It’s off to St. Louis for the National Conference for Media Reform. Things will be quiet here till next week, so I suggest clicking over to the Be the Media! blog where several of us attendees will be collectively chronicling thoughts. The action has already begun to flow, which is a good sign. I will do my best to satisfy the ear with daily summary pieces and, hopefully, oodles of raw audio enjoyment.
In preparation for the second National Conference for Media Reform, the Be the Media! blog is back online. The blog served as a venue which provided attendees of the first NCMR a chance to report critically on the proceedings. The 2003 Be the Media! blog archives have been re-established (though all the comments were lost, sorry).
Although I may be biased, I think the blog did a better job of covering the ’03 proceedings than any of the mainstream media reportage that surfaced, although it was kind of a last-minute project and admittedly catch-as-catch-can. This time around it would be great to have more attendees participating: if you’re going to NCMR ’05 and would like to help create an independent archive of coverage about it, contact Paul@Mediageek for details.
Looks like a busy May and June, for sure. The same week of the National Conference for Media Reform there will be two other events: Can Freedom of the Press Survive Media Consolidation? will be held May 10-11 on the U of I campus and features a progressive mega-star-studded lineup of speakers and the like. This event is free and open to all.
On the day before the NCMR starts in St. Louis, scads of academics will be stuffed into a single room to form the Academic Brain Trust, the goal of which is to build “an organization that will encourage and mobilize academic talent and resources to the cause of increasing informed public participation in the media policymaking process.”
Tom Compagnoni first dropped the world-leaders-as-rappers tip last year with WMD…and other distractions. He’s back (with crew) as Wax Audio, featuring a new album, Mediacracy. It’s a broader sonic critique of the geopolitical follies of the last couple of years, with special attention given to the media’s role in them. Not as much rapping, save GWB’s cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” which is a feat in and of itself. Several of the cuts will eventually make their way into Truthful Translations this week but you can get ’em direct at a better bitrate from the link above.
Last week REC Networks released a comprehensive report on all LPFM stations which face interference, displacement, and the varying degrees of signal encroachment in between from full-power FM stations. The report runs 110 pages. REC’s also been keeping a close eye on the DTV transition, and reports that of all of the stations currently broadcasting on Channel 6, only five have requested to stay on their analog channel past the transition cutoff date (to be determined).
Got some reliable information on the political situation in D.C. It seems that the National Association of Broadcasters is busy fighting bigger problems, like losing its request that all DTV channels be carried on cable, and the indecency hot potato, and others. At the LPFM Day not so long ago a new LPFM rulemaking was hinted at. Perhaps this can accomplish at the agency level what the Local Community Radio Act of 2005 is trying to do. There’s definitely a better chance of expanding LPFM at the FCC level, especially while the NAB’s playing defense on the legislative front. I think the folks at NPR are mature enough to see that it’s time to cede the issue.