Legendary Journalist Electrifies Packed Crowd at National Conference for Media Reform

Contact Info: 
Jen Howard, Free Press, (703) 517-6273 (in Minneapolis) Craig Aaron, Free Press, (202) 441-9983 (in Minneapolis)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Today, legendary journalist Bill Moyers electrified an audience of more than 3,500 in Minneapolis, calling the media reform movement "the most significant citizens' movement to emerge in this new century."

Watch Bill Moyers' keynote speech: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y0r71L7cojE

Moyers was speaking at the National Conference for Media Reform, an event that brought together thousands of people dedicated to making America's media system more democratic, diverse and accountable.

Addressing the packed auditorium, Moyers said the work of the media reform movement has "challenged the stranglehold of mega-media corporations over our press" and fostered "alternative and independent sources of news and information that people can trust."

Moyers cited the recent exposés about government propaganda in mainstream media as a symptom of "journalism in profound crisis."

"You couldn't find a more revealing measure of the state of the dominant media today than the continuing ubiquitous presence -- on the air and in print -- of the very pundits and experts, self-selected 'message multipliers' of a disastrous foreign policy, who got it all wrong in the first place," he said.

At the root of this crisis, Moyers said, is media consolidation.

"As conglomerates swallow up newspapers, magazines, publishing houses and broadcast outlets, news organizations are folded into entertainment divisions. The news hole in the print media shrinks to make room for ads, celebrities, nonsense and propaganda, and the news we need to know slips from sight."

The complete transcript of Bill Moyers' remarks will be available early next week on the Free Press Web site (www.freepress.net)

Tonight, an action-packed plenary will begin streaming live at 8 p.m. at http://www.freepress.net/conference. Emceed by Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, and Baratunde Thurston of Laughing Liberally, the exciting line-up for the evening includes:

Dan Rather, former anchor, CBS News
Arianna Huffington, HuffingtonPost.com
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.)
Michael Copps, FCC commissioner
Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine
Tim Wu, Columbia University law professor
Rev. Romal Tune, Clergy Strategic Alliances
Silvia Rivera, Radio Arte
Shá Cage, MN Spoken Word Association

This year's National Conference for Media Reform builds upon the success of previous events in Memphis in 2007, St. Louis in 2005 and Madison, Wis., in 2003.

Full coverage of the conference -- including video of keynote speeches and audio from more than 60 panels -- is available during and after the event at http://www.freepress.net/conference/tune_in.

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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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