Mountain Area Information Network

Media reform expert to speak Nov. 15

Ben Scott

How national media policy affects citizens and local communities will be discussed at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Pack Library's Lord Auditorium in downtown Ashevile.

"Media Policy Affects You -- Start Affecting It" is the title of the free talk by Ben Scott, policy director for Free Press, the national media policy and public-interest advocacy organization founded by media scholar Robert McChesney.

Scott's free talk is sponsored by the Asheville-based nonprofit Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN).

Scott will discuss the growing "media reform" movement and the changing landscape of media policy in Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Issues include:

  • media consolidation and corporate ownership
  • the future of grassroots independent media
  • the historic shift from broadcast media to Internet-based media
  • ensuring affordable broadband Internet service
  • revisiting the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

"Ben Scott's talk comes at a critical time, as Congress revisits the 1996 Telecommunications Act," said Wally Bowen, executive director of MAIN. "Few citizens knew about the 1996 law because the corporate media chose not to cover it. The media reform movement is not going to let that happen this time," he said.

Scott is the co-editor of two books, "The Future of Media" and "Our Unfree Press." His 2004 essay, "The Politics and Policy of Media Ownership," appeared in the American University Law Review. Scott is the former telecommunicatons policy advisor to U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Scott currently directs the Washington office for Free Press, a nonpartisan organization founded in 2003 "to increase informed public participation in crucial media policy debates, and to generate policies that will produce a more competitive and public interest-oriented media system with a strong nonprofit and noncommercial sector."

For more information about the Nov. 15 talk, contact MAIN at 255-0182 or visit the MAIN homepage at: Or visit the Free Press website at: END