Media Activist/Reformers Preparing Madison Invasion

Less than two weeks from the National Conference on Media Reform in Madison and plans have been announced for a shadow “Be the Media” convergence as well. The idea is to get the participants to mingle with each other and teach some real media skills to people.
Various IMCs and other grassroots media outlets around the U.S. are sending contingents and many events will be webcast (this is why I have been so busy as of late). There’s also plans to set up a collective conference blog so participants can pool coverage and perspectives. Stay tuned for more details. In all I wouldn’t be surprised if 1,500-2,000 people – maybe more – take part in the fun. Continue reading “Media Activist/Reformers Preparing Madison Invasion”

Amherst Alliance in Last-Minute Lobby Flurry

Congress is getting ready to wrap up business for the year; work left undone so far includes the rollback of the FCC’s changes to media ownership rules. There’s a quasi-insurrection brewing in the House of Representatives, where 190 congressfolk have signed onto a letter asking Republican leadership to allow a vote on the FCC rollback.
The Amherst Alliance’s Don Schellhardt put together another detailed analysis of where things stand now, and includes helpful boilerplate examples of what to say if you’re inclined to call your representative and urge some action.
The Amherst Alliance has also launched a petition drive to the FCC designed to immediately expand the LPFM service back to its original parameters and request that the FCC protect LPFM stations from digital radio interference. Visit the Amherst Alliance’s web site and sign on, if you can…

Bad News Ahoy: Collage Galleries Too Popular

Last year I began to host various galleries of media collage online as an expansion of this site’s scope. An offshoot of this project – the Truthful Translations of Political Speech gallery – has taken on a life of its own.
The media collage sections of this site now account for at least half its traffic and most of its bandwidth use. As MP3 files are much larger than web pages, the bandwidth demands have grown with time, especially as the collage galleries have grown. I had plans to expand them further, with new galleries and a slew of new Truthful Translations which I’ve collected over the last few weeks. Continue reading “Bad News Ahoy: Collage Galleries Too Popular”

Liberation Radio Raid Update

A statement released by the station coupled with an excellent phone interview of Liberation Radio volunteer Karoline Hatch by Skidmark Bob clarifies things quite a bit.
Factual corrections: While the swarm of law enforcement involved in the raid numbered more than two dozen, only ~15 were federal officers. They were assisted by 10 San Francisco police officers (in contravention of the wishes of the city’s Board of Supervisors), although an IMC report cites Supervisor (and mayoral candidate) Tom Ammiano and SFPD chief Alex Fagan denying any city involvement. Continue reading “Liberation Radio Raid Update”

Mass of Marshals Descend on San Francisco Liberation Radio

According to several reports, more than two dozen Federal Marshals (armed with a battering ram) and “several” FCC agents hit San Francisco Liberation Radio‘s studios around midday today. They had arrest warrants for the equipment; over the course of several hours the entire station was cleaned out (a more accurate term might be ransacked). Everyone at the station is physically okay.
So much for community support: even though the city of San Francisco has endorsed SFLR, the feds flexed their muscles today. It’s unclear whether local law enforcement agencies participated in the raid (the city’s resolution in support of the station urges local non-cooperation). Continue reading “Mass of Marshals Descend on San Francisco Liberation Radio”

October Amendment One: "Halftime" In Washington

Don Schellhardt weighs in with some excellent analysis in October’s hefty Amendment One. He’s got harsh words for Senator John McCain and even harsher words for Kevin Klose and National Public Radio.
McCain may ultimately stall media reform efforts in Congress by protecting his own committee turf, while NPR’s stalling tactic in the FCC’s resolution of the LPFM interference issue has apparently torpedoed a proposed Senate committee hearing on LPFM, which would’ve been chaired by (yes, the same) John McCain last month.
Outside of the folks at Free Press (who are actually being paid to work Capitol Hill), nobody’s got a closer read on the situation than Don. Detail-wise, he’s the man in all respects.

Adelstein on Microradio: "Go For It"

This was initially posted to the “Be the Media Blog” which provided a running commentary on the National Conference on Media Reform as written by participants.
Saturday night @ the Orpheum, after all of the speeches got done (C-SPAN was there), the Tell Us the Truth tour gang ran through an abbreviated reprise of their Friday headline performance.
This time around, however, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein joined the lineup. Adelstein’s quite dangerous with the harmonica, and performed several solos backed up by Boots Riley, Billy Bragg, Tom Morello, and Lester Chambers, to a repeatedly wowed crowd. Wonderfully surreal!
It looked like Adelstein got quite an adrenaline rush out of the (well-deserved) adulation, which perhaps explains the comments he made during a brief conversation with him after the show. Continue reading “Adelstein on Microradio: "Go For It"”

Free Press Kicks off Call Congress Campaign

With reports of the FCC veto effort stalling on Capitol Hill, the lobbying begins again in earnest. These shenanigans often take place as correspondence between congresscritters; one can often gauge the level of political support certain bills have by the number of signatures on a letter of support for it circulating the House or Senate.
Such a letter is now making its way around the House, which is where much of the resistance to this particular media reform campaign is coming from. Free Press continues to gather signatures on its petition to Congress, but now they’d like folks to pick up the phones. Why? Bob McChesney sez because it’s quick, painless and may actually do some good (and the record so far is no small feat):
“If your Representative hasn’t signed it, please call them and ask him/her to do so. Over 120 (out of 435) have signed already. Instructions are provided.”

Szoka's Screwing Continues; Miscellaneous Self-Props

Jerry Szoka, former proprietor of Cleveland’s popular Grid Radio, was socked with an $11,000 fine more than six years ago, and the government came collecting in February. Szoka doesn’t have that kind of cash and has been trying to appeal the collection. He was supposed to have a hearing yesterday but the judge cancelled it and entered a judgment for the FCC: “They said they tried to contact me but didn’t have my home number…A complete travesty of justice.”
Szoka will attempt to continue to the appeals process, but without a lawyer (or the funds to hire one) the outlook remains grim. Continue reading “Szoka's Screwing Continues; Miscellaneous Self-Props”

Media Reform Conference Will Let Journalists In For Free

Another member of Thursday’s panel on campus was Free Press co-founder John Nichols. After finishing up with Kevin Klose I pigeonholed him as well, wondering what the f*ck the deal was with possibly charging journalists to attend the National Conference on Media Reform.
Nichols did not know this, and did not believe it. Of course journalists would not be required to pay for entry. He said they will not make distinctions between news organizations, either – the New York Times and Indymedia will get equal treatment, although there is concern lots of folks may show up and claim to be IMC reporters just for a free pass. Continue reading “Media Reform Conference Will Let Journalists In For Free”