NCMR2007: Determining My Place in Media Reform Issues

The conference is off to a great start. I’ve heard speakers and issue activists Danny Glover and Bill Moyers. Personally, I’ve been battling with what, exactly, my role should be in this fight. I’ve been battling with it for weeks. I now believe that by the end of the conference, I’ll have my game plan.

So far, I know I’ll continue to be vocal to my local political representatives (Not that it’s been a particularly productive pasttime so far). However, I must continue to try. My interests are broad — but interrelated.

  • I think that the Internet is required for economic development in rural areas. That requires access.
  • I think that our current defunct educational system could be better served by relying more on online resources to educate our children. (I have children that ride a rural bus for over an hour and a half each day to get, what I consider to be, less-than-adequate education). If it were possible to do online courses that were state approved in KY as they are approved in other states, my children would be studying online at home.
  • I think independent workers and small businesses can compete more effectively with online tools and that the removal of geographic boundaries is advantageous to the businesses and our economy overall.
  • I think NOT being required to commute and pollute our environment in order to do your job is a good thing. The Internet permits me to do just that and I want others to be able to do the same.

I think all these things are important. And although I find media reform a sticky and difficult to fully recognize, much less fully understand, I do know that these issues are what impact my own issues.

I believe that one of the best ways I can help promote an equal-opportunity Internet, rural access, education and small business use of the Internet is to come away from this conference with some tools to help me stay on top of the issues and the changes in those issues, and additional tools and approaches to help my clients and my peers understand what these issues mean to them.

Yes, I am only one voice… but I have always believed in the power of a single voice… even before my days as a journalist way back in the dark ages.

Today, I work in marketing and I live by the Internet so it only makes sense that I use my own platforms and networks (both personal and professional) to disperse this information in an easy-to-digest format. I want others to understand how these issues will affect their business and their bottom line. The days of the Internet as the great equalizer — where you can find excellent information from all sources, not just mass resources — is being threatened.

The ability of small business owners (like me) to work on and with the web (like I do and like my clients and peers do) is endangered.

Yes, I’m an activist at heart, and I’m constantly struggling with the dedicating myself to causes I find important and reserving more time for my own pursuits and to spend with family and friends. I have determined that I can’t be an organizer, there aren’t enough hours in my day. But… I can do what I do best. I can communicate information to others in a way that it’s easy to access. By doing this, I’ll enable others to work on these issues in their own little corners of the world.

When I first started learning about the issues that are involved in this complex social, political and economic issue, I found it to be overwhelming. It still is. There are so many facets, so many layers. It’s an onion. And although I may not be able to peel it all, I can pull away a layer or two and point others toward it so they can peel a layer or two also.

Now, back to the conference…