Monday, February 4, 2008

Excerpt from Bill Moyers' speech at the National Media Reform conference (Memphis, 1/07)

"It means reclaiming public broadcasting and restoring it to its original feisty, robust, fearless mission as an alternative to the dominant media, offering journalism you can afford and can trust, public affairs of which you are a part, and a wide range of civic and cultural discourse that leaves no one out."

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"You can have an impact here. For one thing, we need to remind people that the federal commitment to public broadcasting in this country is about $1.50 per capita, compared to $28 to $85 per capita in other democracies...

"In moments of revelry, I imagine all of you returning home to organize a campaign to persuade your local public television station to start airing Democracy Now! I can’t think of a single act more likely to remind people of what public broadcasting should be.... We’ve got to get alternative content out there to people, or this country is going to die of too many lies.

"The opening rundown of news on Amy’s daily show is like nothing else on any television, corporate or public. It’s as if you opened the window in the morning and a fresh breeze rolls over you from the ocean. Amy doesn’t practice trickle-down journalism. She goes where the silence is, and she breaks the sound barrier. She doesn’t buy the Washington protocol that says the truth lies somewhere in the spectrum of opinion between the Democrats and the Republicans.

"On Democracy Now! the truth lies where the facts are hidden, and Amy digs for them. And above all, she believes the media should be a sanctuary for dissent, the Underground Railroad tunneling beneath the plantation. So go home and think about it. After all, you are the public in public broadcasting and not just during pledge breaks. You live there, and you can get the boss man at the big house to pay attention." [read full speech]