Town Meeting on the Future of Media -- Milwaukee

FCC Commissioners to Headline 'Town Meeting on the Future of Media' in Milwaukee Next Week

September 7 forum will offer rare opportunity for citizens in Wisconsin to speak directly to Washington decision-makers

WASHINGTON -- Federal Communications Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps will visit Milwaukee on Sept. 7 to listen to local citizens' concerns about media consolidation. This "Town Meeting on the Future of Media" is a rare opportunity for the public to participate directly in crafting media policies that serve their community.

WHAT: Town Meeting on the Future of Media

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, in the Helen Bader Concert Hall in the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts

WHO: FCC Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps, local leaders, media representatives and concerned citizens.

The Town Meeting on the Future of Media is taking place as the FCC reviews federal rules on media ownership. The FCC has proposed changing how many television stations one company can own and allowing one company to own multiple television stations, radio stations and the major daily newspaper in the same market.

“For far too long, major decisions about the media have been made behind closed doors without any public involvement,” said Professor Robert McChesney, president of Free Press, the national, nonpartisan media policy group that has helped organize similar hearings across the country. “Media consolidation has come at the expense of investigative journalism, local coverage and meaningful political dialogue. This forum will give citizens in Wisconsin a chance to participate directly in the debate over the future of media ownership.”

The Milwaukee meeting is being organized by Free Press in partnership with the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University, AFSCME Council 48, Campaign Neighborhood - CFNBA, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, the Center for Media and Democracy, Common Cause in Wisconsin, Community Shares of Greater Milwaukee, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, MATA Community Media, Milwaukee Central Labor Council, Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, the Midwest States Center, NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, Peace Action of Wisconsin, Prometheus Radio Project, Sierra Club Great Waters Group, Voces de la Frontera, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO.

The forum, which is free and open to the public, will feature a panel discussion on how media concentration affects local news and information with Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton; David R. Newby, Wisconsin State AFL-CIO; Robert Miranda, editor, Milwaukee Spanish Journal; Carolyn Castore, League of Women Voters; Eric Von, host, The Eric Von Show; Dianne Farsetta, Center for Media And Democracy; Mary Glass, Campaign Neighborhood - CFNBA; and John Nichols, Madison Capital Times. Justice Janine Geske, Distinguished Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School, will moderate the panel.

The Town Meeting on the Future of Media will also include an open microphone session for the public to offer testimony on media issues to Commissioners Adelstein and Copps. All testimony will be recorded and submitted to the FCC and Wisconsin’s elected officials.
To help local residents prepare their testimony and learn more about media issues, Free Press is co-sponsoring a series of workshops in Milwaukee and Madison in advance of the event. The workshops will be held:

Tuesday, Sept. 5
6 p.m.
Adoption Resources of Wisconsin
6682 W. Greenfield Avenue, Suite 310
Sponsor: League of Women Voters of Wisconsin
Contact: Carolyn Castore 414-507-9591 or Amanda Ballantyne 612-849-0195

Wednesday, Sept. 6
5 p.m.
Center Street Library
2727 W. Center
(on the corner of 27th and Center Streets)
Sponsor: Campaign Neighborhood - CFNBA
Contact: Amanda Ballantyne 612-849-0195

Tuesday, Sept. 5
7 p.m.
WORT Studios
118 S. Bedford St
(at the corner of Bedford and Doty)
Sponsors: The Center for Media and Democracy, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and WORT
Contact: Bev Speer 608-255-4260 or Diane Farsetta 608-260-9713

FCC Commissioners Copps and Adelstein will be available for a limited number of interviews in advance of the event. To schedule an interview with the commissioners, media policy experts or local citizens concerned about media consolidation, please contact Craig Aaron of Free Press at 202-265-1490, x 25, or 202-441-9983.

For more information on the Town Meeting on the Future of Media, please visit: .