This Saturday, October 21, 2017, 2-3:30 PM, Friends of Community Media (FCM) Forum will feature a videoconference / webinar with Lewis Friedland, professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author and editor of multiple works in this area including "The Communication Crisis in America, And How to Fix It" (2016) (Palgrave). Venue: KKFI Annex 3901 Main St. Kansas City, MO (rear door, second floor) Title: Communication’s Challenge to Democracy This is the October 2017 episode of the FCM Forum, which hopes to catalyze improvements to media and in the greater Kansas City area. Hope to see you. Spencer Graves, Secretary Friends of Community Media ph: 408-655-4567
FCM Forum this Saturday, Sept. 16, 4-5:30 PM KKFI Annex Room, 39th & Main Rear Door. Spencer Graves has set up an agenda which will include two items:
1. Reports back from people’s efforts to contact their representatives in the US House and Senate regarding net neutrality.
2. Planning for a monthly webinar series on media and democracy to be cosponsored by the Friends of Community Media (FCM) and the United Minority Media Association (UMMA). Per the draft minutes of an UMMA meeting earlier today (below), UMMA may meet on the third Saturdays at 10 AM in the KKFI Annex. This webinar / Forum series might be scheduled to begin after that, e.g. at noon or 11 AM or 11:30 AM. In July and August, we met later in the day. These webinars could be live streamed on Facebook and subsequently offered on WorkingJournalistPress.com, broadcasted on KKFI and offered to the Pacifica network of ~200 listener-sponsored radio stations. With luck, we may be able to get FreePress.net and other groups concerned with media reform to co-sponsor later episodes of the webinar series. We have expressions of interest from the following three, who could do webinars for us Oct. 21, Nov. 18, and Dec. 16, not necessarily in this order:
2.1. Lewis Friedland, professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin and author of important publications on media and democracy (https://journalism.wisc.edu/sjmc_profile/lewis-a-friedland/).
2.2. Rev. Timothy Hayes, Jr., the Interim President of the United Minority Media Association (UMMA), who is 25 years old and has built a church on social media and can likely help us replicate that success in improving media and democracy here in the greater Kansas City area — and the world.
2.3. David Barsamian, founder and director of Alternative Radio, a Boulder, Colorado-based syndicated weekly public affairs program heard on some 250 radio stations worldwide. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Barsamian).
For more on Spencer Graves’ thoughts on the webinar series, see “https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Webinars_on_media_and_democracy”. For more on my thoughts regarding the afflictions that humanity inflicts upon itself, see“https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Net_neutrality_and_%27Restoring_Internet_freedom%27” and “https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Winning_the_War_on_Terror”.
Reminder – Saturday 8/12 KKFI annex room, FCM member meeting to vote on bylaws changes and discuss UMMA support.
THEY WANT TO TAKE AWAY OPEN-ACCESS TO THE INTERNET!
Who are “They”?
The 5 major corporate media companies control over 90% of TV and radio stations and newspapers. They want to control Internet content as well.
Why do “they” want to do this?
To make a ton of money and to promote political agendas which censor opposing points of view.
What is protecting citizens from “them” now?
“Net-neutrality”. This means everything on the Internet is equally accessible and the Internet should be a place where many ideas compete equally with big money. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) put into place protections to ensure that service providers could not be allowed to discriminate against content without a court order. The Trump Administration wants to do away with this protection.
How can “they” do this?
The FCC has the power to change or discard the rules governing the Internet.
What can we do?
Public hearings and correspondence can be used to stop the process of destroying the open-Internet. You may write the FCC at: Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C. 20554 about the Friends of Community Media letter –
or post a comment on the Friends of Community letter which can be found here:
on the FCC Website at:
What is Net Neutrality?
When people use the Internet, they expect something called “net neutrality” This is keeps telecommunications companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from slowing down or blocking any content or websites they don’t like.
In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted net neutrality rules that keep these companies from censoring the Internet. A decade earlier, Comcast was caught doing that. When this was revealed, in 2014, it contributed to activism that generated 3.7 million comments to the FCC about this issue.
On May 18, 2017 President Trump’s FCC approved a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)” “on restoring Internet freedom” to restore the “freedom” of telecoms to censor your Internet. The deadline for original comments on that NPRM was July 17 with a deadline for “reply comments” of August 16.
No matter what a person’s Internet concerns are, preserving it should be important. If the new FCC rules are allowed to stand, progress on many issues facing our nation will be blocked. Net neutrality threatens many of the world’s elites because their attempted control over the media is threatened.
On July 15, FCM hosted a Forum that featured Ernesto Falcon, an attorney and Legislative Council with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a leading citizen advocacy group focused on the law of the Internet. Falcon was interviewed by FCM’s Spencer Graves and Tom Crane with additional comments Gordon Elliott.
On August 5, FCM will update the audience on the arguments presented on both sides and what they might do to better protect their interest.
Interesting links about Net Neutrality:
Battle For The Net (Coalition of Freepress.net, Demand Progress, and Fight for the Future)
https://www.battleforthenet.com/ (This has some excellent videos.)
FCC Head Not Amused
Internet Service Providers also not Amused
Electronic Frontier Foundation and Net Neutrality
What is the Friends of Community Media group?
FCM is a group of your neighbors that promotes community-based media including the Internet, who educate citizens on the media, and who want media to be responsive to the public-interest in their coverage.
FCM is currently very worried about that a very few large corporations and money-people want to do away with Internet protections gained under the Obama Administration. This is known as “net neutrality” – or an open-Internet for all.
What do the money-people want to do to the Internet?
Under the Trump Administration, the danger is that a few money-people and large corporations want to make you pay more to access the Internet at a reasonable speed, and probably control what you see or don’t see. They use the name, “The Restoring Internet Freedom” rule where their use of the word “freedom” is really a smokescreen for turning the Internet over to moneyed interests and enacting Internet censorship.
What can ordinary people like us do?
Join the resistance by letting your voice be heard at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by August 15th with comments on what has been posted on the issue. Almost 10 million already commented to the FCC – most are against dismantling net neutrality – and others are bots from large corporations that are in favor of the new rules.
What can I do and what should I write?
Friends of Community Media already prepared and filed an extensive rebuttal to the new rules on July 17th in a comment to the Federal Communications Commission. When sending in your comments, refer to our comment to the FCC which shows up as:
By August 15th send your comments on FCM’s comment to:
The link to the entire text of FCM’s comments is here:
On Monday 7/17/17 Friends of Community Media filed a comment with the FCC protesting the abolishing of net neutrality regulations. Doing away with these rules, would give major media companies unprecedented authority to raise Internet service providers fees, and power to censor content on an open-Internet. Many thanks to Amy, Gordon, and Spencer for the work they put in to do this!
For a full text of the FCM document, here is the link:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Spencer Graves (408) 655-4567
FORUM ON NET NEUTRALITY EFFORTS TO TAKE PLACE IN ON SATURDAY
Kansas City, July 10, 2017 – On Saturday July 15th, Friends of Community Media (FCM) will convene the first of a series of forums on the media at 2:30 PM in the annex-room at 39th and Main (rear door) in Kansas City. This meeting includes a panel with open-media advocate Spencer Graves and (tentatively) Ernesto Falcon, an attorney and Legislative Council with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a citizen’s advocacy group specializing in Internet law, and possibly others. Bring your concerns and questions.
This forum will discuss the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission under the Trump Administration to reverse the 2015 Open Internet rules with a “Notice of proposed rulemaking 17-60A1 on Restoring Internet Freedom”: Trump’s FCC wants to restore the freedom of telecoms like Comcast to censor your internet usage, destroying net neutrality. The “data” justifying this change were cherry-picked, according to the New York Times, FCC Commissioner Clyburn and others.
Recent polls by Mozilla and Civis Analytica found that 76 and 77 percent of Americas support net neutrality. 
The forum will encourage citizens and groups to send comments on this proposed change to the FCC before their July 17 deadline and to your representatives in the US House and Senate. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is via “BattleForTheNet.com”.
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Friends of Community Media is a Kansas City nonprofit group working to enable citizens to create their own media and influence existing media. FCM promotes diversity both in media ownership and diversity in views that media portray to the public.
 Sam Gustin, “Most Americans Support the Net Neutrality Rules that Trump’s FCC Wants to Kill”, Motherboard, July 10, 2017.