I attended my very first National Conference for Media Reform (#NCMR2013), last weekend as a member of the Media Action Grass Roots Network #MediaJustice Delegation. A week later, I am still chewing through so much of the content I absorbed in Denver; from panels on journalism; activism; technology; social and media justice to policy and politics; the conference was filled with passionate discussions on why media matters. 

Where I work in Chicago, diversifying the voices in news and public debates has been a priority for Community Media Workshop since 1989. We've worked and done so by providing a unique mix of communications coaching for grassroots, arts and other nonprofit organziations and sourcing grassroots and community news for journalists. Learning how other groups across the country are working towards media justice and media reform, left me energized and hopeful.

As the new media manager at the Workshop, a MAG-Net regional anchor, it's my job to understand how technology can help keep the lines of communication open and free. As I continue to process and reflect upon what I learned at NCMR, I realize that technology played a large role in how I interacted with organizers, panelists and other attendees of NCMR.

I look to my live-tweets from last weekend and understand moreover how social media tools, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Youtube, Vine, etc, don't just allow us to share information with others instantaneously; if harnessed, they allow us to have larger and deeper conversations.

In a conference as large as NCMR, they can also help you find support. For example search under the hashtags #mediajustice, #ncmr2013, #ncmr13 and you'll find tweets specific to these conversations.

Many panels within the conference were smart enough to create their own hashtags. Like the panel, "Building the Future: Women, Code and Inclusion" used the hashtag #xxcode, making it easy to have a lively discussion with the panelists and other attendees simultaneously. Here is a small collection of tweets and retweets, that reflect more of my major takeaways from this weekend:

From meeting the MAG-Net staff, and other media justice delegates for the first time,


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