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Greetings from Memphis! NCMR2007

Reported by Chrish - January 13, 2007 -

We just wanted to check in and tell you all is well here at the National Conference for Media Reform. Some of the sessions have been streamed live and more are coming tomorrow - tune in and see what the most dedicated media professionals are saying.

Judy and I sat in on a screening of Outfoxed and spoke with Robert Greenwald and audience members afterwards. It's been over a year since any of us had seen it, and it was a grim reminder of how FOX has been trying to put positive spin on the Iraq war for three years now - ss, dy. The commentary about how, in 2000, they turned from watchdogs to lapdogs was all the more telling, as we've been watching them revert to watchdogs again since the Democratic wins in November.

It was especially heartening to hear Federal Communications Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps speak passionately about taking back the airwaves and restoring their awesome power to we the people. This incredible asset, valued at half a trillion dollars, $500,000,000,000.00, has been wheeled and dealt away behind closed doors and they vow to enact tougher requirements and fees for the big corporate tenants. Copps announced plans for a new American Media Contract , which would ensure media that strengthens our democracy, diverse as we are, and available to all. This is probably the only place they are greeted like rock stars, with standing ovations and cheering!

A panel made up of Phil Donahue, Juan Gonzalez, Laura Washington, and Jeff Cohen and entitled "Inside Corporate Media: Can It Tell the Truth?" delved into the conflict between protfitability and accountability, or as Gonzalez put it, the opposition press and the commercial press. The incomparable Amy Goodman touched on the same issue this evening when she said "the fourth estate should not be for the state."

We've been pleasantly surprised to discover how many people in the media reform movement read News Hounds. We're proud to be associated with such passionate, intelligent, and patriotic activists.

More later; early wake-up call tomorrow!