Friday, November 26, 2010

Reclaim Democracy

Free Speech for People
On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations are entitled to spend unlimited funds in our elections. The First Amendment was never intended to protect corporations. This cannot stand. Free speech is for people, not corporations. We must act now.

To restore the First Amendment to its original purpose, we need to enact a constitutional amendment that puts people ahead of corporations.


What's At Stake:

"Today, the Court has enthroned corporations, permitting them not only all kinds of special economic rights but now, amazingly, moving to grant them the same political rights as the people. This is a moment of high danger for democracy so we must act quickly to spell out in the Constitution what the people have always understood: that corporations do not enjoy the political and free speech rights that belong to the people of the United States." - Professor Jamie Raskin, constitutional law expert at American University's Washington College of Law and Maryland state senator

Objectivity as journalistic integrity

There is a real debate going on in the press, a conflict over who should control information and the definition of journalism.

Listen to this dialog on NPR's Talk of the Nation, from November 16th, 2010.

The bias of the professional journalist is the intent to be 'objective'. Objectivity is not an achievable goal; it is a professional standard, an ideal to which we aspire. (-MER)

"The difference between journalism and opinion is that basic idea, that unlike the rest of us, journalists start by recognizing their biases and conduct their business trying to prove themselves wrong, opening their minds to different ways of looking at things. That's why journalism is a valuable civic institution that forces us to consider the merits of every point of view." That email, from Travis.

"I really think that objectivity is something that can be found in the news. It is not being found today. It's not even being sought after.

I think what's happening is, is that information - they looked at the news people as just being what they're seeing now, like models with a microphone, but there was testing of information. And with the advent of the Internet and so many ways to reach so many people, no matter how extreme a person's position is, or no matter how perverted a person's thoughts may be, there's always a group of people around the world that they can connect with to validate themselves. And that didn't exist before. And I'm really concerned about our country.

I think the one professor - the professor that's on here, that speaks about the profitability, that it's not bad in information, well, one of the things in business we know is that time is money. And good information requires time. And so often now, what's being presented is information that is found out to be false, it's not retracted, or it gets lost so that the people are not getting the information they need to be responsible citizens." - David (NPR Caller)

The provenance of the information

TED KOPPEL: (on internet technology) I don't see new hope for journalism, I see new hope for the exchange of information. But you haven't responded to my part, which is unless one knows the provenance of the information, unless I know who's putting the information out, I can't judge the validity of that.

The utmost responsibility of any journalist

"What I think would be better for journalists as a whole is to be able to follow a story, follow up with a story, like a previous caller had mentioned, and be able to really go in depth, get as many interviews as you can, and be able to publish it knowing that you have every single fact straight. That, I believe, should be the utmost responsibility of any journalist - is to first check your facts, then perhaps go back, check objectivity if you know you're not intentionally already trying for it." - Jason (NPR Caller)

TED KOPPEL: I think the country is in dreadful shape right now. The economy is in terrible shape. Unemployment is in terrible shape. We are engaged in two overseas wars. We have a deficit that is unbelievable. And if there is one thing we desperately need in this country, it is the ability to come together to debate the issues without rancor or partisanship.

Prof. JARVIS: People can share news and information themselves. And then we, as journalists, have to ask where we put our precious resources to bring the most value - not to do the same stuff, not to be a stenographer, as Keith Olbermann said, but instead to bring that higher value.

Prof. JARVIS: The problem is, it's made too simplistic. It's made simply right and simply left, and we're much more complex than that. But having a discussion, having an argument, indeed, is what makes up a democracy - not having something just fed us from a centralized place.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


"Do people exist to serve the economy, or does the economy exist to serve people?"

Watch this short interview with David Korten and begin to dream again.

Watch the full episode. See more NOW on PBS.

Watching PBS NewsHour on KPBS Channel 11 last night, I caught a glimpse of something absolutely AMAZING! In a clip from NOW with David Brancaccio.

We are talking about rebuilding community.
"Creating wealth within the community requires life values."
We need to get people engaged in their local economy. The power resides in Wall Street, not Main Street, wall street only recognizes FINANCIAL Values.

Alone we can not change the world, but we are not alone. Eighty communities around the USA and Canada, connecting 22,000 businesses and organization, growing exponentially. The potential for a global transformation of the economy is at hand.

"There are two competing paths of 'globalization' one is about CORPORATE Power, the other is about PEOPLE Power. They are diametrically opposed to each other."

If we are we going to evolve our society with the speed necessary to bring our population in balance with the resources and environment of the planet, we need to share our ideas and our knowledge freely.

Business must make a "LIVING RETURN", living owners within living enterprises with the goal of serving community. The real issue is not JOBS, its LIVELIHOOD. The less we are dependent upon the money system, the more we are in control of our lives.

  • 1) What is the purpose of the economy?

  • 2) What are you doing, today, to create an economy with that purpose?

  • 3) How do we create the political power to put Main Street over Wall Street?

Join the Society for Media Justice to help create a Sustainable Future, in San Diego.

Monday, November 15, 2010

As of 2011, KCET becomes INDEPENDENT!

KCET public radio and TV, which covers 11 counties in Southern California, and serves 600,000 people each week, has decided to sever its contract with the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

Note: This letter was originally sent to Paula Kerger, President and Chief Executive Officer of PBS, and Patricia Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, on October 8, 2010.

KCET's 40 year relationship with PBS has been rewarding on many levels. PBS has provided an abundant library of quality programs to our viewers in Southern California to which we have contributed through the production of award winning programs in education, public affairs, drama, and the arts. While we share this rich and satisfying history, it appears that the time has come to acknowledge that this relationship no longer works. After careful analysis our Board of Directors determined unanimously that our potential to present the rich cosmopolitan experience that is Southern California could be enhanced if KCET suspends its active membership in PBS and its unsustainable dues obligation.

Despite our decision, we remain passionate about and committed to the mission of public media. We believe that the entire public broadcasting system model must be re-imagined, restructured, and re-launched to realize its mission in the 21st century. We plan to re-image our mission and re-launch as an independently operated public media center that integrates TV and radio broadcast with broadband, Internet, mobile and social networking capabilities that facilitate greater citizen engagement. We may also restructure our operating platform to align it with our re-imagined mission. We hope to partner with schools, libraries, cultural institutions and community organizations to raise awareness of and convene stakeholders involved in important local, regional and national issues. Based upon preliminary discussions with current and new funding sources, we are optimistic that this exciting new approach to public media can be funded successfully. If we realize our vision as an independent public media center, we hope by our experience we can continue to make a valuable contribution to the system even if our PBS membership is suspended.

Our public broadcasting system was created with noble intentions that have yet to be realized completely. By building on our obvious strengths, restructuring for a new role, and re-launching for a new era, together we can realize the original promise of public broadcasting.

Very truly yours,

Gordon Bava
Chair KCET
Board of Directors

Watch California with the Center for Investigative Reporting

We are living in an age of upheaval, institutional collapse, and historic unforeseen change. And journalism is not immune. The only “business” protected by the Constitution, the business of informing the public, has been eviscerated in recent years. The role that journalism plays in a functioning democracy—informing the public and holding the powerful accountable—is at serious risk. Major issues affecting the very fabric of this nation and the world go uninvestigated. As we struggle to find solutions to two wars, climate change, immigration, a recession, and myriad other global issues, a thriving media is more important than ever.

CIR attempts to ferret out the most promising investigations. Generally, stories deserving investment should: reflect CIR's core mission by offering the strong potential to reveal injustice or abuse of power; fall under one of our reporting beats, currently social justice, environment and international reporting; add new information, a fresh angle or depth of reporting not found in other mainstream coverage; have an indication of interest from a prospective news outlet; and originate from reporters or producers with demonstrated skills and experience.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Clash of the Media Titans: Ethical Values

NPR has fired commentator and news analyst, Juan Williams. But the backlash for their public action has caused National Public Radio to be chastised by the conservatives in their audience.

Juan Williams, The Fox News Commentator admitted on TV to a prejudice and fear of muslim people. This action insulted muslims and inflamed irrational fears among the Fox viewers, which fails to positively inform the important debate about religious fundamentalism in America.

This is not the first time that Williams has caused controversy in his schizophrenic rolls on these two media networks. But his public firing has cause an unexpected emotional backlash from a vocal part of the audience, calling for an end to public funding for media, and accusations of political bias.

NPR's Ombudsman says that this "public relations nightmare" is not a case about 'free speech' or bigotry.

"Instead, this latest incident with Williams centers around a collision of values: NPR's values emphasizing fact-based, objective journalism versus the tendency in some parts of the news media, notably Fox News, to promote only one side of the ideological spectrum"

I wonder how Williams, an African-American and civil rights expert, would react if anther prominent journalist had said, "When I see a black man get on the train, I fear for my life." Juan Williams reportedly earns millions of dollars for his job on Fox, and has attacked NPR for the firing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ACLU Says Net Neutrality Necessary For Free Speech

"The ACLU has recently identified Network Neutrality a key free speech issue and said in a lengthy PDF report:
'Freedom of expression isn't worth much if the forums where people actually make use of it are not themselves free. And the Internet is without doubt the primary place where Americans exercise their right to free expression. It's a newspaper, an entertainment medium, a reference work, a therapist's office, a soapbox, a debating stand. It is the closest thing ever invented to a true "free market" of ideas.'
The report then goes on to argue that ISPs have incentive and capability of interfering with internet traffic. And not only that but the argument that it is only 'theoretical' are bogus given they list ten high profile cases of it actually happening. If the ACLU can successfully argue that Net Neutrality is a First Amendment Issue then it might not matter what businesses (who fall on either side of the issue) want the government to do."

Discuss this story at: slashdot

ACLU Says Net Neutrality Necessary For Free Speech

"The ACLU has recently identified Network Neutrality a key free speech issue and said in a lengthy PDF report: 'Freedom of expression isn't worth much if the forums where people actually make use of it are not themselves free. And the Internet is without doubt the primary place where Americans exercise their right to free expression.

It's a newspaper, an entertainment medium, a reference work, a therapist's office, a soapbox, a debating stand. It is the closest thing ever invented to a true "free market" of ideas.' The report then goes on to argue that ISPs have incentive and capability of interfering with internet traffic. And not only that but the argument that it is only 'theoretical' are bogus given they list ten high profile cases of it actually happening. If the ACLU can successfully argue that Net Neutrality is a First Amendment Issue then it might not matter what businesses (who fall on either side of the issue) want the government to do."

Discuss this story at: slashdot

Monday, October 11, 2010

Corporate Media: "The Revolution will be televised (for 30 seconds)"

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Waxman Compromise on Net Neutrality DOA

by Sylvia Moore of L.A. Media Reform

When word leaked a few days ago that House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman had drafted compromise legislation that would effectively neuter strong net neutrality rules, media reformers erupted in protest. Waxman has been a strong proponent of net neutrality, and had reaffirmed his support in a meeting with citizens and members of L.A. Media Reform and Free Press earlier this month. So the news came as a shock. Or perhaps it shouldn’t have been. Lobbyists from the telecommunications industry have literally been inundating members of Congress like flies swarming a piece of meat. I’m quite sure they were breathing down Waxman’s back.

Theories abound as to why Waxman decided to cut a deal with the telecoms – one possible reason being resolving the issue in the best way possible in case the GOP takes over the House in November. But, no matter. The Washington Post reported today that the GOP shot down the bill anyway, and Waxman is urging the Federal Communications Commission to reassert its authority over broadband. Waxman is still pinning his hopes on a bipartisan approach to this issue, but he realizes it probably ain’t likely.

The fight over keeping corporations from treating the Internet like their own personal fiefdom illustrates the sorry state of America’s electoral system. The fact that Waxman feels that he even has to compromise with a bunch of amoral profitmongers, who, I believe, wouldn’t hesitate to put Web users in digital straitjackets if that will pad their bottom line, shows that the needs of ordinary Americans count for less and less in Congress. If we Americans want different behavior from our political representatives, we’re going to have to support politicians who are going to work to take away corporations’ ability to meddle in our democracy.

I wonder if the Democratic Party leadership realizes how a free and open Internet is the only thing right now that is keeping the party competitive with the Republicans in the wake of Citizens United, the Supreme Court case that practically handed the electoral store to the monied interests. It was the blogosphere that enabled the Democrats to retake Congress in 2006, and it was the legions of small donors who used the Web to help put Barack Obama in the White House.

The corporate media cabal made up of network and cable television, print newspapers and talk radio simply does not put the progressive point of view on an even playing field with the conservative one. The Internet is the only place one can turn to for an alternative to the conventional, corporate-dominated Beltway thinking of the traditional media.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Non-Profit News, via Scott Lewis, CEO of VOSD

What's that site I'm linking to, you ask? This is something we've launched to handle the string of inquiries we get from academics, media across the country and people who want to start something similar to what we've done here. will be completed soon with profiles of our siblings around the country and, we hope, an active blog and source of the best new analysis of the nonprofit news business model.

Let’s do a quick review: A for-profit organization is owned by an individual or shareholders and its purpose, its mission, is to deliver dividends and value to them.

A nonprofit, on the other hand, has no shareholders, no owners. Instead, it has a mission. Bringing in money is a big factor in whether the organization fulfills that mission.

Revenue promiscuity means that we have a mission — to do public service journalism — and we’re cultivating an ever-growing collection of ways to pay for it. Most of us are obsessively pursuing all kinds of revenue sources, from syndicating content, to donations from the masses, to major contributions and grants, to corporate sponsors and advertising.

Revenue promiscuity is the product of a survival instinct. When you want to survive, you do things differently than if you want to make money for shareholders.

For instance, a for-profit start-up and its funders do not usually have much patience.

Entrepreneurs come up with a plan. They find investors. They give it a go. Maybe they stumble a bit so they find more investors and on and on and then, one of two things happen:
1) the idea works, revenue comes in and they send the kids to private school. Or
2) they fail for the last time, and unable to find more investors, decide to bury the idea. All of it can happen very fast.

The journalism professor Jay Rosen, from NYU, has compiled a menu of all the “sources of subsidy” a news entrepreneur could choose.

What is sustainability? We believe sustainability is actually defined by developing such a diversity of revenue sources that no matter what happens to one of them or a group of them, your organization can survive. It’s like a well diversified investment portfolio: set up to grow but absorb losses without catastrophe in bad times.

At our core, our ability to appeal to the entire community to support our effort and mission is itself our most valuable asset. And it is one that a shareholder owned — a for-profit — entity does not have available.

Experts from "Sleeping Around the Non-Profit Edge" - by Scott Lewis, CEO of Voice of San Diego

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Net Neutrality Update

Republished from 'the full buzz' at the The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

"Now the FCC has re-entered the picture with its September “further inquiry,” and done so with a deft touch. First, by seeking additional comments, the document makes it clear that its “NPRM” — a proceeding to craft rules to promote an open Internet that many thought the Comcast decision had derailed — is still alive. Exactly how any rules will be made is not discussed; instead, the FCC notes the areas where consensus has been reached: some conception of net neutrality is a good idea, at least on non-wireless platforms; that network practices should be disclosed; that net neurality shouldn’t preclude reasonable network management practices by ISPs; and that case-by-case, flexible adjudication beats lengthy and complex rules." -
From Jonathan Zittrain's blog post "Net neutrality: the FCC takes back the ball"

About Jonathan Zittrain:
(Bonus: All of the posts from Concurring Opinions' recent symposium on Professor Zittrain's "The Future of the Internet" can be found here.)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Now time for some REAL NEWS

Chris Hedges

Click Here If You Can't See The News

(San Diego could produce this kind of online media, but the locals either don't have the funds or refuse to work together. Wonder why?)

Monday, August 16, 2010

The National Entertainment State

View this Chart of the Six Media Corporations that own US Broadcasting from 2006, the Nation Magazine. Add Google/Verizon and Apple to either side.

Where do Americans get their news and who controls what they consume? Ten years ago, when The Nation first charted a map of the National Entertainment State, four colossal conglomerates spread across the media landscape. Today, that map has significantly changed, because of the rise of new media and a vigorous reform movement, but the old corporate giants still hold most of the cards. Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft are quickly rising, but are not included in this chart because they do not own — not yet, anyway — the major television networks, which remain Americans’ #1 source of news.

Illustration by Peter Ahlberg.
Research: Emily Biuso, Sarah Goldstein.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Is the Internet DOOMED?

Watch the Story on

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Here is what I know:
In an age of conflict, the internet unites us.
In an age of ignorance, the internet educates everyone.
In an age of fascism, the internet gives one hope.
If we loose the internet, the same way we lost the broadcast media.
If money chooses what you can learn, and what you don't, then this is the end of America.

Google has gone to the DARK SIDE.
Do something.

“What happened to radio, happened to television, and then it happened to cable. If we are not diligent, then it will happen to the Internet [creating] a media plantation for the 21st Century dominated by the same corporate and ideological forces that have controlled the media for the last 50 years.”
Source: Bill Moyers, keynote speech (comparing big media corporations to plantation owners and American media consumers to their slaves) opening 2007 Media Reform Conference, Jan. 12, 2007

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Join Common Cause for Net-Neutrality

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers how to write the rules to protect freedom and openness on the Internet, who should they turn to: consumers like you and me, or profit-hungry telecommunications companies?

Verizon and Google announced this week that they have it all figured out when it comes to net neutrality.* They unveiled a policy framework that would give telecom companies the right to speed up or slow down certain kinds of content, and to block outright applications or content on wireless networks.

That sounds downright scary to me.

Please join me in telling the FCC to say 'thanks, but no thanks' to the Verizon/Google plan.

It shouldn't be up to giant corporations to decide the rules and regulations that govern their behavior.

The FCC should act immediately to protect the long-standing principle of net neutrality so that the Internet can continue to grow, fuel innovation and facilitate communication.

Today the Internet serves as our "town square" -- where we talk to one another, exchange views, find information from many diverse sources of news and opinion, blog, contact candidates, and engage in our democracy. We must make certain that for-profit interests don't destroy the (small-d) democratic culture of the web.

Please tell the FCC to reject the Verizon/Google plan, and act immediately to put strong net neutrality protections in place.


Bob Edgar
and the rest of the team at Common Cause

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Danger Of Content Mills

Here is an interesting interview from Media Shift on PBS by Mark Galser on "Content Farms" which mine the internet trying to get high search engine rankings and in the process create lots of bad information to sell product. Often produced by low wage workers in places like India, I've seen these proliferate to the point where they are even generated by computer and they are sickening. Professional journalists worry over their loss of wages due to the dilution of mind share, and complain that the information is un-vetted and potentially dangerous. The take away is that for good journalism you must set the agenda not react to the audience, you must be on the ground at the event, an you must be 'local' to your audience, that is, accessible and part of their community.

I especially like Ari Soglin's local journalist model, because it has a place for professional journalists as mobile reporters and editors, as well as the occasional freelancer who specializes on events or issues.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

FCC fails

Just because a company owns the INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE does NOT give it the right to regulate which information we will be 'allowed' to communicate! Any company that passes information from one state to another falls under Federal Jurisdiction. Thus, ALL INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS should fall under FCC jurisdiction. COMCAST is an interstate information infrastructure corporation, and must not be allowed to regulate free speech.

Here’s the deal: under the Bush FCC, the agency decided to classify and treat broadband Internet service providers the same as any Internet applications company like Facebook or Lexis-Nexis, placing broadband providers outside of the legal framework that traditionally applied to the companies that offer two-way communications services.

That’s the loophole that let Comcast wiggle out from under the agency’s thumb.
Change it back

There’s an easy fix here: The FCC can change broadband back to a “communications service,” which is where it should have been in the first place. By reclassifying broadband, all of these questions about authority will fall away and the FCC can pick up where it left off – protecting the Internet for the public and bridging the digital divide.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Legend Daniel Schorr, Dead at 93'

Legends of News Reporting:
Edward R. Morrow (April 25, 1908 – April 27, 1965)
Walter Cronkite (November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009)
Bill Moyers
Ted Koppel
Daniel Schorr ( August 31, 1916 - July 23, 2010)

Following several years as a stringer, in 1953 he joined CBS News as one of the recruits of Edward R. Murrow (becoming part of the later generation of Murrow's Boys). In 1955, with the post-Stalin thaw in the Soviet Union, he received accreditation to open a CBS bureau in Moscow. In June 1957, he obtained an exclusive interview with Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Communist party chief.

Schorr attracted the anger of the Nixon White House. In 1971, after a dispute with White House aides, Schorr's friends, neighbors, and co-workers were questioned by the FBI about his habits. They were told that Schorr was under consideration for a high-level position in the environmental area. Schorr knew nothing about it. Later, during the Watergate hearings, it was revealed that Nixon aides had drawn up what became known as Nixon's Enemies List, and Daniel Schorr was on that list. Famously, Schorr read the list aloud on live TV, surprised to be reading his own name in that context.

Schorr provoked intense controversy in 1976 when he received and made public the contents of the secret Pike Committee report on illegal CIA and FBI activities.[2] Called to testify before Congress, he refused to identify his source on First Amendment grounds, risking imprisonment.

Schorr won three Emmy Awards for his television journalism. Schorr is survived by his wife, Lisbeth; a son, Jonathan Schorr; a daughter, Lisa Kaplan; a son-in-law, Alex Kaplan; and a granddaughter, Nora Rose.

I listened to Daniel Schorr's commentaries and reports on NPR for the last eighteen years. He was an old-school professional ass-kicker, balls-out truth-teller, and rock wit. I'll miss him.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Golden Age of Journalism, Huffington Post

The Huffington Post provides a platform for those who want to express themselves, a public square. But the editors and journalists who are required to write on deadline are paid. The difference between journalism and advocacy is clear, bloggers can advocate, journalists can not that's why they get paid.

"All you really have is you time and attention. I use my compassion for stories where I can make a difference. Stop wasting your time on stories of personal tragedy and focus upon stories of national significance.

Find one individual affected by the significant issue, and tell their story from a personal point of view. Show the effects of the issue in a way that reaches your audience emotionally, and thus moves them to action.

The job of journalists is to ferret out the truth. Go beyond the Left/Right narrative. Move past the assumption that every issue has a Liberal and Conservative side, and concentrate on the facts.

Don't work in some fantasy world of journalistic objectivity, but in pursuit of the truth of the issue.

People don't want to just consume news, they want to engage and tell the stories of their time. The new media is for a consumer in motion.

Self expression for millions of people is the new form of entertainment. The old media don't understand why people will spend 8 hrs a day writing blogs for free? But they are content with people who want to spend 8 hrs a day watching bad TV.

Now that everyone can participate in the media, engage in the news, people want to know who to believe. Now is the time for 'editors'. The job is to tell the truth, and tell stories that capture the imagination and the hearts (emotions), we must earn the people's trust. Trust is the new value.

Many people compare Fox News and MSNBC as if they were equals, but although they both tell their 'opinion stories' with obvious passion, Fox works in pure fantasy while MSNBC acts passionately on objective facts. Fiction is not the equal of Non-Fiction.

We journalists should not be above the conflict, we are not gentile narrators, we must become effective communicators, and that requires shouting when their is an emergency. But to cry wolf, again and again, as a pho-news reporter, or to distract people with meaningless and irrelevant gossip while the house burns down, is nothing less than criminal, this is the tragedy of such propaganda." - A. Huffington

Move your money campaign.

Online Book "The New Journalism"

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Media Consolidation = keeping the people ignorant of their government

The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing its media ownership rules for the fourth time since 2000, and the National Association of Broadcasters is again asking the commission to ease up on the regulation.
Specifically, the NAB wants the FCC to eliminate rules restricting cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations, relax radio station ownership rules as well as rules restricting ownership of television stations in certain markets. Media watchdog group, Free Press, immediately petitioned the FCC, criticizing the NAB’s request, and noting that the commission has gone too far already in allowing more media company consolidation. Free Press Policy Counsel Corie Wright:
“The FCC’s media ownership rules are critical to ensuring that the public’s primary news and information sources do not become consolidated in the hands of a few companies. Moreover, the so-called efficiencies of consolidation have not materialized. Instead, the cost of consolidating has placed a number of companies that might otherwise be profitable in dire straits, resulting in disinvestment in newsgathering and job losses for journalists.
“We urge the Commission to resist industry pressures to further weaken ownership limits. Companies that have made poor business decisions should not be rewarded with permission to engage in even more media consolidation that would further injure competition and diversity among local media outlets. It is not the Commission’s job to protect industry profit margins. Rather, its role is to promulgate and enforce regulations designed to promote competition, diversity and localism so that the public interest is served.”

A new age of journalism.

From Sylvia Moore, of L.A. Media Reform - How to be a Mainstream Media Journalist. Made using a novel “text to movie” website called xtranormal, this is just the beginning of a revolution. Soon we will not need reporters or journalists at all, we can replace them with computers programed to seem just like real people.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Using Intertubes to beat CENSORSHIP.

(Can there be legitimate students at a place called Georgia Tech?) Read More Here.
Trying to get out in front of what they call a censorship arms race, a team of researchers has come up with technology that lets users exchange messages through heavily censored networks in countries such as China and North Korea in hidden channels via user-generated content sites such as Twitter or Flickr.
Researchers with the Georgia Tech School of Computer Science will demo the technology known as  Collage for the first time at next month's Usenix security conference and ideally have a working package the public can download by the end of August. The researchers will have a test version of the Collage tool here.
Collage has two components: a message vector layer for embedding content in cover traffic; and a rendezvous mechanism to allow parties to publish and retrieve messages in the cover traffic, according to one of the Collage authors Sam Burnett, a researcher with Georgia Tech.
Technically speaking Collage is written in Python and uses an image steganography tool calledOutguess for hiding content in images and a text steganography tool called Snow for embedding content in text. "We recognize that steganography techniques offer no formal security guarantees; in fact, these schemes can and have been subject to various attacks," the researchers noted.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Secret Back Room Deal for Big Corporations

The Wall Street Journal just revealed that the FCC has been convening secret backroom meetings with phone and cable lobbyists to cut a deal on Net Neutrality.

The closed-door meetings have included a small group of lobbyists from AT&T, Verizon and Google. The goal, according to insiders, is to "reach consensus" on rules of the road for the Internet.

This is outrageous. The FCC can’t ignore the public's demand for Net Neutrality and then quietly give control over the Internet to a few massive corporations.

Tell Obama and the FCC: Stop These Secret Meetings

President Obama pledged to "take a back seat to no one" in his support for Net Neutrality. To head the FCC, he appointed Julius Genachowski, the man who crafted his pro-Net Neutrality platform in 2008.

But even after millions of people joined Obama’s call for Net Neutrality, FCC staff is huddling with industry lobbyists in secret to cut a deal that could leave the free and open Internet in jeopardy.

This plot is all too familiar. We've seen it before, during the BP oil disaster and the subprime mortgage meltdown, when government officials put the interests of big business ahead of those of the public.

Now, the same thing is happening to the Internet. We can’t let the one agency tasked with oversight of communications strike secret deals that undermine Net Neutrality.

Don’t Let Lobbyists Determine the Future of the Internet

Sign our letter to President Obama and the FCC to end the secret meetings and guarantee that the public -- including the tens of millions of Americans who use the Internet every day and in every way -- is given a seat at the table.

Thank you,

Josh Silver
President and CEO
Free Press

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Hosts Inishitive

Next Thursday (6/17) and Friday (6/18) the Harvard Law School Library and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society will host two workshops focused on the initiative, a proposed registry and repository of all primary legal materials of the United States. The workshops, organized by Carl Malamud, President of Public.Resource.Org, aim to convene advocates for the public domain, lawyers, policy makers, librarians, archivists, students, and all those interested to discuss issues around access to primary materials in Massachusetts, and also to reflect on the national series of workshops held in the past year in order to identify core principles and policy mechanisms for public information.

The workshops will feature Carl Malamud, Berkman Faculty Co-Director John Palfrey, Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, the Honorable Dina E. Fein, Boston College Librarian Joan Shear, Harvard Law Cyberlaw Clinic Director Phil Malone, and many more.

We hope you will join us for one or both of these events. To learn more or register, please visit, More about the workshops.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Are cell phone cameras the most dangerous weapon against police?

In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.

Even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.

The legal justification for arresting the "shooter" rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws, with statutes against obstructing law enforcement sometimes cited. Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland are among the 12 states in which all parties must consent for a recording to be legal unless, as with TV news crews, it is obvious to all that recording is underway.

When the police act as though cameras were the equivalent of guns pointed at them, there is a sense in which they are correct. Cameras have become the most effective weapon that ordinary people have to protect against and to expose police abuse. And the police want it to stop.

Almost without exception, police officials have staunchly supported the arresting officers. This argues strongly against the idea that some rogue officers are overreacting or that a few cops have something to hide. "Arrest those who record the police" appears to be official policy, and it's backed by the courts.

The selection of video "shooters" targeted for prosecution do, indeed, suggest a pattern of either reprisal or an attempt to intimidate. The only people who seem prone to prosecution are those who embarrass or confront the police, or who somehow challenge the law. If true, then the prosecutions are a form of social control to discourage criticism of the police or simple dissent.

Read More ...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

San Diego News Network apparently out of business.

According to reports in the San Diego Reader and The Voice of San Diego - Neil Santuria is calling it quits and selling out.
SDNN got the engine running then ran out of gas.

"This has happened before. Neil will say one thing publicly but privately you know it is not as rosy as what he is making it out to be," says William Yelles, former managing editor of SDNN. Some think SDNN may have resembled a Potemkin Village all along; it was never what it was made out to be, and was being prettified for the public offering and/or sale of the enterprise. - said the Reader

One SDNN writer blithly commented:
"I think I will go into the lemonade business. The little girl across the street made $75 for the day selling lemonade for 3 hours on Memorial Day... a vast improvement over the big $25 per weekly column I was paid at SDNN...after 8 months of pro bono...the things you do for charity!"
William Yelles, former managing editor of the online SDNN, says that one year ago, in May of 2009, the founder, Neil Senturia, called Yelles to La Jolla and said the company was broke and would lay off everybody except Yelles and somebody on the advertising side. The next month, however, Gary Jacobs, son of the Qualcomm founder, put in some money. Yelles believes Jacobs put $500,000 in twice, and an Orange County investor put in at least $750,000. In fall of 2009, Senturia said the online operation in San Diego had exceeded expectations, and the company (the parent is named U.S. Local News Network) would expand to 40 markets. However, Yelles does not believe the company ever had a profitable month. Early this year, the company said it had raised $3.18 million from investors to be used for its expansion to the outlying markets. One source says that investors (besides Jacobs and the Orange County angel) put in $100,000 each. Senturia and his partner Barbara Bry are said to have contributed $140,000. (That is not pinned down.) U.S. Local News Network talked of an initial public offering.

I have heard from a reliable source that Senturia initially asked a million dollars for the enterprise, but at the end of talks, the price was down to zero. I reached Mike McKinnon, majority owner of the company controlling KUSI. "We've had discussions with him [Senturia]," says McKinnon. "He's a nice fellow, working hard, but we are not ready to make a move in that direction." Continues McKinnon, "We will probably be in that business within a year," but, from what he says, I don't think he would enter by buying SDNN. I also talked with Nancy Sullivan, vice president of communications of the Los Angeles Times. "We have undertaken a couple of ventures" with the parent of SDNN (particularly the La Jolla/Del Mar paper), she says, but she tells me I will have to get information from the San Diego company, which did not respond to repeated calls and emails over the weekend. I do not see how it would be possible to continue putting out that paper without the creators of content, who have been severed.

Friday, May 21, 2010

FreePress Summit, network neutrality

Listen in on a Facebook Lobbiest as he gets OWNED at FreePress Summit, in Washington DC.

Comment on Comcast/NBC Merger

Add your voice to the petition to the FCC and stop the merger of Comcast and NBC. Media Consolidation on this scale helps no-one. It only creates artificial fortunes for the owners of media. We need to restore the broadcast airwaves to the people of the United States of America.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The FCC is coming to Stanford on Friday, May 21st, for a public hearing on the impact media consolidation and tech innovation has had on journalism. This is part of their 2010 review of media ownership laws. You probably remember that during the Bush administration the FCC relaxed media ownership laws – particularly the 30 year-old newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership ban (a move we have shown will hurt newsroom jobs and lead to less local news)

Even though President Obama has opposed media consolidation, Big Media has been beating down the door at the FCC. They are pushing the Obama FCC to go even farther than the Bush FCC and dramatically relax media ownership laws, letting absentee Big Media giants control even more local media.

This fight is coming to Stanford on Friday, and we need to turn out a crowd to show the FCC the public still cares about media consolidation.

What: Media Ownership Public Hearing
When: May 21, 2010,10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (the public comment section is at 11:45 and 3:30)
Where: Stanford University, Dinkelspiel Auditorium, 471 Lagunita Drive, Stanford, CA
*This event is free

The public hearing on Friday will have time for local communities to weigh in on these issues. We need to be sure the public interest is strongly represented or the only people they will hear from are giant companies.

Please share this broadly with others.

Some of the panelists include Tim Westergren, Founder of Pandora Music, Eddy W. Hartenstein, Publisher and CEO, Los Angeles Times, Jim Joyce, President, National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, and Vice President, Communications Workers of America and Alan Mutter, Publisher, Reflections of a Newsosaur, and Tiffiniy Ying Cheng, Co-Founder, Participatory Culture Foundation. The full agenda is here:

If you have questions or want to help with turnout – please contact me.

Josh Stearns
Program Manager
Free Press ::
SaveTheNews ::
Twitter: @jcstearns
Phone: 413.585.1533 ext. 204 

Mera Szendro Bok
Communications and Information Officer
New Media Rights
3100 5th Ave. Suite B
San Diego, CA 92103

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Future Tense from American Public Radio

What is the
Public Insight Network?

The Public Insight Network is you and thousands of others like you who have agreed to share what they know to help public radio cover the news, find stories, and add depth to our reporting.

As part of Future Tense's Public Insight Network, you have an open line into our newsroom. We'll send you about an e-mail a month asking for your knowledge on issues and stories we are pursuing.

Future Tense is American Public Media's daily "Journal of the Digital Age."

Produced and hosted by Jon Gordon, Future Tense keeps pace with the latest technology topics in daily five-minute capsules from electronic privacy and digital democracy to spam and computer worms.

American Public Media also produces Marketplace,Marketplace MoneyWeekend AmericaSpeaking of Faith and other programs.

American Public Media puts audiences first.

American Public Media's mission, vision and values express a commitment to serving the 16 million listeners and over 100,000 contributing members who are better informed, enriched and inspired by the content we provide.


Our Mission is to enrich the mind and nourish the spirit, thereby assisting our audiences to enhance their lives, expand perspectives and strengthen their communities.


We will be the most relevant, innovative and insightful media company in America.


We will create indispensable content that engages with diverse audiences to connect people with each other, their communities, their country and the world.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Commonwealth Club of California


The mission of The Commonwealth Club of California is to be the leading national forum open to all for the impartial discussion of public issues important to the membership, community and nation.

The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation's oldest and largest public affairs forum, bringing together its more than 18,000 members for over 400 annual events on topics ranging across politics, culture, society and the economy.

Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club has played host to a diverse and distinctive array of speakers, from Teddy Roosevelt in 1911 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor Alec Baldwin and author Christopher Hitchens in recent years. Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Bill Gates have all given landmark speeches at The Club.

As a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization, The Commonwealth Club relies on the support of its membership, the Business Council and foundation grants to continue its role in fostering open public discussion in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the nation via radio, Internet and television.

The Club has offices in San Francisco and San Jose, with regular events in both cities, as well as programs in the East and North Bay.

For members outside the Bay Area, The Club's weekly radio broadcast - the oldest in the U.S., dating back to 1924 - is carried across the nation on public radio stations. Our web site archive features audio of our recent programs, as well as selected speeches from our long and distinguished history.

The California Report

KQED Radio, in collaboration with public radio stations throughout California, launched The California Report, a statewide radio news program, on October 2, 1995. Distributed by satellite from the KQED Radio studios in San Francisco, The California Report provides daily coverage of issues, trends, and public policy decisions affecting California and its diverse population. It is carried by more than 30 public radio stations from Arcata to San Diego. Many local station reporters are regular contributors to the program.

The daily morning edition of The California Report, a 9-minute program, airs on KQED 88.5FM Monday through Friday at 5:50am, 6:50am and 8:50am. The Friday afternoon edition, a half-hour magazine, airs on KQED 88.5FM at 4:30pm, 6:30pm and 11:00pm, and brings you in-depth analysis of the week's top news stories, sound-rich radio excursions and commentaries from voices around the state. Please see the California Report tune in page for information about where and when to tune in to The California Report in your area.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


At Public Radio International, we invite listeners to hear a different voice with content that provides unique perspectives on our interdependent world.
Partnering with public media's most talented producers and hosts, we offer distinctly global voices on PRI's "The World" and BBC World Service. We offer singular, diverse voices on "The Tavis Smiley Show." We present voices of culture, contemporary American life and artistry on "This American Life" and "Studio 360 from PRI and WNYC." And we provide decidedly fresh takes on "WireTap" and "The Sound of Young America."


Public Radio International's mission is to serve audiences as a distinctive content source for information, insights and cultural experiences essential to living in our diverse, interconnected world.

Core principles

Public Radio International recognizes as core principles:
  • the central role played by diversity in our nation's past and its importance to our future
  • the urgent need to understand connections between American life and cultures around the globe
  • the responsibility of public media to encourage the exchange of ideas and search for common principles fundamental to a civil society and
  • the power of sound and of the spoken word to engage the mind and nurture the human spirit.

PRI productions

The Takeaway
PRI's Sound & Spirit with Ellen Kushner
Studio 360 from PRI and WNYC
PRI's The World

Distributed programs (sampler)

BBC World Service
Bob Edwards Weekend
Capitol News Connection with PRI
Living on Earth
Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
The Sound of Young America
The Tavis Smiley Show
This American Life
To the Best of Our Knowledge
To the Point

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

National Center For Media Engagement

National Center for Media Engagement

The mission of the National Center for Media Engagement is to ensure public media as essential to building community connections across multiple platforms. We provide resources for stations and producers that engage and educate citizens, build sustainable community relationships and stimulate citizen participation.

Our Vision

National Center for Media Engagement is the recognized catalytic leader for community engagement by public broadcasting across all platforms.
We provide vigorous leadership, timely guidance, and finely tuned resources on multiple platforms
We maintain a constant focus on the changing needs of both radio and television stations, as well as national producers of content, and public broadcasting leadership organizations
We carefully follow and experiment with new technologies and what might be considered “best practices” and models, to both create and deliver community engagement initiatives on every platform.

Our Guiding Principles

Accelerate change within public broadcasting from one-way communicators to essential community institutions
Encourage public broadcasting to put community first and content second
Actively support public broadcasters to convene, connect, and collaborate on all platforms: on-air, online, in person

Services We Provide

For Stations
An online portal of essential community engagement knowledge, resources and links

  • A multitude of resources including a station directory, stories of impact, an online planning tool and common grant application, as well as hands on tools to engage citizens
  • Outcomes assessment tools to gauge community impact and station investment

Continuous Learning Opportunities

  • Peer-to-peer Network: Including monthly dialogues that convene, connect, and encourage collaboration among public broadcasting peers
  • Pipeline, Pipeline Plus & annual videoconference to access engagement initiatives
  • Coaching and consultation from our staff to help you strategize and problem solve.

For National Content Producers & Initiatives

Partnerships for Learning

  • Grants administration and management through our online tool
  • Promotion and system-wide communications
  • Coaching and technical assistance in rolling out a national initiative
  • Professional development assistance

Customized Fee-Based Services

  • Assessment and Survey Development (including online tool design & construction)
  • Partnership Management
  • Community Engagement Research and Development
  • Overall Project Management of Community Engagement Endeavors

Monday, April 12, 2010

A taste of TED

Every Year TED comes to Long Beach, CA, and for two days speakers are requested to give the speech of their life in 22 minutes.

The People's Post

The People's Post - from Voice of San Diego

The People's Post is a project of The San Diego Foundation's Regional Information Initiative, a venture launched in partnership with the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation to inform and engage the region's diverse communities through innovative use of digital media. Nonprofit partners include the, Media Arts Center San Diego and the San Diego County Library.

The People's Post strengthens civil society by enabling San Diego County residents to record, share and value their own stories. It fosters a broader, deeper understanding of the insights and experiences of others in the region. It encourages public dialogue, builds community knowledge and empowers positive social change.

The People's Post is made possible through the support of the Gertrude H. & Arthur C. Anderson Fund, the Mary E. Hield and Robert R. Hield Endowment Fund, the Colonel Frank C. Wood Memorial Fund and the Woolley Fund of The San Diego Foundation; and a matching grant from the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation.

For more information or to access the growing collection of stories, visit or a San Diego County Library.

The People’s Post gives San Diegans a way to record and share their unique, personal and true stories. It’s easy to record your story.
1. CONTACT the San Diego County Library at 858.495.5037 or to schedule an appointment with a community videographer.
2. DEVELOP your story idea about local happenings:
an important event an inspiring person a significant place a meaningful personal item
3. RECORD your story for free with a community videographer; get a free DVD of your finished video.
4. SHARE your story with family and friends. Your story may also be shared online at The People’s Post. For more information, or to view the growing collection of stories, visit

About Miro Community

Miro Community helps communities gather their videos into one place. It's a project of the Participatory Culture Foundation.

Founded in March 2007, Hulu is operated independently by a dedicated management team with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Beijing. NBC Universal, News Corp., The Walt Disney Company, Providence Equity Partners and the Hulu team share in the ownership stake of the company.
Hulu's mission is to help people find and enjoy the world's premium video content when, where and how they want it. As we pursue this mission, we aspire to create a service that users, advertisers, and content owners unabashedly love.

Hulu is an online video service that offers hit TV shows, movies and clips at and other online destination sites — anytime in the U.S. For more details on Hulu's service, check out the Hulu product tour.

Content: Hulu brings together a large selection of videos from over 200 leading content companies, including FOX, NBC Universal, ABC, ABC Family, Biography, Lionsgate, Endemol, MGM, MTV Networks, National Geographic, Digital Rights Group, Paramount, PBS, Sony Pictures Television, Warner Bros. and more. Users can choose from more than 1,700 current primetime TV hits such as The Simpsons, 30 Rock, LOST, Glee and The Office the morning after they air; classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The A-Team, Airwolf and Married...with Children; movies like Last of the Mohicans and Basic Instinct; documentaries like Super Size Me, Crawford and The Times of Harvey Milk; and clips from Saturday Night Live; web originals like Dorm Life; and other popular TV shows and movies.

User Experience
Hulu is focused on quality and convenience and strives to create the best possible online video experience.
  • Hulu gives users the ability to customize their viewing experience online.
  • Hulu allows users to watch favorites or discover new shows anytime — at home or on the road.
  • Hulu's search feature helps users find any premium video online even if it is not directly available on
Hulu is easy to use and share. Simply go to, and click on a video to watch right away.
  • Hulu does not require a download of any software. Users only need a Flash 10.0.22 enabled computer and an Internet connection to enjoy.
  • Hulu offers the freedom to share full-length episodes or clips via e-mail or embed on other Web sites, blogs and social networking pages.
  • Hulu's clipping feature allows users to select a portion of the video they would like to share.
Hulu is free and legal through an advertising supported model.
  • Videos are available for unlimited streaming; watch favorite shows and clips over and over, for free
  • Videos contain fewer ads than on TV. Advertisements appear during normal commercial breaks
  • Hulu acquires the rights to distribute its videos, making them available to users legally
Distribution: Hulu allows users to enjoy great videos on and on 35 other popular Web sites across the Web. Hulu videos are available on AOL, IMDb, MSN, MySpace, and Yahoo! in the U.S. as well as a growing network of personal blogs, fan sites, and other Web sites where users choose to embed the Hulu video player.

Advertising: Hulu gives advertisers an opportunity to associate their brands with premium online video content, connect with highly engaged consumers and extend their reach beyond to Hulu's distribution network. Additionally, Hulu offers and is committed to the continued development of innovative, new advertising experiences. Currently, Hulu partners with over 250 Fortune 500 advertisers including Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, Visa, American Express, Best Buy, Chili's, DirectTV, GM, Intel, Nissan, State Farm, Unilever, Wal-Mart, Cisco, and Procter & Gamble.



TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year's TEDIndia Conference and the annual TED Prize.

The annual conferences in Long Beach and Oxford bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

On, we make the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 500 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. All of the talks feature closed captions in English, and many feature subtitles in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.
Click here to subscribe to TEDTalks video:

Our mission: Spreading ideas.
We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. This site, launched April 2007, is an ever-evolving work in progress, and you're an important part of it. Have an idea? We want to hear from you. helps intelligent, engaged audiences get smart. Our users find, enjoy, and share videos about the people, issues, and ideas changing the world.
We gather the web's largest collection of unmediated video drawn from live events, lectures, and debates going on all the time at the world's top universities, think tanks and conferences. We present this provocative, big-idea content for anyone to watch, interact with, and share --when, where, and how they want.

With our community of savvy users and an extensive, growing library of smart videos, is at the forefront of the ongoing integration - and transformation – of the traditional media, TV, cable, and online industries from mass-market to high-quality, high-value content. was founded in 2005 and is funded by a select group of investors including William R. Hearst III and Adobe Ventures.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with “moral force.” We do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.

Profit-margin expectations and short-term stock market concerns, in particular, are making it increasingly difficult for the public companies that control nearly all of our nation’s news organizations to afford—or at least to think they can afford—the sort of intensive, extensive and uncertain efforts that produce great investigative journalism. 

We have created an independent newsroom, located in Manhattan and led by some of the nation’s most distinguished editors, and staffed at levels unprecedented for a non-profit organization. Indeed, we believe, this is the largest, best-led and best-funded investigative journalism operation in the United States.

The Sandler Foundation has made a major, multi-year commitment to fund ProPublica. Other philanthropic contributions have been received as well, and more are needed. Click here to donate.
ProPublica is a non-profit corporation, and is exempt from taxes under Section 501(c)(3). It has its own Governing Board, chaired by Herbert Sandler. Mr. Steiger is a member of the Board. A Journalism Advisory Board of leaders in the field has also been assembled.

This American Life

This American Life is a weekly public radio show broadcast on more than 500 stations to about 1.7 million listeners. It is produced by Chicago Public Radio, distributed by Public Radio International, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards. It is also often the most popular podcast in the country, with more than a half million people downloading each week. From 2006-2008, we produced a television version of This American Life on the Showtime network, which won three Emmys. We're also the co-producers, with NPR News, of the economics podcast and blog Planet Money. And a half dozen stories from the radio show are being developed into films.
The radio show and TV show follow the same format. There’s a theme to each episode, and a variety of stories on that theme. It’s mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. There’s lots more to the show, but it’s sort of hard to describe. Probably the best way to understand the show is to start at our favorites page, though we do have longer guides to our radio show and our TV show. If you want to dive into the hundreds of episodes we’ve done over the years, there’s an archive of all our old radio shows and listings for all our TV episodes, too.
There are several ways to get the show:
You can also read about shows we're doing on the road, about our staff, about how to submit a story idea, about how to learn to make radio, about our internship program or about about press coverage, check answers to frequently asked questions, or join our group on Facebook.