In a democratic republic such as ours, the people are supposed to be sovereign over our corporate institutions. That means mass media has a responsibility to the citizenry to provide accurate and comprehensive news and analysis – they must either fulfill this responsibility or be replaced by those who will. But how will we determine these minimum standards for our local corporate TV and radio news stations and daily papers? What should this process look like? And how can communities organize themselves? In this workshop, we will:
- Discuss what minimum standards should be required from our local corporate media institutions
- Dare to contemplate that we citizens actually have the right to insist on such standards
- Envision how local residents in communities across the country could start meeting – across the ideological spectrum – to begin to identify common-ground issues
- Explore the historical and legal precedents that provide strong support for such a movement to succeed
- Begin to design creative tactics and strategies to take back our local corporate TV and radio news stations and newspapers via mass democratic action
This is a workshop lasting a minimum of one full day, and ideally 1.5 or two days and can handle as many as 25 and as few as 10 people per workshop. 12 to 20 is ideal. No previous experience or knowledge is necessary to attend.
Paul Cienfuegos has been leading this workshop since June 2003 in numerous cities and towns in California, Oregon, British Columbia, and Minnesota, as well as at the annual National Conference on Media Reform in Madison, Wisconsin, in November 2003.