This is pretty cool.
A new group called Media Democracy Chicago (their website is here) is hosting a forum on Sunday, January 16th at Columbia College from 3 - 6 pm, where the keynote speaker is Howard Dean's campaign manager Joe Trippi. (Chris Rhodes, the info is here).
I'll be on a panel discussing how we can have a greater say in our government and what we can do to ensure that our corporate broadcast media adequately serves the public interest.
A couple of ideas that I like are requiring each station to run a 30 second public service commercial every half hour, even during prime time, instead of repeating the same inane promotion for an upcoming show, where the public service commercial is from the state or local government promoting a particular program; another is requiring stations to devote at least two hours of programming every week to civic affairs to help educate the electorate.
If the federal reps are squeamish about making these improvements a condition of getting their broadcast license from the Federal Communications Commission, then we could say that as a condition of getting our taxpayer dollars to buy commercials for the army or the dumb anti-pot messages or tourism promotions, those stations must abide by the regulations for free public service ads and/or two hours of civic programming.