bonster
(Ching Shih)
10/28/02 06:08 PM
political action

I didn't see a thread on rallying the troops so I thought I'd start one. This past Friday (10/25/02) I watched a story on NOW with Bill Moyers on PBS regarding media consolidation that has me taking action and I hope that many of you will do the same. I apologize in advance that my links, etc. all concern the US, but I know that this issue has global impact so hopefully you non-US chickliterati will do research in your own countries to see what can be done on your end.

Most of you are probably already aware that in the past few decades the number of companies who own the bulk of our media sources in the US and the world has shrunk alarmingly. This is from the PBS website:
 Quote:
Approximate number of newspapers in North America: 1800
Approximate number of magazines in North America: 11,000
Approximate number of radio stations in North America: 11,000
Approximate number of television stations in North America: 2000 Approximate number of book publishers in North America: 3000

Number of companies owning a controlling interest in the media listed above in 1984: 50
in 1987: 26
in 1996: 10
And here's a link if you want to see what the big 10 look like: mediachannel.org

Now the FCC is considering dismantling the last rules that would prevent even more consolidation – including cable and Internet access - and they've set a deadline of December 2, 2002 for public comments.

 Quote:
Media Ownership Policy Reexamination
In 2001, the FCC began rulemaking proceedings on two of its broadcast ownership rules - the Broadcast-Newspaper Cross-Ownership Rule and the Local Radio Ownership Rule. Then in September of 2002, the Commission issued a Biennial Review NPRM in which it sought comment on its four other broadcast ownership rules: the Television-Radio Cross-Ownership Rule; the Dual Network Rule; the Local Television Ownership Rule; and the National Television Ownership Rule. The September NPRM consolidated all three proceedings into a single Biennial Review for all broadcast ownership rules.


Don't be surprised if you haven't heard this on the network news, as it's in their best interest to have an uninformed public. And if you think radio sucks now, it won't get any better… Here are sites where you can submit letters in support of protecting media diversity:

Center for Digital Democracy - you can send letters to the FCC, your Congressional delegation and President Bush

National Organization for Women -you don't have to be a member, or a woman, but their form letter has a decidedly feminist slant.

Or go to www.congress.org and write your own letter.

Here are some other links that may be helpful if you'd like to do some research of your own.
mediachannel.org mediaaccess.org
fair.org
reclaimthemedia.org

Sorry for being so long-winded, what's your political hot-button?

damn code is killin' me...

[This message has been edited by bonster (edited October 28, 2002).]


graceless
(Ching Shih)
02/21/03 02:50 PM
Re: political action

I wanted to post a topic about political action concerning the possible war with Iraq, and I thought I would just extend this thread, I hope that is okay.

I would like to pose this question, is it wrong to protest a war that your country is fighting? I was having a discussion with some classmates who said it was terrible to protest a war that we're fighting (hypothetically) because we need to switch our attention to supporting troops, etc. I think it is a duty of any citizen to make your voice heard, even if you disagree with your country's action, it's our right and our duty? Does that make sense? I was just wondering what everyone else's opinion was on this issue?


TarynW
(Ching Shih)
02/21/03 03:20 PM
Re: political action

^^ If you can't protest and debate the actions of your own country, you must be living in a horrible dictatorship.

The way I figure it, if you voted for this war, then you shouldn't be bothered by it. As far as I know, however, no one did ...


maggie
(Ching Shih)
02/21/03 04:41 PM
Re: political action

Holy crap, graceless! How old are your classmates? I ask because they sound like ancient Republicans who met their sweethearts at USO canteens during WWII.

Are they unaware that protesting helped to bring an end to the Viet Nam war(even if it took waaaaaaay too many years)? I won't even go into how wrong it was for the US to be in that war.

To answer your question, it is your duty as an American citizen to examine, and criticize when necessary, your government's actions. Isn't that what your Constitution encourages? Isn't that your Constitution's raison d'etre? The fact that you have guaranteed rights as an American citizen to publically oppose your government's stance/actions, without being thrown into a gulag as punishment, makes it your duty to examine or oppose its positions. At least, some people see it that way, I'm led to believe.


PageTurner
(Ching Shih)
02/21/03 08:56 PM
Re: political action

You can love a person very much, and struggle to make them give up drugs.
You can love your job very much, and struggle to keep out policies that will make everyone unhappy.
You can love your country very much, and struggle to prevent, or end, a war that would be bad for it, and bad for the world.

Although I can criticize it at length, I love my country, the U.S., very much. That's why I was out on the streets of New York last Saturday freezing my butt off, to take a stand against something I think is wrong.

Sometimes protesting is the most patriotic thing you can do.


graceless
(Ching Shih)
02/21/03 09:23 PM
Re: political action

 Quote:
I ask because they sound like ancient Republicans who met their sweethearts at USO canteens during WWII.
No, but most of them do wear sweatshirts emblazened with such words as "Republican."

Thanks for everyone's input.


voiceofreason
(Ching Shih)
02/21/03 10:13 PM
Re: political action

I'd add that, to my mind at least, supporting the troops and opposing the war are not mutually exclusive activities.

PrimulaMary
(Ching Shih)
02/24/03 01:20 AM
Re: political action

Word. And, from a non-American perspective, that there's a difference between being 'anti-war' or 'anti-Bush' and being 'anti-American'.

I don't agree with a unilateral war. Does that make me anti-American? No. Does it make me disagree with George Bush and John Howard? Yes, and dear lord, that's a shock for anyone who's ever met me. The hypocritical dreck that is flying around - if you don't agree with us 100 per cent, then you're against our entire country, you're unAustralian and anti-American; we're fighting this war to safeguard the human rights of the opressed Iraqi citizens, who live in daily fear of torture, starvation and death, but we're not going to accept them as refugees, and we're going to send their illegal asses home - just makes me want to scream, or throw up, or cry.

And you can absolutely support the troops while deploring the reason they have been deployed. They are men and women doing their job; it's not a great job - not well paid, pretty damn dangerous, and you can bet the house that some of them don't agree with the war either.

I don't agree with the action our countries are taking, but I'm willing to listen to those other points of view - both to the left and to the right of me. I would that those other people would open their minds and do the same.

End of rant. Don't get me started on education policy.


maggie
(Ching Shih)
02/24/03 10:27 AM
Re: political action

"Although I can criticize it at length, I love my country, the U.S., very much. That's why I was out on the streets of New York last Saturday freezing my butt off, to take a stand against something I think is wrong.

Sometimes protesting is the most patriotic thing you can do. "

PageTurner, that's what I was trying to say in my rambling, fevered way.

graceless, did those Republican classmates of yours refrain from criticizing the government during the Clinton administration because as citizens they needed to be supportive of their country? I bet not.


setara
(Ching Shih)
02/24/03 11:28 AM
Re: political action

I am going to refrain from posting my own opinions on this war, because I can not avoid getting emotional and ranting endlessly about it. But I want to point that there is a link to an excellent article posted by dss on Feb 18 on the "Read any good articles lately?” thread. It is a very long article, but well worth the time to read it, and quite pertinent to the discussion here.

nanliza
(Ching Shih)
03/05/03 08:22 PM
Re: political action

Okay, I wasn't sure whether to post this in the non-fiction workshop forum, but I need a few suggestions quickly and I thought I might be more appropriate in a political thread...

I'm supposed to be writing an article for our Uni newspaper on politics, defining some generally misunderstood concepts, or just some things that people might have always wondered about. Kind of an 'everything you were afraid to ask' feature. It's not a long piece (probably 500-750 words) It can be quite light, I think, but the editor was really vague about what she wanted and pretty much left it up to me.

The problem is that now I've come to writing it I'm having a terrible time finding things that are relevant but not really, really obvious. I don't want to talk down to anyone, or sound patronising.

Bearing in mind it's written with a bunch of British university students in mind, can anyone think of a few things they might like to be illuminated on?


Mara
(Ching Shih)
03/05/03 11:24 PM
Re: political action

Nanliza - I work in Government PR (in Australia) and we often receive enquiries from students. In Australia, there is a lack of understanding of what things are Federal (national) government responsibilities and what things are State and Territory responsibilities. I know next-to-nothing about UK politics so I'm not sure whether jurisdiction would be an issue for you? I suppose whether things are regulated by the EU or the UK government may be a comparable example.

I'm often surprised that people don't know the difference between left and right wing (and that there are left and right wings of major parties).

Off the top of my head, you could do a story about the different factions of the major parties (which could be particularly relevant at the moment), the functions of the House of Lords vs the House of Reps, how laws get passed, what happens when bills get defeated, and what can trigger the dissolution of the parliament.

Still brainstorming - you could look at how the Westminster parliamentary system has influenced other countries. You could also look at some of the pomp and ceremony that goes with opening parliament and some of the rules on the floor.

You could also do a story on the best ways to contact members of parliament effectively - you could get in contact with members of various lobby groups/peak organisations and see if you can find out a bit of what goes on behind the scenes with the wheelers and dealers.

They all sound a bit dry, but I'm sure you'll be able to jazz a political story up!


nanliza
(Ching Shih)
03/06/03 03:57 AM
Re: political action

Thanks so much, Mara. I think I'm going to use the factions in government part. Probably be interesting because of the war vote the other day, when so many Labour MPs votes against the government. I could put in something about the party whips, as well, and stuff like that. Thanks again, I knew I could count on Chickliterati for good ideas!

Mara
(Ching Shih)
03/06/03 05:15 PM
Re: political action

Glad to be of assistance \:\)

marykmac
(Ching Shih)
03/09/03 09:57 AM
Re: political action

Am I too late? Well, for your next trick, I dare you to find out the difference between the European Commission, the European Directorate the European Parliament and all the other bits. I'm so ashamed that I don't know all that stuff. I'd find it incredibly useful! \:\)

VegetarianOnHiatus
(Ching Shih)
09/13/04 10:16 AM
Re: political action

I'm bumping this thread because the title seems most appropriate for this article I just found on Alternet.org. I'm curious what people may think of it. The basic thesis is that mass protests a la those of the 60s no longer work, and to threaten the system we need new forms of political action.

 Quote:
This current American juggernaut is the mightiest empire the world has ever seen, and it is absolutely immune to the individual. Short of violent crime, it has assimilated the individual's every conceivable political action into mainstream commercial activity. It fears only one thing: organization.
I think the author has a point, which is too bad, because protests marches are fun.

 Quote:
Before the war, Washington and New York saw the largest protests this country has seen since the '60s – and this not only did not stop the war, it didn't even motivate the opposition political party to nominate an anti-war candidate.
I was part of those protests. And they apparently did nothing. What are we to do?


FishDreamerAdministrator
(Ching Shih)
09/13/04 10:51 PM
Re: political action

I think that maybe, just maybe, what the Dean campaign did was part of a new way of action. Not just the fundraising online, but the way they formed online teams who sent out media alerts and wrote letters to the editor about egregious mistakes and laxity in reporting.

I know that having all the information from any angle available at the tips of my fingers whenever I want it makes a HUGE difference. I get opinions and stories from outside my own country, so I know what they're saying in India and South Africa and the UK and Australia (for example) instead of just hearing the unceasing hammer of party rhetoric within my country.

I don't know exactly how it works, but I do know that political blogging sites get information out faster, to more people, more efficiently, and with less error than over the phone or writing letters. And I can get more opinions and read other viewpoints. It's fascinating stuff.

I don't think The Internet Will Save The World, necessarily, but I think its existence has changed everything. So how can we use that to replace protest marches and other forms of action, and get results?


miercoles
(Ching Shih)
09/14/04 12:21 AM
Re: political action

 Quote:
I was part of those protests. And they apparently did nothing. What are we to do?
But how many of the protestors wrote letters to the editor? Or to their senators? Or put a "Peace" sign in their front yards, or whatever? The war in Iraq might be a bad example of this, though -- the Bush administration just seemed unstoppable. It was one thing to ignore protests in the U.S., where nearly half of the population initially supported the war, but what about the protests in Spain and the UK? The war was opposed by 80-90% of the population of those countries, and from here it appeared that the protests there were likewise ignored by the administrations.

 Quote:
I think that maybe, just maybe, what the Dean campaign did was part of a new way of action. Not just the fundraising online, but the way they formed online teams who sent out media alerts and wrote letters to the editor about egregious mistakes and laxity in reporting.
Dean certainly had his big lead early on because he broke new ground with the internet. And while he didn't get the nomination, some might view his candidacy as a success because of the issues he raised. (I'm curious; do you?)

It's so frustrating, because I don't know how my voice can be heard. I'm looking to volunteer with the ACLU and/or Planned Parenthood this winter, and I hope to see how these sorts of organizations can influence public policy.

 Quote:
I don't think The Internet Will Save The World, necessarily, but I think its existence has changed everything.
For starters, I'm not sure we'd ever have heard about Abu Ghraib without the internet and related technology. I tend to be of the opinion that more information is a Good Thing, though.


Promethea
(Ching Shih)
09/14/04 03:34 AM
Re: political action

 Quote:
It was one thing to ignore protests in the U.S., where nearly half of the population initially supported the war, but what about the protests in Spain and the UK? The war was opposed by 80-90% of the population of those countries, and from here it appeared that the protests there were likewise ignored by the administrations.
Possibly. But then the government in Spain was heavily defeated by an anti-war party and the government in the UK is definitely struggling and facing crisis after crisis. The protests didn't stop the war, true, so in that sense they failed, but at least they put a lot of pressure on the administrations and created the possibility of a comeback against them.


Ekaterina_dup1
(Ching Shih)
06/13/05 10:55 AM
Re: political action

Calling all American book-lovers, please consider supporting the Freedom to Read Amendment. This link will allow you to quickly contact your Congressional representatives to show your support for the amendment. (The vote may take place as soon as tomorrow afternoon!)

"The proposed amendment [to the Patriot Act] would prohibit the Department of Justice from using any money in its budget to search a library or bookseller using the wide-sweeping powers granted under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. The amendment would restore and protect the privacy and First Amendment rights of library and bookstore patrons which were in place before the USA PATRIOT Act."


LaSalleUGirl
(Ching Shih)
09/27/06 08:28 PM
Re: political action

Interested in working with MoveOn.org to participate in progressive campaigns leading into the November elections? MoveOn just opened new campaign offices across the United States, and they are looking for people to come to their offices to call other MoveOn members and enlist them to make phone calls in critical campaigns around the country. For more information, you can go to Move On 's website and look up your local office.

Don't want to go to a MoveOn office? If you're willing to make those phone calls for critical campaigns, and you'd rather just work from home, you can sign up at Call for Change . You need to be able to access the Internet while talking on the phone.

I had a fantastic time hanging out with the organizers at the Philadelphia office today -- if you want to know more about what exactly I did before committing yourself, feel free to e-mail me -- my address is in my profile.