Blog Archive - March 2012

Resistance is in the Airwaves: By Any Media Necessary

By Betty Yu, Center for Media Justice / Reposted from

As I wind down my adventures at the South By Southwest’s (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas this week, I reflect on the fact that the most powerful and poignant moments  didn’t actually take place in halls of the Convention Center.  The Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net)Brown Paper Tickets, and Prometheus Radio Project co-hosted a Sunday brunch with a half a dozen local groups located in and around Austin who were interested in taking advantage of a once in the lifetime opportunity to start a Lower Power radio station thanks to the Local Community Radio Act that was passed back in December 2010.  Prometheus Radio Project led a 10-year grassroots fight to win the Local Community Radio Act. The new law mandates the government to expand the Low Power FM (LPFM) service, creating the potential for thousands of new community based organizations to start radio station across the country, including availability for the first time in big cities!

March's Digital Dialogue: A Conversation about the Role of Arts and Culture in Movement Building

Listen Now! 

"A Dialogue about the Role of Arts and Culture in Movement Building"

Cook County phone contract costs inmates and families

by Rob Wildeboer, WBEZ 91.5
Inmates in the Cook County Jail have to pay severely inflated rates when they make phone calls from the jail. That's because Cook County has a contract that requires the phone company to pay almost 60 percent of what it makes from phone calls back to the county.  It's a subject we started looking at yesterday and if you missed that story you can hear what kind of impact the policy is having on poor families by clicking here.

Want to Start a Radio Station? We Want to Help!

By Steven Renderos, Center for Media Justice

We now have the opportunity of a lifetime to empower our communities through radio. The Federal Communications Commission has just voted to clear the airwaves and expand community radio across the U.S.! This is our chance to own media that reflects our voices, culture, and stories.

The time is now to take back our the airwaves, SIGN UP NOW to start your own radio station!

MAG-Net Presente at 2012 SXSW!

MAG-Net members attended this year's South By Southwest, hosting a LPFM Community Radio Brunch with Brown Paper Tickets and Prometheus Radio Project and a Media Mixer with Free Press and Allied Media Projects.  In addition Andrea Quijada of MAG-Net Anchor, Media Literacy Project presented on a panel about Mega-Mergers and the Future of the Internet.  Check out the Photos!

Megan Sheehan, Vermont Workers' Center, "VWC at the Left Forum this Weekend!"

The Vermont Workers' Center is really excited to participate in the Left Forum. We're sending a six person delegation down to New York, and we are participating in three panels. The first panel will be a reflection of our work as part of a collaboration with United Workers, the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, the Media Mobilizing Project, the United Taxi Workers Alliance PA and the Poverty Initiative to build a model of statewide organizing that has key components of using a human rights framework, direct organizing, media, leadership development, and political education. It's really exciting to be able to highlight our work with these other organizations, and talk about how we are building a replicable organizing model that can build up to a national movement. 

Christopher Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, on Community Access to Broadband and MAG-Net

The Telecommunications as Commons Initiative is a part of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Our work focuses on ensuring that communities have affordable, reliable, and fast access to the Internet via broadband networks that are directly accountable to the community.   ILSR has been helping communities to be independent for over 37 years but our broadband work is a little over seven years old.

Welcome our three new MAG-Net Anchors!

Today The Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) announced the addition of three new anchor-members.  The Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center will anchor the Downstate Illinois Chapter- MAG-Net also has a Chicago Chapter in the state.  Highlander Research & Education Center and Art is Change will serve as co-anchors of the Southeast Regional Chapter.  The addition of these three anchors expands the fast growing network of grassroots community organizations working across the country for media change to end poverty, eliminate racism, and ensure human rights.  

In Kentucky, Rural Access to Basic Phone Service Threatened by Telecom-Backed Bill

By Cheryl Leanza, Consultant for Progressive States Network 

Should the phone company be required to offer basic phone service to a state’s rural residents? That’s the question currently being considered by a committee in Kentucky’s State Senate.

The National Rural Assembly released a letter this week expressing concerns about the bill, SB 135, arguing that it “threatens access to what most consider a basic lifeline, including 911-emergency service, for Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens.”