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DECEMBER 2013

 
 

STOP MEDIA MERGERS NOW


A new wave of media mergers is sweeping across the nation. In fact, more than 200 TV stations have changed hands this year alone. Corporations like the Sinclair Broadcast Group and the Tribune Company are shuttering newsrooms, laying off journalists and broadcasting the exact same news on multiple channels. Tom Wheeler, the brand-new Federal Communications Commission chairman, has the power to stop these deals and roll back media consolidation. But first he needs to hear from you. Tell Tom Wheeler to Stop the Merger Madness. The last FCC chair didn't think anyone cared about media ownership, so he tried to open the floodgates to more consolidation. With your help, we stopped him in his tracks. But the big broadcasters didn't like that. And new Free Press research has revealed that these sneaky media giants are exploiting legal loopholes to grow their empires at the expense of the viewers. Many broadcasters have even set up fake companies to get around the rules. The FCC needs to stop ignoring this trend. And with your help, we can hold the agency accountable and stop the mergers. Tell the FCC to Beat Back Big Media. We've seen the damage that runaway media consolidation causes. Don't let the new FCC chairman make the same old mistakes. Let's put the local back in local TV and stop media consolidation. Sign this petition now.

 

THUMBS UP FOR '12 YEARS A SLAVE'

Since this historical drama came out earlier this fall it is attracting enormous critical acclaim. The film is based on Solomon Northup's autobiography, a free black man who was born free and living with his family in the North when kidnapped and sold into slavery in the antebellum South. The LA Times ran this exclusive new video that sheds some light on the historical context and legacy. If ever there were a reason for violence in media this film illustrates that graphic violence can encourage compassion. Media Watch also recommends the book Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing by Dr. Joy DeGruy. DeGruy takes the slave legacy into today's world and details our continued need to understand and heal. We all learn from a more accurate history so we can build a future where each of us can reach our human potential, free from the restraints that expectations surrounding race and gender continue to imprison humans in. Another great historical read is the book, Jesus, Jobs, and Justice: African American Women and Religion by Bettye Collier Thomas. This book reveals the resiliency of African American women from their arrival on slave ships to their defiance and unrelenting insistence on the recognition of their human rights, demanded in courts, but more successfully at the pulpit. '12 Years A Slave' once again makes me want to find out more of my own family's direct participation. If you are interested in your family's history, master or slave try this link. Coming To the Table: Taking America Beyond the Legacy of Enslavement. Genealogical Research rests at the core of the Coming to the Table Approach and its focus on Facing History openly and honestly. And a PBS special on a Rhode Island woman finding her family were the biggest slave traders in the U.S.

 

MEDIA FAILS WOMEN ONCE AGAIN

The sexism we continue to see in the media and our larger culture cannot be ignored! Some of the most influential brands and media outlets, from Ford to Fox, regularly stereotype and demean women and girls. Please view the Representation Project's annual review of the good, the bad and the ugly from 2013. The war against gender inequality in film continues to rage on. Here are New York Film Academy's latest findings. The school compiled data regarding the depiction of women in the top 500 movies from 2007 to 2012. The results are, unfortunately, in line with the continued rumblings emerging from the industry as of late, in which Sweden has introduced the Bechdel test and a USC study found that 70 percent of the speaking roles in 2012's 100 highest-grossing movies belonged to men. Take a look at the infographic compiled by the NYFA below. Imagine if women, who buy half the movie tickets, stopped buying the lies about gender.

 

BUY NOTHING

"Today, humanity faces a stark choice: save the planet and ditch capitalism, or save capitalism and ditch the planet."– Fawzi Ibrahim

Until we challenge the entrenched values of capitalism – that the economy must always keep growing, that consumer wants must always be satisfied, that immediate gratification is imperative – we’re not going able to fix the gigantic psycho-financial-eco crisis of our times. The journey toward a sane sustainable future begins with a single step. It could all start with a personal challenge, such as this: make a vow to yourself to participate in Buy Nothing this holiday season. Buy Nothing Day has become legendary for instigating this type of personal transformation … as you suddenly remember what real living is all about … you sense an upsurge of radical empowerment and feel a strange magic creeping back into your life. Join millions of us in over 60 countries and see what it feels like. Don't let Christmas be hijacked by commercial forces, let’s take it back. And why not get playful while you’re at it!? Put up posters, organize a credit card cut up, pull off a Whirl–mart, or a Christmas Zombie walk through your local mall.

 

THE HUNGER GAMES ARE REAL

"From now on your job is to be a distraction, so people forget what the real problems are." Haymitch, Catching Fire, The Hunger Games. To the left is Stanley Tucci as the Hunger Games showman, Caesar Flickerman. Tucci spoke of his character, saying "he is only encouraging truly horrible events" We applaud the critique 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' makes concerning US news/infotainment. If you didn't notice their critique, check out this wonderful video response, The Hunger Games are Real. And the link to their group. We encourage readers to be in the know about wealth inequality. Also, watch the often censored, Ted Talk by billionaire, Nick Hanauer. This season consider giving to programs that serve the most destitute in your local community and globally. Equal societies work better for everyone. Celebrate.

 

BRITISH NEWS STAFF MAY FACE TERRORISM CHAGES OVER SNOWDEN LEAKS

British police are examining whether Guardian newspaper staff should be investigated for terrorism offenses over their handling of data leaked by Edward Snowden, Britain's senior counter-terrorism officer said on Tuesday. The disclosure came after Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, summoned to give evidence at a parliamentary inquiry, was accused by lawmakers of helping terrorists by making top secret information public and sharing it with other news organizations. The Guardian was among several newspapers that published leaks from U.S. spy agency contractor Snowden about mass surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain's eavesdropping agency GCHQ. Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, who heads London's Specialist Operations unit, told lawmakers the police were looking to see whether any offenses had been committed, following the brief detention in August of a man carrying data on behalf of a Guardian journalist. Security officials have said Snowden's data included details of British spies and its disclosure would put lives at risk. Rusbridger told the committee his paper had withheld that information from publication. Read Reuters.

 

UNDRESSING PATRIARCHY

'If the metaphor is that patriarchy is a prison – who are the prisoners and who are the prison wardens?'

What do you get if you undress patriarchy? How can stories, film, art media help us to envision this? Alan Johnson, described patriarchy as a type of complex social system based on four roots: 'Male supremacy' (the subordination of women and 'lesser men'); 'Male privilege' (discrimination against women); 'Male centeredness' (or the 'unmarked male'); and 'an obsession with control and order'. The last root, 'an obsession with control and order' is a way of describing how patriarchal systems are focused on expansion, winning and domination as opposed to values like trust, diversity, equality and mutual accountability. We do not expect to emerge from the symposium with a simple 'recipe for ending patriarchy'. What we do hope to achieve is to revitalize and advance conversations and thinking about gender inequality in relation to patriarchy and other structures of power and to re-politicize 'gender in development'. We hope to make patriarchy more comprehensible and visible. What may look hopelessly daunting might start to look a bit a bit less complicated once the layers of clothing are gradually peeled off.' Read the full Undressing Patriarchy Report

 

Media Watch wishes everyone a joyous holiday and year-end celebration with loved ones. We are grateful for any help you can give us this holiday season. All donations are tax deductible and we accept PayPal or you can use your major credit card on paypal. We are an all-volunteer, non-profit organization and we depend on your financial support to survive.Click on the orange eye icon below or go to our site to make a donation. MAY PEACE BE WITH YOU NOW AND IN 2014!

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