Vlogging from Minny: the 2008 National Conference on Media Reform

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I've got one word for you.


It is so good to be amongst old friends and colleagues here at the 4th National Conference on Media Reform.

Where to start?

I've been busy "vlogging" - the video equivalent of blogging - since Wednesday's TEACH IN, and, with 3,200 people at this conference, there is so much to take in. We hope you'll visit our vlog videos here at the site - don't miss the one with the giant bear.

Working at the ACME booth in the Exhibit Hall, I've had a chance to catch up with "Dads and Daughters' "Joe Kelly (and met his wonderful wife, who founded "Blue Moon" magazine) - and visit with ACME board member Sara Voorhees, her daughter Emily, and do some listening, talking and singing in the booth. Good stuff.

Highlights (so far) for me include:

1. Free Press executive director Josh Silver's opening address.

2. Bill Moyers' always-eloquent call to arms.

3. My conversations with folks from all over the country at the ACME booth.

4. Dinner at a fabulous Greek restaurant last night.

5. Naomi Klein's 10 minutes at the forum, where she discussed the importance of analyzing the "new economy" of the permanent "military/industrial/terror complex."

6. Screening MEF's new film "Blood and Oil" - with energy security scholar Michael Klare.

I also have a few suggestions for the organizers of this remarkable conference, shared in the spirit of being so grateful to be a part of this event.

1. Limit panel presentations to no more than 3 people per ninety minute session. Six and seven person panels are simply too big, and don't allow for anyone on them to fully articulate arguments, let alone answer questions. I just watched Naomi Klein speak for ten minutes, and then have to wrap up.

2. Ensure that presenters actually speak to the issue of media reform, and don't just throw out over-generalized one liners for applause.

3. Don't lock/prohibit access to the Exhibit Hall before 9:00 am on Saturday morning - all of us have to come in and set up our stuff.

4. Give Peter Phillips of "Project Censored" at least one workshop. He brought one dozen students to this conference from Sonoma State College, submitted two workshop proposals, and was not given any time to present. Project Censored's work is vital, and Peter's voice needs to be in the mix.

That said, MANY THANKS to Josh Silver, Yolanda Hippensteele, Bob McChesney, John Nichols, and all the organizers of this remarkable event.

See you for number 5.

Free media,