Talking Back: Media for the People

The media should be democracy’s backbone. But with newspapers, television, radio, record labels, and internet providers owned by a few giant corporations, only a narrow spectrum of voices get heard. Here’s what Americans are doing to reclaim the power to speak out

Play your own tune by Ricardo "Kool Aid" Chavez

We sing about how women are the backbone of any society; how women are our mothers, grandmothers, and sisters. We rap bout how we don't have a car with rims and a booming system, but can say, "Hey, I'm cool, I got skills, I can get on this mic and make any clown clap."


Digital Storytellers by Desiree Evans

"When people reclaim their stories and reconnect to what is important to them in their communities, that's where the real empowerment begins."

The digital storytelling conference was co-sponsored by Third World Majority (TWM), a collective made up of women of color who provide training in new media and access to equipment.

Watching the Watchers by Megan Rowling

People stop and watch. Busloads of passengers strain to read what's written on the boards. They smile and nudge their friends. They're curious. At the end they're handed leaflets explaining what's going on. For this series of performances, the Surveillance Camera Players traveled all the way from New York to alert Britons to the fact that they're one of the most highly monitored nations in the world.


Voices from the Valley by Jonathan Lawson

Now, more than 20 years since its founding, KDNA has become a hub for the Latino community. Call-in talk shows are a staple of KDNA’s programming addressing health education, immigrants’ rights, women’s and children’s issues, unemployment, labor conditions, and more. And the farm workers themselves frequently host shows.

Broadband Democracy by Jeff Chester and Gary O. Larson

Even as the mass media becomes more massive, there are a number of things that local activists can do to help their communities create an electronic commons and to protect their rights to a democratic media.

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