Monday, May 15, 2006

EVENT: Apocalypse Soon for Public Media?
An On-line Community Discussion featuring Live Podcasting and Blogging

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
[Boston-area folks invited to be in the live audience]

Encuentro 5
33 Harrison Ave., 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
-- corner of Harrison Ave. and Beach St. in Chinatown, 3 blocks from the Boston Common --

The Community Media and Technology Program at the UMass Boston College of Public and Community Service, the Tactical Media Group, and Massachusetts Global Action are presenting a communications policy discussion and community meeting.

Partial List of Commentators:In an effort to make this discussion accessible for those interested but not able to be here in person Wednesday night, we'll ask in-person participants to blog their notes, including photos, video, and audio. To tune into these blogs/podcasts, check out the list of participant's blogs addresses (a.k.a. a blogroll) that will be available here on this blog. People are invited to send in questions ahead of time by commenting to this blog entry and we'll also be recording full video/audio of the event over the course of the evening to be available later.


Public media and the Internet are in deep trouble. We are currently seeing the emergence of the communications and media systems we will live with for the next several decades. And, as we write, there are proposals in Congress that dramatically threaten the public interest, and the potential for innovation and media justice in those emerging systems, in the US and around the world.

At stake are:

  • local control of our communications infrastructure,

  • the survival of the Internet as an open and affordable communications network [a.k.a. "net neutrality"]

  • maintaining and expanding public access to cable and other media production and distribution resources

  • our communications rights to receive and create media

  • the democratic and equitable provision of telecommunications access to low income communities and communities of color

  • the future of public service media

  • the ability of local government to assure the communications infrastructure is present to support progressive economic development.

The current debate in Congress is symptomatic of a much larger surge of social changes arising from global economic and technological shifts in communications sectors. It is no accident that just when we are seeing the media landscape tilting in the direction of communications rights, many-to-many communications, and the hope for media justice glimmering somewhere on the horizon, powerful commercial and private political interests are moving to secure the communications future for themselves. Now we are hearing about the roll back of public access to cable, slashed funding and political chicanery for public service broadcasting, privatizing the Internet, fast information lanes for the wealthy, and slow lanes for the rest of us. Hanging in the balance are crucial issues of global communications rights, media justice, democratic political and economic development around the world.

Please join our group of experienced communications and media commentators, and a live and virtual audience, for a discussion of these issues, and what can be done about the current proposals in Congress. For more information, contact Jason Pramas jpramas at

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