion in annual reporting and editing capacity since 2000. In the last three years, the newspaper industry has cut thousands of full-time reporting and editing jobs.

The rapid decay of traditional for-profit news media is not because the public is less hungry for news. Indeed, the Pew study shows that Americans are avidly interested in news. What has changed is that Americans for the most part aren’t willing to pay for news, mostly because they believe they can get all the news they want without paying for it.

So how will America fill the growing void in journalism as traditional for-profit media models fail?

More Info: 

Original article here...

State Preemption of Community Cable

From: 
Hear Us Now Consumers Union
What's happening: 

" Telephone and cable companies want to dominate Internet connections to the home. If they get state legislatures to help them block competition, like they just did in Pennsylvania, these companies would no longer have an important incentive to build their networks to connect the underserved.

Help support community wireless networks by taking action in your state. Find your state below and take action now! 


If you live in:

AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MO, MN, MS, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NV, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV or WY . . .

Your state is in jeopardy of creating roadblocks to community wireless networks."

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