bettyyu's blog

Why PEG and Community Access Television is a Media Justice Fight

By Betty Yu, Center for Media Justice (an original blog post for NAMAC's policy salon) 

My journey to the media justice movement actually started with my involvement in a local Public Access television station over 17 years ago.  When I was in high school, I became actively involved with a local Chinatown workers center, Chinese Staff & Workers Association, a 30-year old organization that has been in the frontline of labor organizing.  Hundreds of immigrant garment and restaurant workers were fighting against exploitative working conditions, but their courageous voices were being blacked out of the corporate media and even the local Chinese press.  The local Chinese dailies relied on labor law-breaking restaurants for large advertisements dollars so they didn’t want to rock the boat.  So in the mid-90’s with very little positive press attention, the organization decided to start their own Public Access Television show to provide a platform for workers to create and tell their own stories. 

Resistance is in the Airwaves: By Any Media Necessary

By Betty Yu, Center for Media Justice / Reposted from

As I wind down my adventures at the South By Southwest’s (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas this week, I reflect on the fact that the most powerful and poignant moments  didn’t actually take place in halls of the Convention Center.  The Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net)Brown Paper Tickets, and Prometheus Radio Project co-hosted a Sunday brunch with a half a dozen local groups located in and around Austin who were interested in taking advantage of a once in the lifetime opportunity to start a Lower Power radio station thanks to the Local Community Radio Act that was passed back in December 2010.  Prometheus Radio Project led a 10-year grassroots fight to win the Local Community Radio Act. The new law mandates the government to expand the Low Power FM (LPFM) service, creating the potential for thousands of new community based organizations to start radio station across the country, including availability for the first time in big cities!

March's Digital Dialogue: A Conversation about the Role of Arts and Culture in Movement Building

Listen Now! 

"A Dialogue about the Role of Arts and Culture in Movement Building"

Cook County phone contract costs inmates and families

by Rob Wildeboer, WBEZ 91.5
Inmates in the Cook County Jail have to pay severely inflated rates when they make phone calls from the jail. That's because Cook County has a contract that requires the phone company to pay almost 60 percent of what it makes from phone calls back to the county.  It's a subject we started looking at yesterday and if you missed that story you can hear what kind of impact the policy is having on poor families by clicking here.

Want to Start a Radio Station? We Want to Help!

By Steven Renderos, Center for Media Justice

We now have the opportunity of a lifetime to empower our communities through radio. The Federal Communications Commission has just voted to clear the airwaves and expand community radio across the U.S.! This is our chance to own media that reflects our voices, culture, and stories.

The time is now to take back our the airwaves, SIGN UP NOW to start your own radio station!

Welcome our three new MAG-Net Anchors!

Today The Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) announced the addition of three new anchor-members.  The Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center will anchor the Downstate Illinois Chapter- MAG-Net also has a Chicago Chapter in the state.  Highlander Research & Education Center and Art is Change will serve as co-anchors of the Southeast Regional Chapter.  The addition of these three anchors expands the fast growing network of grassroots community organizations working across the country for media change to end poverty, eliminate racism, and ensure human rights.  

In Kentucky, Rural Access to Basic Phone Service Threatened by Telecom-Backed Bill

By Cheryl Leanza, Consultant for Progressive States Network 

Should the phone company be required to offer basic phone service to a state’s rural residents? That’s the question currently being considered by a committee in Kentucky’s State Senate.

The National Rural Assembly released a letter this week expressing concerns about the bill, SB 135, arguing that it “threatens access to what most consider a basic lifeline, including 911-emergency service, for Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Washington Legislation to Spur Rural Broadband Killed in Committee

By Christopher Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Lobbyists for major cable and DSL companies (Comcast, Frontier, and others) already earned their pay in Washington state this year by killing a bill that would have allowed some public utility districts to offer retail services on broadband networks in rural areas that were unserved.

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