“Free” As In “Free Press”

WASHINGTON – On January 12-14, 2007, several thousand activists, media makers, educators, journalists, policymakers and concerned citizens from across the country will gather in Memphis for the 2007 National Conference for Media Reform. "Whatever issue you care about, real progress will be impossible without first fixing the media," said Robert W. McChesney, president and co-founder of Free Press, the national nonpartisan group hosting the conference. "Millions of people from all walks of life have joined the rapidly growing movement for better media. The National Conference for Media Reform is a unique opportunity for us to come together, share ideas and strategies, and make the media a viable political issue in America."

Among those already scheduled to speak at the Memphis Cook Convention Center are legendary broadcast journalist Bill Moyers; Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; political commentator and author Arianna Huffington of HuffingtonPost.com; Academy Award-winning actress and activist Jane Fonda; Benjamin Hooks, former FCC Commissioner and executive director of the NAACP; FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein; Ben Bagdikian, author of The Media Monopoly; David Brock of Media Matters for America; DJ and hip-hop activist Davey D; television host Phil Donahue; Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women; New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez; Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!; producer and director Robert Greenwald; Van Jones of ColorofChange.org; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation; civil rights leader Rev. Tim MacDonald; radio host Laura Flanders; and Free Press co-founders John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney.

The National Conference for Media Reform will include nearly 100 interactive panels and hands-on workshops about media ownership, media literacy, independent media, civil rights and media, the future of the Internet and grassroots media activism. The weekend will also feature new films, musical performances and book signings with best-selling authors.

"We’re at a crucial historical moment," said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press. "In recent years, we’ve witnessed an unprecedented explosion of interest in media issues, incredible grassroots activism, and a technological revolution that has introduced independent voices to a vast audience. This event is about making sure that the public has a say in the monumental political and policy decisions that will shape our media for generations to come."

Press credentials for the National Conference for Media Reform are available to members of the media who will be covering the event. Send requests to credentials (at) freepress.net or fax to (202) 265-1489.

There will also be a limited number of spaces available for radio programs that wish to broadcast live from the Memphis Cook Convention Center. Broadcasters interested in joining "Radio Row" should contact the Free Press staff at credentials (at) freepress.net

More information about the National Conference for Media Reform is available at http://www.freepress.net/conference