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Old 02-06-2004, 09:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Media Carta

Given the discussion here... Breastgate -- I thought this might be of interest to some people here on TFP...

Media Carta

The Media Carta Manifesto

We, the undersigned, are troubled by the way information flows and the way meaning is produced in our society.

WE HAVE LOST CONFIDENCE in what we are seeing, hearing and reading: too much infotainment and not enough news; too many outlets telling the same stories; too much commercialism and too much hype. Every day, this commercial information system distorts our view of the world.

WE HAVE LOST FAITH in the institutions of the mass media. A handful of corporations now control more than half the information networks around the world. At a time when people worldwide face hunger, social disruption, war and ecological collapse, only those who know how to walk the walk, talk the talk or pay big bucks are getting their message across.

WE HAVE LOST HOPE that our national media regulators will act in the public interest. Essential rules limiting media ownership and concentration are being scrapped, while rules protecting local content and access are diluted.

WE HAVE LOST PATIENCE waiting for reform.

WE IMAGINE A DIFFERENT SYSTEM a media democracy. We see great promise in the open communications of the internet and want that openness expanded into every form of media. We envision a global system of communications that has as its foundation the direct, democratic participation of citizens. To this end, we demand the timely transfer of key media sources back to the people.

As a start, we demand the right to buy radio and television airtime under the same rules and conditions as advertising agencies. We ask our media regulators to set aside two minutes of every broadcast hour for citizen-produced messages. We want the six largest media corporations in the world broken up into smaller units.

What we ultimately seek is a new human right for our information age, one that empowers freedom of speech with the right to access the media. This new human right is: The Right to Communicate.

WE HEREBY LAUNCH A MOVEMENT to enshrine The Right to Communicate in the constitutions of all free nations, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Sign the Media Carta

What are you thoughts on this? I think the spirit is right but it will be almost impossible to impliment. Corporations are not going to give up their "property" willingly (despite the fact that the frequencies they bradcast on belong to us).
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Old 02-06-2004, 09:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Media Carta

Quote:
Originally posted by Charlatan
What are you thoughts on this? I think the spirit is right but it will be almost impossible to impliment. Corporations are not going to give up their "property" willingly (despite the fact that the frequencies they bradcast on belong to us).
the frequencies belong to the people, the content belongs to the content creators.

there's plenty of methods to have equal access to broadcast, it's called CSPAN, and Local Access Cable. While it's not nationwide there is access.
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Old 02-06-2004, 10:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think it's fine that manifestos are being created. It makes the people who believe in certain things feel like they are taking action and it makes them feel better about themselves. Manifestos are also a good way to get ideas into cohesive publishable forms. Manifestos are usually political failures and substitutes for actually changing anything.

However. I would encourage everyone to publish their own material freely. In media terms, the problem is the hegemony of the huge, the crap of the conglomerate, the badness of the big. Small-scale publishing ventures are better than big ones.

It's a problem of scale and context. Small art-house venues are the proper place for MTV-styled entertainment. They are also fine venues for porn, etc. The problem of utter lack of social responsibility arises when what represents a relatively small demographic choice is dropped like so many tons of bricks upon the general population. That is the current situation.

Individual action and individual enterprise are the only antidotes to mass media. Do not aspire to mass media. Do not allow mass media to replace your thinking process. Almost no one here is interested in censoring anyone's responsibly contextualized expression.

Many - perhaps most - of us are becoming quite opposed to the type of garbage programming we are assaulted with by nonentities with every means of mass distribution at their disposal. They are the enemy.
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Old 02-06-2004, 10:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think the issue is what is being done to us on those frequencies... check out some of the discussion in ART's Mind Control and the Media thread.

And yes the content does belong to the creators but that content is licensed by broadcasters who put it over the airwaves. Those same broadcast corporations are the gatekeepers of what gets put on thier rented real estate.

Many would argue that access to those airwaves is not fairly accessable (i.e. an anti-smoking ad is OK during the superbowl but Moveon.org's ad is not -- they are both "political ads" are they not?).
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Old 02-06-2004, 10:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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anti smoking ads are not political ads, they are considered public service announcements, anti drug ads are of the same ilk as well.

now if no fur or no meat was not a special interest and public service ad, it would have been aired.

but in the current state, they are not the same thing at all.
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Old 02-06-2004, 01:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cynthetiq
anti smoking ads are not political ads, they are considered public service announcements, anti drug ads are of the same ilk as well.

now if no fur or no meat was not a special interest and public service ad, it would have been aired.

but in the current state, they are not the same thing at all.
I agree. The problem is that in the "current state" they are not the same.

Personally, I think they should be or at least there should be room available for these so-called political ads. As it stands an ad for "Buy Nothing Day" cannot get aired (for the obvious reason that it would piss off the other advertisers that want people to buy).

I find this troubling. What are the broadcasters and advertisers so afraid of?

There is nothing offensive per se about a "Buy Nothing Day" and yet good intensioned people with money to buy air time cannot get their ad placed.
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Old 02-06-2004, 02:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Charlatan
There is nothing offensive per se about a "Buy Nothing Day" and yet good intensioned people with money to buy air time cannot get their ad placed.
to the media companies that feed off of advertiser dollars it is offensive. It is taking food off the plates of those that work in the entertainment business since advertisements and product placement are a huge source of revenue.

In the UK where the public airwaves TV are subsidized by the government and the license fees that are generated, I would think that it's much less difficult.

Last edited by Cynthetiq; 02-06-2004 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 02-07-2004, 09:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It isn't my experience (selling to and watching UK television) that is all that different from the US.

Of course it is offensive to advertisers but that is my point. This one group (advertisers) controls either overtly through direct sponsonship (many programs are place through barter) or through their ad dollars.

There needs to be meaningful access given to the public. At present this is not the case.
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Old 02-07-2004, 06:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Charlatan
There needs to be meaningful access given to the public. At present this is not the case. [/B]
What constitutes meaningfiul access? And does it include taking away the broadcasting company's say in the kind of content they broadcast?

The thing about the First Amendment is that it prevents the government from abridging the citizens' right to free speech, it says nothing about the media's right to control the kind of content put out over the equipment it owns, run by the personnel it pays for.

And, as far as I'm concerned, frequencies in a particular region are owned by the broadcasters that license them. It's no different than a business owning the land that its offices are built on.


By the way, here's the First:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
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