Welcome to Denver!

Remember how much you looked forward to your birthday when you were a kid?  You’d dream about it months in advance, planning your party, thinking about the friends you’d invite, anticipating how much more grownup you’d feel when you could announce yourself as four or seven or — the Rolls Royce of birthdays — 10.

And the actual occasion never disappointed you, even if the cake left you with a sugar rush and your best friend forgot you already owned the complete Little House on the Prairie set and bought you On the Banks of Plum Creek. No matter what, your birthday was just this perfect, perfect day.

Well, that’s how we feel about the National Conference for Media Reform. We’ve been planning this party for more than a year, taking care with every detail — and now that we’ve landed in Denver and the big bash is about to begin we couldn’t be more excited.

We’re launching the conference with a welcome party at the Mercury Café featuring the premiere of Jean-Philippe Tremblay’s documentary Shadows of Liberty, which explores censorship, cover-ups and corporate control in the media. In this age of runaway consolidation, when the line between business and editorial consistently blurs, this film couldn’t be more relevant.

One of the many disturbing stories Tremblay explores concerns former CBS News correspondent Roberta Baskin, who in 1997 reported on abuse of workers at a Nike factory in Vietnam. The network refused to air a follow-up report, and Baskin couldn’t figure out why. Then, in 1998, CBS News told its reporters to wear the Nike logo on camera during Nike-sponsored coverage of the Olympics. Coincidence? Not to Baskin, who subsequently resigned.

Following the screening we’ll have a discussion with the filmmaker, Democracy Now! co-host Amy Goodman, media scholar Robert W. McChesney and prolific author Norman Solomon. Former vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign will give a presentation — and then we’ll gather for a dance party featuring Jonny 5 of the Flobots, singer-songwriter Laura Goldhamer and DJ RIPM with special guest Cavem Moetevation.

We hope you’ll join us tonight as we kick off the conference and get ready for Friday. Speaking of which, you can get a jump start on registration this evening. We’ll be at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel from 5–8 p.m. to check you in and give you your name badge, the conference program and other goodies.

So come on down — we can’t wait to meet you and get this party started!

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good