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Media Democracy Day 2008

Speaking for Our Selves: Media Democracy Day 2008

We all have a relationship with media, whether it be a strong,

traditional commitment or an exciting new dalliance as we delve into

unexplored domains. It provides us with a sense of community and

context. It allows us to form new perspectives and debates. It

provides us with necessary information. But how often do we question

whether this relationship is working?

Media Democracy Day is a way for us to ensure the media that educates

us is also honest and is happening in Vancouver on the 25th October

2008 at the Vancouver Public Library.

Steve Anderson, organizer of Media Democracy Day 2008 Vancouver, says

that “with media concentrating into fewer and fewer hands, and

Internet Service Providers quickly emerging as online gatekeepers, a

public forum on media issues like media democracy day, takes on a new

sense of urgency. I’m trilled to see such a full and diverse roster of

speakers, workshops and panels, it promises to be an exciting day.”

This year three panels will pay attention to the important issues

influencing our current media landscape. Panel 1, “Big Media” Clamp

Down – Taking stock and fighting back, will survey some of the main

battles currently being fought against Big Media. In Panel 2,

Journalism in a time of Big Media Domination, panelists will discuss

the current issues being faced by traditional media and describe what

they see as the possibilities of using new media and new models to do

in-depth investigative projects, find untold stories, and engage new

audiences. Could these projects counteract big media, and redefine

journalism? Panel 3,

The Battle for New Media and Open Communication, will examine the

growing role the internet has in “mass media” and if an open Internet

will succumb to the same companies that control traditional media.

Panelists will discuss the fight for an open Internet, prospects for

new social media, and future challenges at a time of intense

opposition from a powerful cartel of phone and cable companies.

Speakers for Media Democracy Day include: Rex Weyler (Author and

Co-founder of Greenpeace); Matt Thompson (Award winning online video

producer, Campaign Strategist for FreePress, Co-Founder of; Deborah Campbell (Award Winning Independent

Journalist); Andrea Hayley (President of the Epoch Times Vancouver);

Michael Tippett (Co-founder of; Robert Hackett

(Professor at SFU and author of “Remaking Media”); Robert Scales (CEO

of RainCity Studios); Brian Campell (Seriously

Free Speech Committee) and Kate Milberry (Media and Technology

Commentator and Blogger).

The anticipated workshop in Media Democracy Day in 2008 is Community

Organizing and Media: Networking for Change which seeks to share

strategies that are effective at both shaping the corporate media, and

at building connections between respective community media networks

working on social justice issues, such as indigenous rights, migrant

rights, the environment, poverty and women’s rights. Two other

workshops will discuss Open Source Journalism – how to ensure that

journalism adheres to and benefits from open source principles and The

Media Revolution – A workshop on OpenSource Software.

Media Democracy Day Vancouver will be held at the Vancouver Public

Library, 350 West Georgia Street, on Saturday October 25th 2008 from

12 noon to 6 pm. Admission is free and open to everyone. The event

also includes the Media Democracy Fair which will showcase a variety

of organisations and information.

This year’s sponsors are: The Ruth and Henry Goodman Fund for Social

and Ecological Justice, Endswell Fund of Tides Canada; Federation of

Post-Secondary Educators of BC; CUPE BC; British Colombia Teachers’

Federation; BC Government and Services Employees’ Union; British

Colombia and Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades Council;

NowPublic; The Tyee; Campaign for Democratic Media; SFU Faculty of

Applied Sciences; SFU School of Communication; SFU Institute for

Humanities; UBC School of Journalism; Free Geek; The Centre for Policy

Research on Science and Technology (CPROST); SFPRIG; Agentic; CMNSU;

The Republic and the Communications Energy and Paperworks Union

Western Region.

For additional media information or to discuss sponsorship

opportunities please contact:

Caroline Warwick


Faiza Zia Khan

or Steve Anderson


The full programme and further information on Media Democracy Day is

available at

For information on setting up a FREE table as part of the Media

Democracy Fair, please


Rodger Levesque

For more information on democratic media visit

More information about this event is attached.

(Press Release. Speaker Bio’s. Media Democracy Day background information.)

Faiza Zia Khan