October 18th is the 6th Annual Media Democracy Day
A day of action based on three themes:
- Education – understanding how the media shapes our world and our democracy
- Protest – against a media system based on commercialization and exclusiveness
- Change – calls for media reforms that respond to public interests, promote diversity, and ensure community representation and accountability.
(One of the key elements of MDD is the Media Democracy Fair)
Defined What is Media Democracy
Check out the 2007 Events
Learn about the History of Media Democracy Day
What is Media Democracy Day? Why is it? Who is it for?
More & more people are concluding that the dominant, agenda-setting corporate media are a problem for democracy, and a key obstacle to progressive social change. Why should that be? According to the civics textbooks, journalism is supposed to provide a quality of information, and a wide range of perspectives and voices, to promote participation in public discussion, and informed citizenship. But behind the buzzwords of the day — convergence, global competitiveness, de-regulation, consumer choice — the reality is a media system with fewer and fewer owners controlling more and more media outlets (eg.
General Electric, Time/Warner/AOL, – and CanWest, BCE in Canada). More and more integrated into the profit-making imperatives of trans-national conglomerates. More and more driven by marketing and commercial pressures rather than an ethic of public service. More and more shaped by the corporate agenda and its neo-liberal ideology of slashing taxes for the wealthy, and public services for the rest of us.
No wonder the American writer Robert McChesney (author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy; and Corporate Media & the Threat to Democracy) says:
Regardless of what a progressive group’s first issue of importance is, its second issue should be media and communication, because so long as the media are in corporate hands, the task of social change will be vastly more difficult, if not impossible, across the board.
So, who is MD Day for?
- environmentalists who see commercial media as part of a marketing system which prioritizes limitless consumerism over ecological sustainability;
- peace advocates who see media too often contributing to war hysteria, and witch-hunts against dissent in the wake of Sept. 11;
- people in poverty, the elderly, single parents, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, aboriginal peoples — all those people whose issues and concerns are generally trivialized or invisible in the corporate media, and thereby marginalized in public discourse.
- media workers and professionals who see standards and jobs compromised by the priorities of corporate employers;
- alternative journalists and independent media producers, who want to build community-based media independent of State and corporate control;
- working people who want to see issues of working conditions, wages, and the goods & services they provide treated as more than just a cost to consumers;
- advocates of social change and social justice who want to find avenues of cmn more effective than corporate media;
- parents who see kids being socialized by mass-marketed violent video games & media entertainment;
- communities of faith who want to see media too often undermining ethical values of human dignity and respect for the other;
- anybody who wants to see issues around govt, taxes and public ownership of important companies like Ontario Hydro publicly discussed in a fair and balanced way;
- students who want to learn more about the biases and power of dominant media;
- anybody who wants to be able to trust the media not to censor important voices and issues, even if it means treading on the toes of conventional thinking or powerful interests;
In short, Media Democracy Day is for anybody who is skeptical of the profit-centred agenda of the corporate media and wants to see their news & views presented in a fair manner that promotes broad-based democratic debate and action.