Attention fellow media, arts, technology, and culture junkies!
This April, Boston will host the fifth annual National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR), where over 2500 people will gather to collaborate on a new vision for our media system.
For three days, NCMR participants will explore the future of journalism and public media, consider how technology is changing the world, look at the policies and politics shaping our media, and discuss strategies to build the movement for better media.
While the full program schedule won't be available until late March, it promises to include include live musical performances, film screenings and over 50 interactive sessions about journalism and public media, technology and innovation, policy and politics, arts and culture, social justice and movement building, plus hands-on workshops and how-to trainings.
I'm particularly interested in the "Media Makers, Culture, and the Arts" track, which will explore music, art, film and other creative media, showcasing inspiring projects, examining how media and technology are affecting our culture, and connecting the arts to media policy and politics.
Here's a sneak peek of the event:
NCMR is the brainchild of the non-profit organization Free Press, which is dedicated to making media reform a bona fide political issue in America. Through education and advocacy they promote independent media ownership, strong public media, quality journalism, and universal access to communications. From their web site:
Our media system is in a crisis.
The takeover of our country's media outlets by a small handful of giant conglomerates puts too much power and influence in too few hands. That's bad for our democracy, which depends on our ability to access diverse sources of news, information and opinion.
Our media is in trouble in other ways, too.
The big cable and phone companies that control access to the Internet want to be gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites and services you can use depending on which companies have paid them the most. They want to turn the open Internet we've always had into a closed, private toll road.
And public broadcasting, one of our most valuable public resources, is under constant threat in Washington by those who would cripple alternatives to the commercial media and muzzle the critical voices and diverse fare that public media offer.
It's up to us to change the media. The way we do that is by changing media policies.
NCMR 2011 takes place April 8-10, 2011 at the Seaport World Trade Center. About 2,500 people are expected to attend, so get your tickets now! Early bird registration is available through January 28th at $125; regular registration is $175.
Hope to see you there!