Archive for allied media conference

Want to read my writing? Check People’s Production House

In order to simplify my life and give the company that pays me the full value of my work and energy, I will now be posting to my blog on the People’s Production House website. RSS feed coming soon.

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Slingshot Hip Hop showing in NYC

New Yorkers: Your first chance to see Slingshot Hip Hop:

Slingshot Hip Hop is the highly-anticipated documentary about Palestinian hip hop. It premiered recently at Sundance to standing ovations. I had the opportunity to see the finished film in Oakland recently.

It was eye opening for me, as it will be for anyone who has not witnessed or experienced the brutality of Israeli occupation. Beyond that, it is one of the best documentaries on hip hop I have seen. It deftly captures the relationship between the violence of everyday life and music as a form of nonviolent resistance. I look forward to the impact this movie will have on the world.

Jackie Salloum, director of Slingshot Hip Hop, was a keynote speaker at Allied Media Conference 2006. She discussed her experience making the film and later showed clips of the work in progress. If Slingshot Hip Hop is the kind of media you want to learn more about, register for Allied Media Conference 2008.

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A sneak peak at the new AMC website

We’re on the verge of sending out an announcement heralding the new Allied Media Conference website. Follow the link for a sneak peak (and let me know if you find any bugs or problems).

We’ve had to hold back on a lot of our outreach and publicity as we finished up the website, so get ready for a flood of good news from your favorite national conference. For starters, check out the AMC 2008 vision statement.

To make sure you stay on top of all of the latest AMC developments, visit the website and subscribe to the email list. Heck, go ahead and be the first to pre-register. The AMC will be held June 20-22, 2008, in Detroit, Michigan.

A big thank you to the Chicago Technology Cooperative for building such an excellent website and to Joe Namy for his gorgeous design.

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AMC 2007 – Spread the word!

Allied Media Conference
“Breaking Silence, Building Movements”
Detroit, MI
June 22-24, 2007

In just three weeks, hundreds of independent media-makers and social justice activists from around the country will convene in Detroit for the 9th annual Allied Media Conference.

The AMC provides three days of hands-on media trainings, accessible discussions and exceptional dance parties, with the goal of advancing the human right to communication. This conference is unlike anything you’ve ever been to before (unless you’ve been to the AMC before).  It combines DIY media, women of color feminism, youth culture, and popular education.

The organizations and individuals who travel to the Allied Media Conference from across the country represent the cutting edge of the independent media movement, from radio producers and magazine publishers to hip hop artists and youth organizers.

Prometheus Radio Project from Philadelphia will light up Southeast Michigan with tools and tactics for expanding access to low power FM radio. People’s Production House will lead a session on “Reporting Immigration: Strategies for Avoiding Myths and Broadening Debate.” There will be workshops on stencil-making, DIY animation, and how to wi-fi.

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence will host an entire track of sessions on everything from zine-making to online organizing.  Detroit Summer, a local youth organization will collaborate with youth organizations from around the Midwest to present a youth-led track of workshops. And the pre-conference Symposium on Popular Education will bring together youth and educators using media as a tool for liberatory education.

Detroiters will represent in full force at this national conference, leading
sessions such as “The History of Black America as told through Music,”
Community-based Literacy Campaigns,” and “the Future of Public
Access.” Youth from Detroit Summer, will share their trail-blazing community media model, Live Arts Media Project, on the opening plenary.

Veteran movement leader Grace Lee Boggs says, “If you come to Detroit for the Allied Media Conference, you’ll  be astonished at  what young people are  doing here and around the country to transform the media from the ground up.”

She and Detroit pioneers Charles Simmons and Elena Herrada will welcome visitors to Detroit at the Opening Ceremony Friday night, followed by a bowling party at the nation’s oldest bowling alley. The Saturday night show will feature Detroit pillars of independent music—D. Blair, Invincible and Underground Resistance.

Conference registration is on a sliding scale. The deadline for low-cost
housing, bike rentals, and childcare is Wednesday, June 6. Visit for registration details and up-to-date information about the program schedule.

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Get Omnibus: Weighing the New York Omnibus Telecommunications Reform Act of 2007

I’m heading up to Troy, NY, this morning for a “New York State Strategy Session for the Future of Community Media & Media Justice.”

Today’s get-together at the Sanctuary for Independent Media is a precursor to a larger event tomorrow called interAct Troy!, a community driven skill share and party. It’s a great chance to check out the Sanctuary, visit friends up there, and promote the Allied Media Conference.

There will also be the second round of the strategy session with Dee Dee Halleck, George Stoney, Michael Eisenmenger, and Steve Pierce, which is a not-to-be-missed combination of folks, especially if you care about New York and the future of public access television.

The focus of today’s discussion is the “Omnibus Telecommunications Reform Act of 2007,” sponsored by State Assembly Member Richard Brodsky. The bill is a mammoth one that would have extensive impact on the lives of every single person in New York who uses the Internet, telephone, or television.

This bill represents an interesting moment in the life of state franchising for video service. Last year, as you may recall, Verizon and AT&T spent tens of millions of dollars trying to pass national franchising legislation called the COPE bill through Congress. Simultaneously, they pushed similar legislation in a number of statehouses.

The telcos’ goal was to smooth their entry into the TV market and they did not mind clear-cutting local media in the process. Many cities in Texas have already lost their public access channels as a result of the state franchising legislation there.

From what I know, the idea of proactive, public interest-based state franchising legislation was initially put forward in Pennsylvania by Beth McConnell, then of Penn PIRG (now with the media reform umbrella group the Media and Democracy Coalition). Here’s Beth’s August 2006 testimony on a Verizon-sponsored state franchising bill:

While we do not believe state-level franchise legislation is necessary, we would support streamlining the franchise negotiation process by creating a strong, pro-consumer state agreement that could serve as a fall-back in instances where a local agreement cannot be reached in a reasonable period of time.

The idea emerged from the unique circumstances in Philadelphia, where I was briefly the coordinator of the Philadelphia Grassroots Cable Coalition that included Penn PIRG and others. TV watchers in that town were suffering under a Comcast monopoly.

The cable giant is based there and basically gets to write its own franchise agreement, with little oversight from the local government. It also controls all of the local sports programming, which it has historically used to its competitive advantage. (Much to the surprise of Free The Flyers followers, Verizon was able to ink a deal late last year for Philly sports programming on its FIOS system.) Philadelphia also has no active public access channels.

So, from that perspective, Philadelphia residents had nothing to lose and maybe a little to gain from a Verizon statewide franchise. I laid this out pretty extensively back then in a post called “Is there hope for pay-tv competition in Philadelphia?

Since the local franchising process was so clearly broken in Philadelphia, it would seem to make sense to seek redress in Harrisburg (where Verizon holds greater sway).

(The idea of a ‘good’ state franchising bill also has roots in the Alliance for Community Media’s pragmatic approach to the COPE bill. Vermont has a statewide franchise and a healthy public access system, but that comes from an earlier era and the state’s size makes franchise aggregation sensible.)

The main extra-legislative force behind the NYS bill is the Communication Workers of America, especially the New York Local. They think “The NYS Telecommunications Reform Act is the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread…

The fact that CWA wants the state to require and to subsidize telecommunications deployment is no surprise. But the bill contains provisions for net neutrality, which CWA has previously opposed. Seems like the influence of the Local may have had something to do with that.

Albany being Albany, there is no way to know what will happen to this bill (A03980 for those of you keeping score at home). Spitzer might try to kill it so he can push his own plan for broadband deployment in New York. Or telco lobbyists could try to rewrite the bill.

The CWA and Brodsky, along with media reform organizations like Consumers Union, NYPIRG, Common Cause, and Free Press, will be holding a press conference to tout the bill in Albany on Tuesday, the 15th. Stay tuned here for my thoughts on that, a report on today’s meeting in Troy, and a breakdown of the bill itself.

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AMC promo spots for radio and video

Thanks, Nadia, for compiling these testimonials from the ’06 conference to get everyone excited for the 2007 AMC. Check it out on YouTube.

And thanks to the Detroiters who voiced and produced the audio psa. Let’s get it on the radio.

Speaking of getting on the radio, I got to hear about Detroit Summer’s Live Arts Media Project and their recent Midwest tour on the radio yesterday. I don’t know if there’s a podcast [update: to listen, go here and in the WDET Program Archives select Detroit Today for Thursday April 26] but I’ll be sharing more about that project soon. Detroit Summer is doing the most innovative, holistic media education and organizing that I know of. And they are the host of the AMC youth track host and organizer of this year’s Symposium on Popular Education.

The 2007 promos tell you much more about the conference than the radio and video ones we threw together last year. And yes, there will be bowling this year. Representation vs. Reality

Plus, don’t forget the AMC benefit art show “Representation vs. Reality” this weekend at the West Hancock Gallery of Wayne State University. This Saturday, from 5-9, come to the WSU Student-Run Gallery for an AMC-related art show! There will be work from local and national artists and media makers, engaging with the theme of media and media representation

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AMC 2007: The Time to Register is Now

The 9th annual Allied Media Conference:
“Breaking Silence, Building Movements”
June 22-24, 2007
Detroit, MI

With just two months left until we gather in Detroit for the 2007 Allied Media Conference, winter has finally fled the midwest. The conference program is taking shape and the website is humming with anticipation. That means it’s time for you to pre-register.

Pre-registration is the lifeblood of the AMC. It’s how we know what size venues to secure, how many bicycles to prepare, and how many programs to print. Your registrations also provide most of the funding for the conference.

Aside from ensuring the best conference possible, your pre-registration gets your organization listed on the participants page, gets you prime location for your display table, and – for the next 5 people who complete their registration – gets you a FREE 1 year subscription to Critical Moment, Southeast Michigan’s premier news-and-views publication.

Make this conference happen by registering now at

Thanks for all of your support!

The AMC 2007 organizers

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