Media Reformers Mold Memphis Meeting


Free Press is firming up its agenda for the more than 100 workshops and speeches at the January 12-14 media reform conference in Memphis and headliners include Bill Moyers, Jane Fonda, Phil Donahue, Jessie Jackson, Geena Davis, and Helen Thomas.

Moyers delivered a stem-winder as the keynoter of the 2003 conference, in which he rallied the troops to fight against consolidation and called the battle against deregulation a "struggle for the soul of Democracy."

Also on the bill are Democratic FCC Commissioners and veteran consolidation critics Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, and both are past participants in the conference.

Tennessee has become something of the new home for media ownership debate. Nashville this week hosted the FCC's second of six public hearings on its review of ownership rules.

Among the sessions, according to Free Press, are:

· “Inside Corporate Media: Can it Tell the Truth?” - a panel moderated by Phil Donahue featuring Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News, MSNBC commentator Flavia Colgan, author and media critic Jeff Cohen and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington.

· “Media Policy is a Civil Rights Issue” with former FCC Commissioner and NAACP Executive Director Ben Hooks, Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, Mark Lloyd of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and others.

· A panel on hip-hop activism with Davey D of KPFA-FM, Rosa Clemente of R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop, Detroit hip-hop artist Ilana “Invincible” Weaver, San Diego’s Brotha Los, Adrienne Maree Brown of the Ruckus Society and Youth Media Council’s Malkia Cyril.

· “The Press at War and the War on the Press” featuring famed White House correspondent Helen Thomas, media critic Eric Boehlert, Sonali Kolhatkar of the Afghan Women’s Mission and Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

· “Watchdogging the Media” with David Brock of Media Matters for America, Janine Jackson of FAIR, media critic Norman Solomon and radio host Laura Flanders.

· A look at the new media landscape with Dan Gillmor from the Center for Citizen Media, Jay Rosen of New York University, Afro-Netizen’s Chris Rabb, Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation and Chris Nolan of

For a  full--although preliminary--agenda, click here.