Saturday, January 13, 2007

Media Reform Conference in Memphis

It may be called "public ariwaves" but the place most likely to be the source of "public views and opinons" is not on radio, television or newspapers -- it's on the internet.

This weekend in Memphis the National Conference on Media Reform is presenting a large amount of information and discussion about all types of media and what the public can do to demand a less corporate hold of "public airwaves". I hear it so often -- the public owns the nation's "airwaves", but do they really?

Newscoma is blogging live from the event with information and lots of pictures, and more info can be found here at Liberadio:

And what do the American people - who own the public airwaves, by the way - get in return? Too little news, too much baloney passed off as news. Too little quality entertainment, too many people eating bugs on reality TV. Too little local and regional music, too much brain-numbing national play-lists. Too little of America, too much of Wall Street and Madison Avenue. That’s what we get for half a trillion dollars. It’s one hell of a bad bargain, don’t you think?"


  1. Cynemonkey4:20 AM

    Since most media is (are?) driven by capitalistic success, measured by various ratings systems, I think the Public are (is?) getting exactly what they deserve.
    A wise man I know once said, "People are no damned good." And their news & entertainment choices reflect that.

  2. Some wisdom in that quote, yes.

    On the other hand, let's be honest and admit the "ratings" are hardly a scientific or accurate reading of viewership. For both radio and television, the systems in place are devised to provide support to the shows/programming which the stations are devoted.

    As for capitalistic success - if choices of programming offered the public are limited to a handful of programming types, or, if like XM or Sirius, consumers must pay fees for programs and hardware to receive it -- then "public" needs are hardly a consideration.

    An old argument is that if the airwaves are indeed public and a company, using those airwaves, makes enmormous profits, how are those profits shared? Paying a small annual fee to the government for using those airwaves is hardly equitable.