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BOSTON -- More than 2,500 grassroots activists, policymakers, journalists and scholars from across the country streamed into the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston Friday for the National Conference for Media Reform, and tens of thousands more joined in through satellite TV and online through Twitter, Facebook and the Web. The landmark event, hosted by Free Press, is the largest of its kind devoted to media, technology and democracy.

“There’s no other event like the National Conference for Media Reform, and this year is our biggest and best yet,” said Craig Aaron, incoming president and CEO of Free Press. “Nowhere else will you find so many creative people, committed activists and new ideas about the future of media and technology all in one place. The media system we have isn’t the only option. Better media start here in Boston.”

The 2011 National Conference for Media Reform is the fifth event of its kind since Free Press started in 2003.

“This weekend, Boston is the hub of the media reform universe,” Aaron said. “It’s important to recognize that while decisions are being made in Washington right now that will shape the free and open Internet, the future of journalism and the health of our democracy, we are here now to listen to and interact with the thousands of people from across the country committed to creating better media in their communities.”

For people who couldn’t make the trip to Boston, there is live Internet streaming of many sessions, online chats and opportunities to participate through Twitter and Facebook. Democracy Now! and Free Speech TV are also on-site broadcasting live to viewers worldwide.

NCMR 2011 showcases more than 350 presenters including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders; U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle and Donna Edwards; FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn; former White House technology adviser Susan Crawford; Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz; Craig Newmark of craigslist; PBS President Paula Kerger; Frontline Executive Producer David Fanning; Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now!; journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Flanders, Katrina vanden Heuvel and David Shuster; Tony Award-winning playwright and performer Sarah Jones; musician Erin McKeown; ex-ABC news anchor Carole Simpson; Cheezburger Network founder Beh Huh; Internet scholars Lawrence Lessig, Tim Wu and Jonathan Zittrain; activists Malkia Cyril and Rinku Sen; Free Press co-founders Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols; and many more.

The conference also features live musical performances, film screenings and more than 80 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.

To participate online, go to

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