Building Bridges to a New Media
– A 9/11 Team Report-back from the St. Louis Media Reform Conference By Les Jamieson
In a time of universal deceit by our mainstream media, the media watchdog group FreePress.net opened its annual Conference on Media Reform in St. Louis on May 13. The event sold out bringing in 2,500 alternative media workers from all 50 states. There were independent journalists, people with local cable access shows, alternative radio shows and alternative print publications. The stellar lineup of speakers included the likes of Phil Donahue, Jim Hightower, Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman, and Al Franken to name a few. A major highlight was an address given by the two FCC Commissioners, Michael Kopps and Jonathan Adelstein, who opposed chairman Michael Powell and the media giants move to broaden regional media ownership and increase their monopolies.
The workshops addressed a broad spectrum of issues and strategies for disseminating news that gets suppressed by the corporate media. The Downing St. Memo was a big topic of discussion. Robert McChesney and the leadership of FreePress did a phenomenal job organizing and managing the event throughout the weekend. Overall, there was a sense of alarm due to the political atmosphere that has engulfed the nation since the stolen election of 2000 and the media’s role in selling a war based on lies.
Several 9/11 activists attended with the goal of distributing 600 DVDs and audio CDs of the David Ray Griffin lecture at the University of Wisconsin which was broadcast on C-Span in April 30th and May 8th. Along with the broad array of alternative media folks who received these, we were able to give them to almost every media celebrity. In the process we had many excellent conversations with people who were aware of David Ray Griffin’s work as well as others who knew of the many anomalies of the official explanation and were beginning to realize the magnitude of the scandal. I spoke to a man who was an Air Force vet who said they had the ability to track all flights 35 years ago! He knew there was no credible explanation for the failure of our air defenses so he was open to hearing the rest of the evidence. Overall, the receptiveness was very positive.
Attendees were allowed to schedule impromptu focus group sessions which we took advantage of. We had a productive conversation with a group of about 25 people. This processed enabled us to hone our talking points and build skills in fielding some typical challenges to our message. Let’s face it, most people are either uninformed about the official deception of 9/11 or somewhere in the process of discovering the multitude of unanswered questions and examining the evidence which reveals the biggest lie of the century.
Looking forward, we will be assembling a database of all 2500 attendees and creating a campaign to follow up and provide information on the topic of 9/11 to this new base of outlets. We have to look at this conference as a platform for an alternative media which has the ability to reach millions of people apart from the corporate media and possibly overtake its reach as people become more and more disenchanted with the propaganda and info-tainment which clutter our airwaves. This is an opportunity not to be missed.
Given the near total collapse and cooptation of so-called mainstream journalism, the mushrooming of indie media is not just a hopeful sign, it’s the only hope most truthtellers have got. This week 911truth will be emailing all 2,500 conference participants to invite their attention to the DC Emergency Truth Convergence where we are asking veteran & victim family groups, key truth movements, and media activists to finally develop a mutually reinforcing strategy to take back the media and expose the lies driving us to war and ruin.