Moyers: Godfather of Media Reform
2008 Media Reform Conference coverage
by Jill WesterholmThis years Media Reform conference was essentially in my backdoor but unfortunately other plans closer to home kept me from attending. The conference is sponsored annually by Free Press (see permanent link on our links list here) and is being held this weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I had hoped to be writing live via Blogger/Media Row with my press pass at this years Media Reform conference not just because my younger brother was the technical expert keeping thousands of broadcasters "up and running" at this years media row,but also because it is an issue I have cared deeply and passionately about for many years. I spent over 20 years in small, medium and large market radio in addition to living in a "radio family" with both my parents and all 3 siblings working in careers in radio. I literally grew up in a radio station as my father became a General Manager, a Sales Manager, and eventually an owner in small town radio. I started out broadcasting city parades on main street and the county fair at age 16, was working full time in Fargo by the age of 18, and was news director/morning show producer in Milwaukee by the age of 25. I ended my stint in Big Media being let go from Clear Channel Radio for a second time- the only 2 times I'd ever let go was by Big Media- about 6 years ago. The deregulation mania began somewhere along the way and somewhere along the way I became an activist for the cause as well. Of course there have been a few positive changes in the media- Podcasts and Blogs- Oh my!!! Next year I hope to not only attend the conference, but to broadcast live on the Great Emergence podcast as well.But first, my coverage of this years conference begins with where else- Bill Moyers. He is truly the "Godfather of Media Reform." The quote from Moyers' speech at last years conference has remained up on the Magic Quote Scroll here because of his ability to poignantly illustrate the gravity and indeed the history of the situation we currently find ourselves in. The stakes are so high and noone is able to demonstrate this better than Mr. Moyers. Once again PBS's crown jewel Bill Moyers delivers a phenomenal speech at the Media Reform Conference this morning! I urge you if you care about our Democracy, to set aside time without interruptions to watch it and pass it on to friends and coworkers. As you've heard me mention time and time again here at the G.E.- Free Speech or an Independent media is at the cornerstorne of our ability to tranform to the new reality. So we must sit up and pay close attention as Mr. Moyers expresses so succinctly, our need for an Independent media is right now by all accounts at it's most critical juncture. American Media Corporations-TV, Radio, Publishing are given licenses by the FCC for the PUBLIC TRUST not the Corporate trust. We are now beginning to see, hear and read about the need for a movement in the mainstream press as Scott McClellan's book shows us a Big Media mechanism at work, and as The New York Times shocking piece reveals that the so-called military "experts" were really just parroting talking points provided by the Pentagon (In a word: Propaganda). This is so much more than the dumbing down of our culture, the salacious immorality of the network programming or the morning shock jock radio's inability to say what he wants to say. And So much more than just our personal desire for quality entertainment. How can we create change and emerge through the chasm if noone hears us? This is about the delivery of accurate information and news that affects us all. It's about the moral responsibility of the for profit corporations who'll now seemingly sacrifice anything to satisfy their shareholders...sadly, even our very Democracy. But the good news is the Free Media coalition is growing and, repeat loudly with me, I am not alone in this fight.Thank You Mr. Moyer's for stating the truth so eloquently from "inside the box" and for always giving us hope that we can turn it around.