Bill Moyers addresses the need for responsible public media.
(Photo: Rick Francis / AP)
Legendary journalist Bill Moyers address the National Conference
for Media Reform in Minneapolis, June 7, 2008. Presented by FreePress.net.
"As journalism goes, so goes democracy," renowned PBS host Bill Moyers told the crowd at the National Conference for Media Reform. And right now, journalism is in trouble.
In his serious and eloquent style, Moyers warned the crowd of the "mighty armada of power and influence" that threatens the media and democracy today-propagating junk news that dominates the national discussion and forces out more legitimate and competing storylines.
There is one central tenet that runs through the media reform movement, according to Moyers: Everyone here sees media consolidation as a "corrosive force." As the wall between journalism and advertising is broken down by businesses pushing profit over public good, honest information and accountability in this country literally disappears. He called out the "myths of the marketplace," including the idea that private systems will provide for the public good, and the business mantra that public interest is what the public is interested in.
Moyers effortlessly drew connections from the complicity of the media in the war in Iraq to the near-constant attacks on the environment, from the "political marionettes" in Washington, D.C., to the soaring credit card debt and inequality in America today. The way to combat these problems is with media reform, and the only way reform the media is with a healthy and popular movement.
"In numbers is strength, and in strength is success," Moyers told the crowd of journalists and activists, urging them to support a diversity of voices from all communities. He called on journalists and activists to "be vigilant" and "show courage," because their job is literally to protect "the freedom that makes all other freedom possible."