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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.