National Conference for Media Reform 2008 Wrap-up
I’m not back in Seattle after attending the Free Press National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis, MN this past weekend.
There were lots of interesting panels and compelling speakers, my favorite of which being:
- How Independent Media Creates Change, which featured my friend and Brave New Films founder, Robert Greenwald.
- Power in Your Pocket: Cell Phones and Social Change, which I loved because it talked about how cell phone technology can be used as an organizing tool.
- News for the People: Can Black Radio provide the News we need? because it featured my friend and mentor Bruce Dixon‘ along with the brilliant Dr. Jared Ball.
But the most valuable part of the conference was the opportunity to meet so many great people in the hallways, at the parties, and around the city. I met folks I’d only worked with online, and others for the first time. These people I met and interacted with for the first time in person included:
- Friend and fellow Black blogger Baratunde
- Black blogging pioneer Chris Rabb of Afro-Netizen
- Veteran activist and writer Bruce Dixon
- Feminist blogger Samhita Mukopadhyay of Feministing
- Freelance journalist Kristal Brent Zook
- Award-winning journalist George Curry
- Popular liberal blogger Atrios
- Many, many more…
I also was on a panel Sunday morning called Where We’ll Take It: Young Leaders on the Future of Media. I was on the panel with Jenny Lee from Detroit Summer and 2 other young activists (I was actually the oldest member of the panel). It was a very passionate discussion, and one that was extremely well received by the large audience that attended. I spoke mainly on the importance of localization and new media focusing more on local news and stories, as well as the rise of Black activism online. As soon as Free Press sends me the audio and the video, I’ll put it up on the site. (UPDATE: The audio is here.)
I enjoyed myself, I enjoyed my panel, and I enjoyed interacting with all of the great people I met. This conference has great energy, even better than last year’s. Though it still has a long way to go as far as having more people of color in attendance, they better on that than they did last year as well. All in all, this was a definite step in the right direction.
Throughout the coming year, I’ll be doing more media reform work with Free Press, and I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
One Love. One II.