Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Danny Schechter on the St. Louis Media Reform conference

Danny Schechter will be attending the Free Press Media Reform conference this weekend in St. Louis, MO. (Showing WMD, a great film, and WMD" and on the "Creating a Media Democracy Act" panel Saturday afternoon.)

Below is an excerpt of an article he's written on the conference that Martha e-mailed yesterday.
(My apologies to Martha for the delay in this going up.) It's entitled "The Media Reformers Are Coming to Town:"

Mass media had then yet to totally dominate our culture although we have had experiences with the yellow journalism of William Randolph Hearst and, yes, the man that endowed journalism's primo prize, Joseph Pulitzer. Pulitzer founded his national newspaper company in St Louis in 1878.

No one then could have imagined how thoroughly Big Media would affect and infect our political life.

Media has now become a key issue in this new century.

The river town always had a rich media culture, The state's favorite son and one of this country's great writers, Mark Twain, wrote for the St. LouisPost-Dispatch. In 1881, he published a letter he wrote President Garfield to support anti-slavery crusader Frederick Douglass for a public office. He later led the anti-imperialism league against that Vietnam-before-Vietnam, the U.S. war on the Philippines.
It is a town with its own feisty Journalism Review which reports this month: "A new set of rules at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on alcohol and drug use on the job is aimed at curbing a longtime hazard for both employees and the company. But some employees say the rules, which call for searches and forced drug testing, is a violation of their civil rights."

I am sure the media activists responding to Free Press's call for a second national Media Reform Conference will leave their drugs at home because the assemblage of so many activists and "big names" in media criticism in one place will produce its own high.

Your news dissector will be on hand reporting for MediaChannel.org, showing "WMD" and participatingon a panel ("Creating a Media Democracy Act," Saturdayat 2PM).

In the weeks ahead, MediaChannel will feature diverse comments on the media battle.

For those keeping track, that's Amy Goodman, Laura Flanders, Robert McChesney, Victor S. Navasky and Danny Schechter (among others) that will be attending the conference.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.