It’s hard not to get frustrated and angry over the corporate control of media in this country (i.e., Clear Channel), but it’s also becoming easier to fight back. This three-day conference, subtitled “Uniting to Take Back the Media,” is proof that fewer people are willing to sit idly by while their democratic values are traded for greenbacks. Bringing together hundreds of activists, scholars, artists, and journalists, and offering more than 60 panels and workshops by over 40 local organizations, this massive event aims to strengthen networks within the independent media community, educate people on various ways to get involved, and develop more effective techniques to accomplish these shared goals.
Among the many highlights: Carrie McLaren of Stay Free! magazine moderates a panel discussion entitled “Culture Jamming 101”; members of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers present “Why They Are Called Public Servants: An Information Session About Talking to Your Representatives and Senators on Media Issues That Affect You”; and Jamie McLelland of Paper Tiger TV offers “Looking at Racism and the Role of White Activists in Alternative Media.” Proceeds will be used to organize future events like this one and to fund independent groups covering the 2004 Republican National Convention this August in New York.