Laura Flanders and Josh Silver, March 2010
In a dynamic joint presentation, journalist Laura Flanders and media policy expert Josh Silver discussed “Independent Media and Critical Journalism: How Do We Get There?” Flanders, the host of the daily (web & satellite) GRITtv show, spoke eloquently of the linked nature of independent media in the Internet era, and how new inexpensive media technologies are allowing independent journalists to do high quality work and reach to broader communities. GRITtv is a success story in alternative TV news programming – featuring experts and issues generally ignored by corporate media. Before launching GRITtv, Flanders was a host on Air America and publc radio.
Silver, the co-founder and director of the preeminent media reform group Free Press, stressed the importance of media policy battles to strengthen independent journalism and public broadcasting, and to preserve the openness of the Internet through “Net Neutrality.” He pointed out that other democratic countries spend from 15 to 75 times more per capita on public broadcasting than does the U.S. – and noted that the decline in the number of journalists covering government combined with the increasing number of corporate lobbyists was a formula for corruption.