Chicago’s Local Broadcasters Speak Up

Local and independent broadcasters around Chicago are speaking up as the date of the fifth FCC hearing on media ownership draws near. The Sept. 20 public hearing will be an important chance for local media outlets to raise their voice about the vital role they play in their communities. They are eager to highlight the ways in which independent radio, TV and newspapers consistently serve the public interest, while Big Media turns its back on local communities. Continue reading


Big Media Don’t Reflect the Diversity of Chicago

Last month, the Media Management Center at Northwestern University published an in-depth study of Chicago’s local TV news experience. While designed to help station managers build their audience, the report offers some important insight on how well the big five TV stations are serving the public.

Click here to learn more about the study

With the Sept. 20 FCC media ownership hearing swiftly approaching, the findings in this report are an important reminder of the ways Big Media leave local communities underserved and under-represented. Continue reading

Murdoch’s Media March

More than half a century after taking over his father’s Australian media business, Rupert Murdoch has built a media empire with unparalleled reach. But his ability to grow his holdings has been aided every step of the way by big money and bad policies.

A brief look at Murdoch’s march towards media consolidation highlights the ways in which he has consistently bent the rules, broken the law or simply made up new policies to build his media empire and get what he wants. It also offers a glimpse of where he might take the Wall Street Journal in the future. Continue reading

Online Videos Respond to Murdoch’s Deal

Some of the most compelling responses to the news of Rupert Murdoch’s deal to buy the Wall Street Journal and parent company Dow Jones have come from the online videos flooding YouTube and other video sites. Bloggers, documentary makers, activists and concerned citizens are using the emerging online video medium to start a public debate on Murdoch’s takeover in a way that was nearly impossible just a few years ago.

Below are just a few examples: Continue reading

Taking the Lead

In the fight against infotainment, news anchors are starting to take the lead.

Tired of having their work watered down by celebrity scandals and other gossip being passed off as legitimate news, these reporters are pushing back against the bland “infotainment” that fills our airwaves.

First it was Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC, who tried to burn her producer’s notes on Paris Hilton on live television, and then when she was told to lead with the story again, fed the notes through a shredder. As of this writing, just under a month later, the YouTube video of Brzezinski’s protest has been viewed 2,942,320 times. Continue reading

A Good Deal for Murdoch, A Bad Deal for Democracy

Originally posted at Stop Big Media on July 17, 2007. View the original post here

This morning the Wall Street Journal reported that News Corp. has reached a tentative deal to buy Dow Jones. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has led the media consolidation charge, buying up prime media properties, homogenizing content, and spinning the news to serve his business interests and personal ideology. Now one of America’s most widely read and respected financial journals may be about to get the Murdoch treatment. Continue reading

Eating Well While Doing Good

Originally posted at Kitchen Dancing on September 24, 2007. View original post here.

I just returned from a week of organizing in Chicago. I was working to be educate the public about media reform issues in Chicago in the lead up to the 5th of 6 FCC hearings on media ownership. This was a rare opportunity for the public to talk directly to the people who make the rules, speaking truth to power. More than 800 people attended the public hearing and more than 200 people signed up to speak.

It was an enthralling and exhausting week. Most days I worked between 12 and 16 hour days going to meetings, facilitating workshops, working with activists on turn out and helping them write their testimony. I ate when I could, and often this meant grabbing a muffin at a local coffee shop, or a sub at a mini mart. At night, when we wrapped up our various activities for the day, my colleagues and I would head out to what ever place still served food after 11pm, usually a bar of some sort, and had a late dinner of whatever we could get – often something fried. Continue reading