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Posts Tagged ‘Hip Hop Congress’

On the third day, Saturday, I watched Bill Moyers online while waking up, and then hit the convention floor looking for interviews.

The first workshop I checked out was Campus Organizing for Media Reform, which was in fact a simple overview of how to strategize your message when doing outreach. It is amazing to me how straightforward and simple these strategies are, and I only wish I had thought about messaging this way when I started at Evergreen.

Camille Cyprian of Wellstone Action led the discussion, and offered this great rap as an example: “The internet as we know and love it is at risk! Big, private, companies want to block, filter, and discriminate who has online access. Join us and call your Senator today and demand that they support the Net Neutrality Bill, which will ensure that the internet remains accessible for all.”

According to the workshop this rap meets the criteria test for an effective message; it is credible, concise, relevant and compelling. The other key is tailoring an argument to your targeted audience, whether voters, politicians or victims of the problem faced. This net neutrality rap is strong because it addresses a problem, offers a solution, and gives a solid action. WashPIRG is considering a media literacy campaign in the 2008-2009 school year, and this basic criteria seems like it can really help student activists.

After the workshop I interviewed Sam Husseini from the Institute for Public Accuracy who asks powerful people tough questions. I also caught up with Diane Farsetta, Center for Media and Democracy, and we spoke on mic for a half hour! This audio will be featured on Digital Crossroads June 13th and June 20th.

I attended a workshop called New Media, New Models, New Journalism. The panelists were amazing. Dan Gilmour, the director of the Knight Center for Digital Media at Arizona State anchored the discussion, suggesting institutional approaches and so-called citizen journalism are both worthy of attention and investment. Linda Jue talked about the Chauncey Bailey Project in Oakland. Ellen Miller talked about the work of the Sunlight Foundation. And Marcy Wheeler of FireDogLake.com stressed the power independent journalists can have covering tough stories.

Before the end of the afternoon I spoke with Malkia Cyril from Center for Media Justice. She is a visionary who is working toward a better understanding of the structural problems of institutionalized racism we need to overcome in this movement and society at-large. Audio from our interview will air on Digital Crossroads June 13th or 20th.

After dinner with the Paper Dolls Mag ladies and Robert Kam of TCTV, I headed to the Dinkytown neighborhood for the Yo! The Movement benefit. Toki Wright and Big Quarters performed onstage with DJ Benzilla rocking wax. It was a great hip hop show, but I completely missed Shamako Noble of Hip Hop Congress and Julie C of B Girl Media.

This was a huge after-party for conference attendees and many of my favorite media activists were in the house. I talked with Katie Fleming of Common Cause and the Media & Democracy Coalition, based in Denver. They have big plans surrounding the Democratic National Convention, which I want to cover for Free Speech TV. I’m hoping to have Katie Fleming on Digital Crossroads between now and the end of August.

So then Sunday I checked in on a panel regarding FCC localism requirements and filing comments on the FCC website.

I had a chance to meet Bruce Fife, whose Portland-based coalition just received their construction permit. I told him they ought to hire or at least discuss supporting independent musicians via strategic music direction with Bryan Johnson, who not only helped shape KAOS music policy while serving as Music Director for two years, and interned at Prometheus Radio Project during the full-power license application window last year, but is also helping to organize the Grassroots Radio Coalition convergence in Portland coming up July 24-27.

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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!

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