Sunday, January 14, 2007

Last Post from Memphis

The conference ended with energetic speeches from Jane Fonda who mainly addressed the need for a multiplicity of viewpoints in the media - and especially greater access and presence of women. She mentioned two organizations she helped found - Greenstone Media and the Women's Media Center. My favorite quotes from her speech were that media should support democracy not the government, and enrich people not corporations. Amen...

The final speech was given by Van Jones, founder and head of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. He emphasized the need to always put forth not just criticism of how things are, but a vision for how things should be. I couldn't help thinking of the potential that NPR news represents - news of the "public," in the public's interest--instead of celebrating consumer products, the stock market, the power of the military and those holding high office.

This will be my last post from the conference. In a day or so I should be back to listening and commenting on NPR news shows. Until then keep writing NPR's ombudsman when you can and if possible get involved with your local NPR station. The station manager of our local NPR station, WILL AM 580, was attending the conference and spoke up during a session noting that many local stations like his are very open to media activists.


Porter Melmoth said...

Many thanks for the excellent reports and encouraging imput acquired at the conference. Those of us way out here in radioland appreciate the access to resources. Just the knowledge that there is growing awareness of media issues is a big gesture against isolation and self-consuming disaffection.

Mytwords said...

You're welcome. I have to say I felt a bit inadequate to the task. It is impossible to convey the diversity, sophistication, and comradery in evidence at this conference. Attendance was about 3500 people and I know that for every person attending there are many more who would be here but can't for various reasons.