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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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June 6, 2008 9:15 AM

NCMR opening

Posted by Ryan Blethen

MINNEAPOLIS - Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, got the National Conference for Media Reform off to a fiery start. You can take my word for it or watch him and other speakers on the Free Press Web site where they are being streamed.

I interviewed Silver earlier in the week for my column that ran today. Silver. In his opening remarks, Silver pointed out the substandard job the press has done during the Bush administration. He is right. He is also right when he points out that one of the reasons the press has done a poor job is because of media consolidation.

"

The corporate media is not a watchdog protecting us from the powerful. It is a lapdog begging for scraps."

He went on to rally the troops with an impassioned closing where he gave a glimpse into the issue that will dominate future efforts by Free Press. The Internet will be the focus for Free Press. This means much of the media reform movement will follow.

Free Press will need the help because the cable and telecom companies that control the network are and have been fighting mightily to retain and extend that control. Moving forward, I do not believe the cablecoms will have it as easy as years past. The media reform movement becomes more organized every year. Thanks in large part to Free Press.

There are a number of speakers and panels during the next two days that will foreshadow the battles that need to be fought on the media front.

I will be cornering a number of speakers for interviews. I am curious what questions you, the reader, would want to ask some of the big names in the media reform movement.

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