Sunday, September 4, 2011

Reclaiming Wisconsin's Airwaves: Broadcast Blues Comes To Wisconsin

If the gentle reader will recall, I told them that while we take the state back from the greedy clutches of the Republicans and their corporate puppet-masters, we could also take back the airwaves of Wisconsin and make them serve the public again.

Here is a press release from Sue Wilson, the maker of Broadcast Blues, announcing her upcoming tour of Wisconsin:

2011 Wisconsin Media Reform Tour
Putting the Public Back into Broadcasters' Public Interest Obligations
When Delafield resident Barbara Begale went to see a documentary film about media reform in Florida, she never thought she'd return to Wisconsin to organize an entire film tour. But after seeing the award winning Broadcast Blues, which shows how the consolidation of the media into a few corporate hands is jeopardizing our news, information, and even public safety, Begale says a light bulb went off. "Suddenly I understood why the United States is so divisive. The film explains why the news is filled with lies and why there is so much hate speech. If people know the truth, people will make the right decisions, but they're not getting the truth. Everyone in this country needs to see this movie." 
So she contacted the film's director, who readily agreed to travel throughout the state with the film. "This is a great opportunity to remind the people of Wisconsin that they actually own the Radio and TV airwaves," says filmmaker Sue Wilson. "Local TV and radio stations receive licenses for the privilege to broadcast, but there's a catch: in exchange for their licenses, the law requires them to 'serve the public interest.' If they do not, people can legally challenge those licenses and take them away. The question is, are the broadcasters serving the public interest of Wisconsinites?" 
Wilson plans to answer that question by surveying those who attend the screenings about how well local broadcasters are serving local needs. If people tell her their local TV and radio stations are not serving the public interest, she will teach them how to reach out to local broadcasters with the goal of improving the quality of local broadcasting. "Sometimes," says Wilson, "all it takes is a friendly visit to station management to create a dialogue between the broadcaster and the community. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a legal petition to deny a station's license, and we're prepared to help people whichever way it goes. What's important is that people understand they have unique rights as owners of the public broadcast airwaves."

The 2011 Wisconsin Media Reform Tour kicks off September 17 in Madison with continuous screenings at the FightingBobFest, then goes to Madison's Landmark Auditorium that evening for a 7:30 showing and organizing event. The tour continues to Appleton Sept. 17, Mequon Sept. 21, Milwaukee Sept. 22, Hartland Sept. 23, Racine Sept. 24, Wausau Sept. 26, ending in Eau Claire Sept. 27th. 
All events are free and open to the public.

Here is a trailer of the movie:

And via Steve Hansen at Uppity Wisconsin, here is a poster with all the dates, times and places that Sue and Broadcast Blues will be visiting. Please share this with your friends, family and neighbors.

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

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