Student Voices at the National Conference for Media Reform

As a communications student, I've learned a lot about media consolidation. But none of my classes have explored ways to fight back.

That’s why I can’t wait to go to the National Conference for Media Reform, which will be held in Denver on April 5–7. The conference is a place for people with curious minds to tackle big issues — and actually develop some solutions.

Students like me use media and technology constantly. They will have a huge impact on our future jobs, our communities and the issues we care about. We need to be part of the discussion about what that future holds — and not just stand by and hope for the best.

The conference is highlighting the work of students and young activists throughout the event. At the Campus Action Table, students from around the country will discuss the work they’re doing on their campuses:

Fri., April 5: Evetta Brown from Southern Illinois University Carbondale will explore how African-American women use the Internet as a platform for discussions of race and feminism.

Fri., April 5: Rhoda Shirk from the University of Denver will discuss the media’s role in covering genocide and the implications for that coverage in court cases.

Sat., April 6: Hilary A. Niles from the Missouri School of Journalism will facilitate a dialogue on the tension between privacy and freedom of information worldwide.

Sat., April 6: Allison Paludi and Lukasz W. Niparko, independent student bloggers from The Weave, will discuss coverage of global issues that most people in the media ignore.

Sat., April 6: Hyshyama Hamin, a blogger and social media manager from the University of Denver, will discuss gender and women in the media in South Asia and the Middle East region.

Sat., April 6: Amy Yao, Angela Wang and Samuel Rauschenfels, students from St. Lawrence University, Princeton and Dartmouth, will discuss the important role of student media on college campuses and in the broader world of journalism.

Sun., April 7: Dan Massolgila, who has built a powerful social media presence for his law school, will discuss that project and his research on legal protections and Internet anonymity.

The conference will also feature a range of great sessions young people will really connect with:

Pop Culture Critiques: Somewhere Between Love and Hate: What college student doesn’t succumb to the lures of reality television? Pop culture shapes the way we live our lives — often without us realizing it. This session will offer tips and tricks on how to cope with — and subvert — the messages we devour daily.

Shifting Culture Through Storytelling, Media Making and Collaboration:

Most of us our lives don’t resemble what we see in the media. This session will empower participants to explore ways to disrupt the dominant narratives with stories that express what is actually going on in our communities.

United Citizens vs. Citizens United: Challenging Big Money and Big Media:

Young people were a force to be reckoned with in the last two presidential elections — but money has warped our political system and our media. This session will focus on concrete next steps we can take to fix both.

The conference also features a lot of great parties, plus a film festival, a comedy showcase, art and plenty of music. What more can you ask for in a weekend?

As students and activists, we need to have our voices heard! Be part of the discussion at the National Conference for Media Reform. Online registration has closed, but you can register on site at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel beginning at 5 p.m. on Thurs., April 4. Click here for more information.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good