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Minnesota in National Media Spotlight

June 6, 2008

Minneapolis, MN – Minnesota is under the lights and "on camera" this weekend, as a three-day National Conference on Media Reform gets underway this morning at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Brought together by concerns about media monopolies and deregulation, organizer Craig Aaron from Free Press says hundreds of journalists, activists and politicians will work on solutions for a more diverse and independent media.

"We don't have a media system that looks like America, with all its diversity. The owners of our media outlets are not women and they're not people of color. We need a media system that can actually serve all of us. Unfortunately, we’ve been moving for a long time in the wrong way. What we're now beginning to see is push-back from the public, because they've gotten more involved in technology. They've begun to wake up to the idea that they're not getting the full story, and they're beginning to demand a seat at the table."

High-profile participants include Bill Moyers, Sen. Byron Dorgan, Dan Rather and Robert McChesney.

On Sunday, Laura Flanders, host of Free Speech TV's program "Grit TV," will headline a nationally televised town hall meeting at the Women's Club of Minneapolis. Called "Live From Main Street," the show focuses on the issues they say are most important to everyday Americans, but only discussed in seven percent of overall campaign coverage.

"This is not enough news space to devote to talking about the stuff people all across the country are thinking about, when they think about the next presidency. People are facing an economic crisis, they're facing a crisis in their schools, their homes, their hospitals, you name it – and we have a presidential campaign that's been mostly all about personalities."

Flanders says the town hall meeting, a project of the Media Consortium, will also focus on the impact the Patriot Act is having on the free flow of news and information. This event is the first of several scheduled around the country leading up to fall elections.


The Media Reform Conference runs through noon on Sunday. More information is available online at www.freepress.net/conference. The Town Hall Meeting starts at 2:00 PM on Sunday and will be televised live on Link TV and Sunday evening on Free Speech TV. Information is available at www.livefrommainstreet.com.

Jim Wishner/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - MN