Rev. Jesse Jackson delivered his usually rousing speech to the National Conference on Media Reform this morning. It was largely a canned speech on civil rights, affirmative action, anti-war, etc. But in literally his last few words before leaving the stage, as almost an afterthought, he turned back to the mic and said, "…I’m anxious for us to broaden the base of this coalition. This is
the people’s coalition. We want our coalition to look like the people." To me that sounds like Rev. Jackson was delivering a polite critique of the largely white, middle-class media reform movement. This weekend will see if there are any new bridges built with groups concerned with poverty, people of color, artists, musicians, etc.
Some further notes from the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s keynote at the National Conference on Media Reform after the jump…
Quick Notes on Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Keynote, 1/12/07, Memphis
- Our concern is that the media has the capacity to make America better. Media concentration is a bad idea. We must fight to have access to the airwaves for all the people. When GE owns NBC, with its war-making industry… when Time Warner owns CNN… when the bottom line is interest in the war budget… then ownership keeps us weaker.
- We need a tax structure to expand the ownership of local media, ethnic-owned media.
- It should be part of the first 100 hours of Congress to regain more access to media, more local control.
- There’s a Mass Media Lock-out for people of color. 70% of roles in Hollywood for white males. TV news is all day, all night, all white. We demand the right to have access to the media.
- Free Press, you have the power to redeem the soul of America. Tell your story. Report your story. In the beginning was the word. No word, no world. Tell that word. Tell that story.
- In the name of Martin Luther King, march on anyhow. Don’t let them break your spirit. They will try and marginalize you. The networks aren’t covering this today. But their spies are here. They know what’s going on. They know they are going to lose this battle.
The moderator noted that 2,000 people from around the world were watching the streaming video of Rev. Jackson’s speech.