National Conference Spotlights Open Internet Debate

Lawrence Lessig, Tim Wu, Sen. Byron Dorgan, FCC Commissioners featured at the National Conference for Media Reform, June 6-8
Contact Info: 
Jen Howard, Free Press, (202) 265-1490, x22 or (703) 517-6273 (cell)

MINNEAPOLIS -- At the National Conference for Media Reform, hosted by Free Press on June 6-8 in Minneapolis, a distinguished series of speakers and panels will stress the need for open Internet policies that bring affordable, high-speed access to everyone.

"We're at an important point in the history of the media -- a point where the decentralized Internet and the centralized media are finally meeting head on," said Tim Wu, Columbia Law professor and chair of the Free Press board of directors. "This conference is part of a movement to make sure that this time around the public interest is preserved."

The three-day event will include nearly 75 panels, workshops and films -- plus keynote speeches and appearances from policymakers and technology experts like Lawrence Lessig of Stanford Law, Craig Newmark of craigslist, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, and many more.

Among the Internet-related session highlights for the National Conference for Media Reform:

Other notable speakers throughout the weekend will include legendary PBS journalist Bill Moyers, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, and former talk-show host Phil Donahue.

Full coverage of the 2008 National Conference for Media Reform -- including streaming video, audio of all sessions, and regular blog updates -- will be available during and after the conference at http://www.freepress.net/conference.

The National Conference for Media Reform comes as policymakers in Washington face critical policy decisions that will shape the future of the Internet. Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate that would help preserve Net Neutrality -- the longstanding principle that prevents cable and phone companies from blocking users' access to Internet content. And the FCC is investigating Comcast for allegations that the cable giant is blocking Internet traffic over its network.

"Unprecedented public participation in the debate over the future of the Internet has had a huge impact -- but the fight isn't over," said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press. "At the National Conference for Media Reform, we will arm ourselves for the battle ahead when phone and cable lobbyists renew their efforts to shut down the open Internet."

Press credentials for the National Conference for Media Reform are available to members of the media who will be covering the event. Request press credentials by filling out the online application: http://www.freepress.net/conference.

Many conference speakers, media policy experts and the event planners are also available for guest appearances in advance of the conference. To schedule an interview, contact Jen Howard at press@freepress.net.

Program updates, registration information and highlights from previous conferences can be found at www.freepress.net/conference.

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net.

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