Media: Embed Our May Day Tools

Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 9:38 pm by
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Mediaforthe99percent is offering all media–from individual bloggers to professional news sites–the opportunity to use our tools for your May Day coverage. Please find the embed codes below, along with details about copyright:

MAP: The map is a google fusion map. We are offering an embeddable graphic with code in two sizes. When users click on the graphic, a window will pop up with the map. The map tool itself is owned by Google. The content of the map is created by John C. Osborn for The Media Consortium under a Creative Commons license.

300px by 300 px graphic with text and “Find out Here” button :

600px by 334 px screeenshot of map:

LIVESTREAM:  The video tool is created using Livestream. The tool itself is owned by Livestream. The content of this video is created by Free Speech TV and those who contract with Free Speech TV, including the Thom Hartmann Show and Democracy Now. Content from the Thom Hartmann Show is (c) Thom Hartmann. Content from Democracy Now! is (c) Democracy Now! Content from Free Speech TV’s Occupy the Media show is Creative Commons license.  Embed code for the Free Speech is available here:

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Storify: This live blog tool is created by Storify. The tool itself is owned by Storify. The content of this particular storify is created by Samantha Oltman for The Media Consortium under a Creative Commons license.

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‘Media for the 99 Percent’ Challenges Corporate Media with Joint Coverage of May Day Protests Nationwide

Posted Apr 26, 2012 @ 1:14 pm by
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This year, International and Immigrant Workers’ Day, May Day, will usher in a spring of protests fueled by the rise in anti-immigrant legislation and enforcement, a lopsided economic recovery that favors the few, and a reemergent Occupy movement poised to challenge corporate power.

If past coverage is any indication, corporate media will not tell the May Day story accurately or with depth or analysis. That’s why more than 25 independent media outlets belonging to The Media Consortium are collaborating to provide coordinated, national coverage of May Day events from around the country.

Calling themselves “Media for the 99 Percent” (www.mediaforthe99percent.com), these diverse outlets will offer a live TV and streaming broadcast, an interactive map, breaking news reporting, and coordinated social media coverage across their sites, reaching a combined audience of more than 50 million Americans.

“With this May Day collaboration, independent media will show that live national coverage can reflect the breadth, diversity, and complexity of the American people,” says Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, executive director of The Media Consortium.

Independent media outlets have stayed with the Occupy story through the winter with unparalleled reporting: books by YES! Magazine and AlterNet; a weekly “Occupy the Media” TV program by Free Speech TV; cover features by In These Times, The American Prospect, The Nation, and Mother Jones; in-depth and breaking news reporting by Truthout, Making Contact, the Public News Service, Free Speech Radio News, and many others.

On May Day, the Media for the 99 Percent outlets will leverage their existing platforms and reporters to provide coordinated national multimedia coverage, featuring:

  • An interactive Map: Find out where actions are happening across the country and follow the independent media’s by-the-minute coverage with links to video, audio, photos, and blog reports.
  • Television and Live Stream Broadcast: Free Speech TV will broadcast live (and live streamed) news coverage throughout the day, featuring reports from around the U.S., as well as in-studio commentary.
  • Curated Social Media Coverage: Using the Storify platform, Media for the 99 Percent will offer a curated narrative of breaking news via blog updates, along with photos and social media posts from reporters on the ground.

All three content tools will be available for embedding by other news outlets and the public.

 

Media Policy Briefing: Will Your City Have Community Radio?

Posted Apr 9, 2012 @ 12:36 pm by
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The FCC has finally announced it will accept new applications for LPFM stations. Yet, will those licenses actually go to all urban communities? Not unless advocates succeed in changing FCC rules to give those applicants a better shot.

[read more » ]

Nonprofit status for News Media: problems and consequences

Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 1:40 pm by
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News organizations are increasingly turning to a model that was pioneered by independent media, a nonprofit model based on individual donors and foundation-funded projects. The two barriers to non-profit status have been based in IRS questions around politics and mission.

[read more » ]

Media Policy Reporting and Education Project, Year Two

Posted Feb 28, 2012 @ 4:25 pm by
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“Media policy,” and its related friends “FCC” and “rulemaking,” may conjure an image of grumpy old men in a back room. Yet media policy in this digital age turns out to be the key to free speech and transparent politics. Understanding how pages of jargon define and delimit how public content is communicated is not easy, however, which is why the Media Consortium has embarked on year two of our Media Policy Reporting and Education Project (MPREP).

Thanks to a generous grant from the Media Democracy Fund, we are recruiting 10 TMC reporters to learn the media policy beat through one-on-one mentorship with policy experts and through in-depth policy briefings open to all journalists. Check here and on our twitter feed for more information about our upcoming briefings! Our first briefing will be “Broadcast Disclosure Rules” March 7, 1:00 ET, with Free Press Senior Policy Counsel Corie Wright.

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November Update: Media for the 99%

Posted Nov 15, 2011 @ 3:03 pm by
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Thanks to all of you who came to Oakland for our 2011 annual meeting, Harnessing our Collective Power. In just 18 hours, we harnessed our power, collectively deciding to put our resources into getting out the message of the Occupy movement during the 2012 election year.

Our 2012 campaign, Media for the 99 Percent, will formally launch in January. It is the biggest initiative we’ve ever taken on. We are currently seeking $1 million dollars to create a jumpsquad of reporters to go to Occupy hot spots; a renewal of our campaign cash investigative reporting; citizen-sourced journalism about the lives of the 99 percent; and TV shows to amplify these stories. (more…)

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Open to the Public: Meet the Storytelling Pioneers of Visual Journalism

Posted Oct 3, 2011 @ 12:49 pm by
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Comics journalist Dan Archer joins editors from Mother Jones, Colorlines and Truthout to demonstrate tools and reveal new trends in visual journalism.

If you live in the Bay Area, please join The Media Consortium for a panel discussion on the future of visual journalism on October 13. From data visualization to hand illustration, today’s journalists are utilizing new tools and techniques to engage readers via interactive and immersive news stories. At 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 13, 2011 at the James Irvine Conference Center of the East Bay in Oakland, a panel of editors and reporters who are breaking new ground in content delivery will discuss the plusses and pitfalls of experimenting in the visual space.

  • What: Storytelling Pioneers: New Tools, Trends, and Techniques in Visual Journalism
  • When: 7:00-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13
  • Where: James Irvine Conference Center of the East Bay. 200 Frank H Ogawa Plz, Oakland (12th Street BART)

This session also marks the first time that the Media Consortium is opening a panel at their annual meeting to the public.

About the panelists:

Dan Archer, a 2010 John S.Knight Fellow at Stanford University, creates non-fictional, journalistic comics to offer a new perspective on US foreign and domestic policy He is currently working on an interactive timeline for the London School of Economics/VJ Movement as well as animations and comics for American Public Media.

Hatty Lee is the Art and Production Manager for ARC and ColorLines Magazine. Previously, she was Design Director of Hyphen Magazine, a non-profit Asian American magazine. Hatty tweets at @hattyslee.

Erin Polgreen is the managing director of The Media Consortium, where she oversees editorial collaborations and other programming. Erin frequently writes and speaks about the integration of comics and journalism. Follow her on Twitter: @erinpolgreen.

Tasneem Raja is Mother Jones‘ Digital Interactive Editor. She specializes in web app production, interactive graphics, and user interface design. Before joining Mother Jones, she was an interactive producer at The Bay Citizen.

Leslie Thatcher is Truthout.org’s Literary editor. As part of her work as an editor for Truthout, Leslie evaluates and develops graphic artists’ and writers’ work for publication.

The New Landscape in Journalism: A Statement from The Media Consortium

Posted Jul 21, 2011 @ 9:25 am by
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The Media Consortium, a national network of independent media outlets, represents the new landscape in journalism that a recent Pew Report attempts to describe. If the twentieth century was defined largely by corporate media, the twenty-first century media sector that our Consortium represents comprises outlets that are fiercely independent, committed to accuracy in reporting, and dedicated to making the world a better place.

What model of journalism do these independent outlets embrace? It is not the so-called objective journalism of the past. As a number of historians have pointed out, objectivity was itself an ideology rather than a practice. Instead of rising above the political fray, corporate media , responding to their shareholders, have not hesitated to push their market interests in the political arena, as we see so clearly in the cozy relationships News Corporation owners and employees built with prime minsters, police, and the British political establishment.

Independent media are not responsible to the market. Whether organized as for-profits with diverse revenue streams or as nonprofits, independent media are mission-driven. We serve our audiences. By reflecting our audiences’ concerns (which may be nonpartisan or partisan, left or right), independent media ensure that the public will have access to a diversity of views. That is why the health of an independent press is so critical for a democracy.

Independent media cover issues that are critical to people’s health, well-being, and political rights but that are not on the mainstream media’s radar. And, unlike the corporate media with its cud-chewed content, the independent media is unafraid to tell the full story even when doing so threatens the market or those in power.

We care most about getting at the real story. We are not predictable. We do not pretend to give both sides equal time. And our sector is growing because, increasingly, we provide the kind of media the American public wants.

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The Wavelength: Court To FCC: Do Your Freakin’ Job! Plus: How the NewsCorps Scandal Impacts U.S. Media

Posted Jul 11, 2011 @ 2:57 pm by
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Welcome to the final edition of The Wavelength, a bi-weekly roundup of news and analysis focused on media policy. Stay tuned for more reporting on the ongoing impact of media policy from members of The Media Consortium.

photo by Howard Lake/Flickr creative commons

By Eric K. Arnold, Media Consortium Blogger

Just when it seemed that the wave of media consolidation had reached tsunami proportions, a new court ruling is easing the troubled waters.

As Amy Miller and Lori Abbot of Public News Service report, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to block revisions to current FCC regulations which would further relax media cross-ownership rules. This ruling is a major victory for media reform advocates who say any further consolidation could severely challenge the notion of a free, independent press.

As previously reported, the new regulations would have likely had an adverse affect on local news reporting and diversity. Making the situation even more awkward is the FCC’s own recently issued media review, which posits the need for more localism and more diversity.

The upshot, write Miller and Abbot, is this: “In addition to preventing one company from owning both print and broadcast stations in the same market, the rulings mean more competition and more opportunity for women and minority ownership of media companies.”

The decision sends a clear message to the FCC that it has a mandate to prioritize public interest over corporate interests, a point it’s been somewhat confused on in the past.

News of the World Scandal Continues

In a case of media behaving badly, the UK’s News of the World—a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the US’s Fox News—ceased publication after being caught red-handed in an embarrassing scandal. Reportedly, the paper, which was founded in 1843 and has a circulation of 2.8 million, hacked the cellphones of families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, murder victims (including 13 year-old Milly Dowler), and celebrities. NoTW reportedly deleted voicemails from Dowler’s cellphone, causing her family to believe she hadn’t been killed.

Hitting where it hurts

Blowback from the scandal is hitting Murdoch hard. As blogger John Nichols  writes in The Nation, “the damage is running deep, as members of Parliament… have called for placing a hold on the anticipated purchase by News Corp. of British Sky Broadcasting, a hugely-profitable satellite TV enterprise that Murdoch has coveted for years.”

The inquiry by Scotland Yard and the British government is just getting started, Nichols says, adding the sordid episode should raise questions about the Murdoch media empire’s practices in America: “Should Americans be appalled by a scandal in Britain? Certainly.”

Also in The Nation, D.D. Guttenplan blogs about the scandal, which, he notes, “wiped some $2.5 billion off the value of News Corporation, [Murdoch’s] US-based holding company.” The larger issue, however, is that “Rupert Murdoch has been operating what amounts to a private intelligence service” which “gives News Corporation a kind of leverage over inquisitive regulators or troublesome politicians wielded by no other company on earth.”

But wait, it gets worse. As Adele Stan writes for AlterNet, Wall Street Journal CEO Les Hinton, a former executive chairman of Murdoch’s UK operation, has been implicated in the scandal. In 2006, Hinton told Parliament that the hacking was the work of one rogue reporter — a claim which has been revealed to be a lie. The WSJ, Stan says, did not disclose “the role its chief executive played in delivering misleading testimony before the British parliament” — which raises troubling questions about the paper’s ethics, especially considering its ties to the Koch Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity foundation.

In other media policy-related news:

  • Truthout has launched a new column, Ladydrawers, which addresses gender bias in comic book.
  • New America Media reports on controversial Pulitzer-winning-journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who recently revealed his illegal immigrant status.

Farewell, fondly

This week’s blog marks the final edition of the Wavelength, which started last March—right around the time AT&T announced its proposed $39 Billion merger with T-Mobile.

Over the past four months, the implications of the proposed mega-merger have reverberated through both the Beltway and the blogosphere, dominating much of the reportage around media policy. Other top stories included the Microsoft-Skype merger; the outcry over the latest instance of the FCC’s infamous “revolving door”; the ongoing debate over Net Neutrality; and a growing concern over privacy issues with regard to popular social media websites and mobile phones.

We’ve also taken a look at the state of media with regards to freedom of the press, independent journalism and censorship, both in the U.S. and abroad. While this picture has often been depressing – especially when detailing the connections between right-wing media, conservative political agendas, and corporate influence — there’s also plenty of reason for optimism and hope. Bright spots include the potential of alternatives to mainstream media like Low-Power TV to become a home for digital diversity; the ongoing exposes of WikiLeaks; the role of social media in Arab Spring; and reports of new collaborative efforts between international press outlets reporting on corruption and violence in foreign countries.

As we wrap up the Wavelength, we’d like to give a big shout-out goes out to the Media Consortium member organizations who released informative and revealing reporting week after week. As the Murdoch scandal illustrates, this coverage is invaluable, since the notion of “fair and balanced” journalism practiced by Fox News, the WSJ, and other mainstream outlets appears to be as much a hoax as the false hope perpetuated by NoTW that Dowler was still alive.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about media policy and media-related matters by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. To read more of the Wavelength, click here. You can also follow us on Twitter.

The Wavelength: FCC Decries Lack of Media Diversity, Stymies Low Power TV

Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 3:16 pm by
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Creative Commons, Flickr, Roxeteerby Eric K. Arnold, Media Consortium blogger

Local coverage and diversity are in short supply in today’s media landscape–especially when it comes to broadcast and cable TV. But there is hope. In markets like the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, Low Power TV (LPTV) has emerged as a viable alternative to network and cable TV, offering 24-hour programming and locally-produced news shows for ethnic communities in their own languages.

While LPTV offers incredible opportunities for ethnic communities, as I reported here and here for New America Media, these stations face considerable challenges, including an unfriendly regulatory landscape and the weighty influence of the big-bucks telecommunications industry, which just wants LPTV to go away so it can claim the full digital spectrum.

Moreover, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers LPTV a secondary service with no legal protection from interference or displacement by broadcasters – which makes it difficult, if not impossible, for LPTV to thrive, since its future is uncertain.

Localism Lacking, FCC Study Says

Ironically, the very same FCC that is preventing LPTV from gaining a stronger foothold recently issued a report, titled “The Information Needs of Communities,” which lays out how localism has suffered from media consolidation. In her analysis of the FCC study, Truthout’s Nadia Prupis found that “Local journalism has not been able to keep up with a changing media landscape, leading to a significant drop in quality in-depth reporting.”

Shared News is Bad News for Localism

Futhermore, according to Free Press, a nonpartisan media advocacy group, “Across the country, hundreds of TV stations have quietly merged newsrooms, circumventing the Federal Communications Commission’s media ownership limits at the expense of independent, local journalism.” As noted in the FCC study, almost one-third of local news airing on full-power TV stations is actually produced by other stations. According to Free Press, there are nearly 80 markets “where these deals are in place, involving more than 200 stations.”

Free Press’ newest campaign, “Change the Channels,” includes an interactive map highlighting eight markets where this practice is especially egregious.

Echoing Corporate Media-Speak

AlterNet’s Don Hazen spotlights products of the right-wing echo chamber—and how those messages impact public conversations. Hazen gives two examples: “The first message is: ‘We must raise the retirement age or the economy will collapse.’ And two: ‘Social security is bankrupt.’ These two statements have been repeated thousands of times in and on American media. Yet there is not one scintilla of evidence that either one is accurate. But they have lodged themselves into the mainstream of American thought, constantly repeated by corporate media, as if they are obvious truths.”

The men behind the curtain are the Koch brothers, conservative billionaires who have usurped America’s political agenda by using the media as an echo chamber – themes that are explored in a new documentary produced by Brave New Films.

More Scrutiny For AT&T Merger

State agencies are increasingly concerned about the potential harm the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger would wreak on consumers. As Public News Service’s Mark Scheerer writes, “In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, New York’s Public Service Commission (PSC) has asked the government to ‘carefully evaluate’ whether it will harm the public interest by stifling competition.”

A PSC spokesman says this is a “significant” concern to the agency.

Less competition, Scheerer explains, “could lead to higher rates or a lack of incentive to improve wireless broadband service.” The article also notes that the merger is under investigation in three states, including New York.

Merger Supporters Paid Off With Corporate Cash

AlterNet’s David Rosen and Bruce Kushnick analyze GLAADgate, which erupted after GLAAD’s president Jarrett Barrios was forced to resign after signing a statement of GLAAD’s support for the AT&T/T-Mobile deal with the FCC despite GLAAD’s board voicing opposition to the merger. After the statement was released, it was revealed that AT&T contributed $50,000 to GLAAD in what’s looking like a quid pro quo.

But that’s just the tip of the cash-for-shills iceberg. Rosen and Kushnick note that AT&T has leveraged more than 300 nonprofit groups, including “labor unions, trade associations, state and local politicians, and private corporations” into supporting the merger. These groups include the American Foundation for the Blind, National Conference of Black Mayors, National Puerto Rican Coalition, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Communications Workers of America and the AFL-CIO. The NAACP, for instance, received over $1 million from AT&T in 2009 alone.

AT&T can do this because they have “deep pockets,” as Rosen and Kushnick explain:

In 2009, the AT&T Foundation doled out over $60 million to nonprofits and other causes.  In addition, in 2010, AT&T paid out nearly $20 million to influence the political process and legislative decisions; it contributed $3.7 million to America’s two major political parties (56% to Republicans) and another $15.4 million to lobbying activities.  During the first three months of 2011, AT&T spent $6.8 million on lobbyists and in to lawyers related to the T-Mobile deal.

But, Rosen and Kushnick write, a larger question remains: by taking AT&T’s cash, and then singing the company’s praises, are these organizations violating guidelines which state a tax-exempt entity “may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities”?

Is Facebook Censoring Political Speech?

Social media network Facebook has been widely praised for its role in Arab Spring—the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt that have brought political change to the Middle East—but it may be engaging in censorship in the United Kingdom.

As Mother Jones’ Nick Baumann reports, “Labor unions and student activists in the United Kingdom are organizing a massive strike of public workers to protest cuts planned by Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative-led government. They’re hoping to draw tens or even hundreds of thousands of supporters into the streets to join the workers in an across-the-pond version of the Wisconsin demonstrations that captured national attention in March.

“But over the past few days, as activists worked to promote their plan, they ran into a problem: Facebook… was blocking the strike organizers’ website, www.j30strike.org.”

Facebook has since responded with an official “oops, we didn’t mean it.” But, as Baumann points out, “as an increasingly important means of communication and social and political organizing, it’s important—for Facebook and its users—that the company be seen as a neutral party in debates over political issues.”

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about media policy and media-related matters by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. To read more of the Wavelength, click here. You can also follow us on Twitter.