Skip Navigation
Get updates:

We respect your privacy

Thanks for signing up!

Madison, WI - In the wake of widespread public concern about media concentration, more than 1,300 activists, lawmakers and leaders of consumer, civil rights and labor groups from around the country began meeting here today at the National Conference on Media Reform to discuss ways to promote communications policies that better represent the public interest.

The conference, held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is organized by Free Press, a public interest group founded in 2002 by University of Illinois professor Robert McChesney and writer John Nichols. It features a keynote speech by Bill Moyers, and remarks from Al Franken, Senator Russ Feingold [D-WI], several members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and many more. The conference continues through Sunday, Nov. 9.

"The FCC's disastrous decision on media ownership was a wake-up call to citizens," McChesney said, referring to the Federal Communications Commission's June 2 move to relax rules limiting media consolidation. Nearly three million letters, emails and petitions protesting the action were sent by the public to the FCC and Capitol Hill. "The National Conference on Media Reform is about finding concrete ways that real people - not just industry insiders - can make their voices heard in crucial debates about what Americans see, read and hear."

"Media reform is an issue whose time has come," Nichols said. "The fight over ownership marks the beginning of a new movement to ensure a diverse, independent and competitive media."

In addition to the ongoing congressional battle on media ownership, the conference will be devoted to discussing issues such as low-power radio and community media; hypercommercialization and children; the media's role in political campaigns; public broadcasting; minority ownership and representation in the media; communications workers and artists; digital media and the Internet; and media concerns in international trade treaties.

The event also serves as the kick-off for the "Tell Us the Truth" concert tour, an effort by activist musicians aimed, in part, at raising public awareness about the ills of media consolidation. Tour participants Billy Bragg, Tom Morello of Audioslave and Lester Chambers of the Chambers Brothers are slated to perform in Madison tonight.

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan group that seeks to increase informed public participation in media policy and to promote a more competitive, public interest-oriented media system.

For press information on the Tell Us the Truth tour, contact Jennifer Bergman at Vandenberg Communications at 206-447-1801.

More Press Releases