National Conference on Media Reform is meeting in Boston this weekend. You can follow it live here. http://conference.freepress.net/live or on Twitter #NCMR11.
The whole definition of media and what needs reforming seems a little nebulous now that the big bad mainstream media has to complete with a million voices, large and small. We're also living in a time when there are alternatives -- Weekly Dig -- to the alternative media -- The Phoenix.
Here's how the group Free Press -- a conference sponsor -- describes its goals:
What's wrong with media?Our media system is in a crisis.
The takeover of our country's media outlets by a small handful of giant conglomerates puts too much power and influence in too few hands. That's bad for our democracy, which depends on our ability to access diverse sources of news, information and opinion.
Our media is in trouble in other ways, too.
The big cable and phone companies that control access to the Internet want to be gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites and services you can use depending on which companies have paid them the most. They want to turn the open Internet we've always had into a closed, private toll road.
And public broadcasting, one of our most valuable public resources, is under constant threat in Washington by those who would cripple alternatives to the commercial media and muzzle the critical voices and diverse fare that public media offer.