The second day, Friday, I was up pretty early helping out with Free Speech TV. I ran sound in their amazing and fancy satellite truck. The opening speakers represented a solid mix of viewpoints, with Yolanda Hippensteele, Josh Silver and Robert McChesney (all of Free Press) introducing Adriene Maree Brown from Ruckus Society (who was on Democracy Now! on Friday LISTEN HERE), Lawrence Lessig of Change Congress and Rep. Keith Ellison from here in Minnesota.
In the Free Speech TV lunch room, I had the opportunity to speak with Denis Moynihan and his mom. Last month, he was featured on DN! announcing he was leaving the organization to run FSTV. I spoke with him on mic, and will feature the interview on Digital Crossroads June 13th. I didn’t ask Amy Goodman to do an interview, but she is really excited about Boise Community Radio.
After lunch I kicked it with Erin Gentry at the panel on hip hop community organizing. I hope to play audio from this event on the show, featuring Julie C from 206Zulu and Reclaim the Media, Rosa Clemente from R.E.A.C.HipHop, Shamako Noble (past guest on Crossroads) of Hip Hop Congress, JR Fleming of Coalition to Protect Housing, and Toki Wright of Yo! the Movement from here in Minneapolis.
The next panel I saw was organized by the Future of Music Coalition, looking at new music services and the music industry bottom line. It was hosted by Ann Chaitovitz, the chief at Future of Music, and featured Peter Gordon of Thirsty Ear Records. They both said they would do interviews on an upcoming show. I’m curious to follow up with Peter because he said Sound Exchange, the royalty collection agency, is not as bad as I think.
Bryan Calhoun, who does A&R and new media development for Kanye West and Ludacris talked about widgets and other tools for artist promotion. Plus, Stic.Man of DeadPrez was a surprise guest on the panel and said he was there to learn too, describing his goal as “seeing how to pimp the system even more harder.” He talked about “putting the power in your hands, and no middle man.”
The consensus on the panel is that America needs to preserve network neutrality, because e-commerce shouldn’t be controlled like the physical market. Speaking from the audience, Future of Music’s Michael Bracy said Time Warner’s proposed pay-as-you-use plan could be okay, but the key is protecting the “nondiscriminatory nature” of the web in terms of content.
At this point I went to the packed 24th floor of the Hyatt for a Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting and Institute for Public Accuracy party with free beer. Nobody seemed to have a problem drinking Coors-produced brew as long as somebody else was paying. I talked to Alexandra Peterson from Media Education Foundation and Sam Husseini from Institute for Public Accuracy.
There was an awesome party at a place called The News Room, thrown by Media & Democracy Coalition and others. The free drinks flowed and I met a lot of cool people including Nan Rubin, who is kind of a queen of grassroots radio organizing and Stan Lyles from SEIU United Health Workers West.
After catching some grub at Pancho Villa on Eat Street, I caught up with blogger and video activist Josh Wolf. He talked to me off the record about his thoughts on shield laws and his run for mayor in San Francisco. I’m hoping to interview him this weekend or very soon.
So many business cards to follow up on. Thanks Free Press! This is great!