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Indybay Feature

Broadcast Blues

Wednesday, July 21, 2010
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Humanist Hall
390 27th Street
midtown Oakland, between Telegraph and Broadway

Film evenings begin with optional potluck refreshments and social hour at 6:30 pm,
followed by the film at 7:30 pm, followed by a discussion after the film.

by Sue Wilson

Presented by Joy Newhart
from MoveOn

This important documentary focuses on the corrupt practices of the media and what the people of the U.S. can do about them. It emphasizes the fact that the public owns the airwaves so it’s our job to clean them up. People may feel that they have no control over what they are watching or listening to. The filmmaker, Sue Wilson, says: “I think people feel disempowered.” She reminds us that “Policy makers only change laws and rules when the public stands up and starts to scream… We the people have the power to be able to change this media to make it work better for us.” The film does a good job of helping the general public understand the role of the Federal Communications Commission — the way that its powers to regulate and license television and radio stations have really diminished over the years. But the film also gives some hope that folks can take the media back. This is a very important film to inform people of their rights.

Sue Wilson continues: “There has been a right wing movement for more than a generation to dumb down and control our culture. It started before Ronald Reagan and goes right up through the Citizens United case. This movement has been purposely confusing people to sway public opinion and to write its own oral history… I’ve worked as a broadcast journalist since 1987, when we were still working under the Fairness Doctrine. I saw how the character of broadcasting changed when we lost that rule: personal attacks were suddenly okay, community programming was not worth the price, and candidates for public office could forget about going on the air for free; if they wanted time, they could buy it… Then after Bill Clinton signed the 1996 Telecommunications Act into law, I saw how one man on 600 radio stations nationwide could pummel a president into impeachment. I would hear Rush tell his audience, ‘I’ll do the reading for you so you won’t have to,’ then lie to his listeners about what he’d read. Nobody was there to check his facts, and so he began writing America’s new oral history… [I made this film] to educate people as to our rights in this media landscape, and to encourage people to stand up and start shouting to reclaim our rights. We the People have to be our own advocates, or nothing will happen in Washington.”

Wheelchair accessible around the corner at 411 28th Street

$5 donations are accepted
Added to the calendar on Sat, Jul 10, 2010 12:44PM
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