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Democracy and Media

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2003
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  1. Democracy and Corporate Power
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Papers
  1. -Editorial: The Need for Network Neutrality (The Nation)
      "The Stevens bill not only proposes to scuttle network neutrality rules but also undermines key policies designed to insure community influence over how broadband networks serve the public interest--including the ability of American soldiers stationed overseas to phone home." 10-06

  2. -Editorial: The Need for Progressive Mass Media (The Nation)
      "Under the radar of all but the most savvy Internet users, powerful commercial forces are rapidly creating a digital media system for the United States that threatens to undermine our ability to create a civil and just society. The takeover of YouTube by Google announced October 9 and the 2005 buyout by Rupert Murdoch of MySpace are not just about mega-deals for new media. They are the leading edge of a powerful interactive system that is being designed to serve the interests of some of the wealthiest corporations on the planet." 10-06

  3. -Press Freedom Index of 2008 (World Press)
      Provides a ranking of nations in terms of freedom of the press, with "1" being best (Iceland) and "173" being worst (Eritrea).

  4. Democracy, Media, and Deregulation (PBS.org - NOW)
      Provides stories on the effects of deregulation on building monopolies in the mass media. Also discusses how monopolies in mass media affect diversity of views. 4-03

  5. Democracy, Media, and Deregulation (ReclaimtheMedia.org - Lawson)
      "The most likely result of dropping our cross-ownership ban would not be the creation of small, geographically-focused media firms sharing resources to create high-quality, regionally accountable content. Rather, such deregulation, combined with loosened broadcast ownership caps, would throw open the door to the expansion of already-huge national networks with the market power to choke out or absorb small competitors, with programming decisions emitted from centralized headquarters. (Imagine a faintly localized version of USA Today being the only newspaper and CNN the only TV or radio broadcast news source available to a community)." 4-03

  6. Editorial - Marginalization of Grassroots Activism (Alternet.org)
      "This year’s presidential campaign has already provided many reasons to bemoan the state of American journalism. Here’s one more: the marginalization of grassroots activism."

      "This marginalization is caused by two reasons. One, the media does not cover instances of popular political expression, including demonstrations, issue-based activism and other organizing outside of the two-party system. Or, if these activities are covered, they are presented as spectacles – not as an integral part of our ongoing democratic dialogue." 9-04

  7. Editorial - Missing: Media Focus on the Supreme Court (Fair.org - Solomon)
      "Though Bush and Kerry are inclined to understate the importance of potential new Supreme Court picks as they try to attract swing voters, Professor Dorf is unequivocal: 'A Bush victory will greatly increase the likelihood that Congress and the state legislatures will be able to ban most abortions at some point in the next four years. In contrast, a Kerry victory will almost surely preserve the status quo of legal abortion prior to the third trimester of pregnancy.' "

      "Already, Bush's impacts on the judiciary have been appreciable. Like the members of the Supreme Court, the federal judges on appeals and district court benches are appointed for life -- and in less than four years, Bush has chosen almost a quarter of all those judges nationwide." 9-04

  8. Editorial: Pack Journalism Seen from Two Sides, Darkly (Christian Science Monitor)
      "It's called a 'teachable moment,' when something in real life provides a connection to lessons in the classroom. On Oct. 21, I got a horrific 'teachable moment,' when one of my journalism students at Emerson College in Boston, Victoria Snelgrove, became headline fodder. She was killed that day - a victim of police violence during Red Sox playoff victory crowd control. The tragedy of her death was exacerbated by the news media she once sought to be a part of." 9-04

  9. Editorial: Radical Right Successful in Undermining Independence of Public Broadcasting (DemocracyNow.org - Moyers)
      "Moyers says, 'I think we're at a moment in American history that is unique. I think we are in danger of losing our democracy because of the domination, the monopoly of power being exercised by the huge economic interests, both directly and indirectly. In public broadcasting we need to get back to the revolutionary spirit of dissent and courage that brought us into existence in the first place, and this country does, too.' " 6-05

  10. Essay on Media Control and Democracy (LovePeopleNotMoney.com - Chomsky)
      ". . . Let me [Naom Chomsky] begin by counter-posing two different conceptions of democracy. One conception of democracy has it that a democratic society is one in which the public has the means to participate in some meaningful way in the management of their own affairs and the means of information are open and free. . . ."

      An alternative conception of democracy is that the public must be barred from managing of their own affairs and the means of information must be kept narrowly and rigidly controlled. That may sound like an odd conception of democracy, but it's important to understand that it is the prevailing conception. . . . " 10-03

  11. Media Control and Democracy (MediaChannel.com)
      Provides news from independent Internet sources. 1-04

  12. Media Control and Democracy (MediaChannel.com)
      Provides news from independent Internet sources. 1-04

  13. Media for Democracy (MediaforDemocracy.org)
      "Media For Democracy 2004 is a non-partisan citizens' initiative to monitor mainstream news coverage of the 2004 elections and advocate fair, democratic and issue-oriented standards of reporting. The project links voters with more than 100 independent media reform groups in a targeted campaign to prevent the types of media mistakes -- such as early, erroneous and politically biased projections -- that plagued the 2000 election." 9-04

  14. Murrow, Edward R. (Museum of Broadcast Communications)
      Provides a profile. "Edward R. Murrow is the most distinguished and renowned figure in the history of American broadcast journalism. He was a seminal force in the creation and development of electronic newsgathering as both a craft and a profession. Murrow's career began at CBS in 1935 and spanned the infancy of news and public affairs programming on radio through the ascendancy of television in the 1950s, as it eventually became the nation's most popular news medium. In 1961, Murrow left CBS to become director of the United States Information Agency for the new Kennedy administration. By that time, his peers were already referring to a 'Murrow legend and tradition' of courage, integrity, social responsibility, and journalistic excellence, emblematic of the highest ideals of both broadcast news and the television industry in general." 11-05

  15. Murrow, Edward R. (PBS.org)
      "From the opening days of World War II through his death in 1965, Murrow had an unparalleled influence on broadcast journalism. His voice was universally recognized, and a generation of radio and television newsmen emulated his style. Murrow's pioneering television documentaries have more than once been credited with changing history, and to this day his name is synonymous with courage and perseverance in the search for truth."

      "His belief in journalism as an active part of the political process and a necessary tool within democracy has forever altered the politics and everyday life of the American people." 11-05

  16. Promoting an "Especially Bad War" (CBS News - Rooney)
      "The word makes it sound as though we're just a few countries short of having the whole world on our side, and that isn't true. Most of the world is against us. The Administration says 49 countries are part of the coalition. I see that Eritrea, Uganda and Iceland are on our side."

      "The fact is, though, we're in this thing with the British, who have 45,000 soldiers there, and the Australians, who have 2,000. That's it. The other 46 wish us well or let us fly bombers over their country. Big deal."

      "We've practically bribed some of them. We offered Turkey $15 billion to let our troops go through there but they refused. President Bush won't be sending the president of Turkey anything for his birthday this year." 4-03

  17. Radio's Media Mess (Salon.com - Boehlert)
      According to the essay, deregulation in radio has caused such a mess by consolidating power into one company, that it is creating barriers to deregulation of other broadcast media. 4-03

  18. Reporting the War - Embedding Reporters (National Review - Owens)
      "For my money the program of embedding reporters is going pretty well." 4-03

  19. Who Owns What in the Media (PBS.org)
      "Examine the charts breaking down what each of the five U.S. media giants now control (as of February 2001)." 4-03

Projects
  1. Backpack Journalism (PBS.org)
      "Today, the tools for reporting are available to many and can fit in a backpack: a video camera, portable editing software, a laptop, and an Internet connection. The era of the citizen reporter is here and it is revolutionizing news reporting." 07-09

  2. Promoting Political Discourse (CommonCause.org)
      Provides a toolkit for working to improve discourse and views available from the public airwaves in the period before the election. Presented by the Public Interest Public Airwaves Coalition. 9-04


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