Check out these panels, sessions and plenaries that feature Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) members, partners and allies.

What’s Next for Internet Policy? – Room: Governors Square 10
2013 will be a big one for Internet policy: Will the courts strike down the Net Neutrality rules? Will the FCC make AT&T’s dreams of total deregulation come true? Will government have a role in protecting consumers? How can activists fight back against corporate overreach and agency inertia? Learn what’s next and find out how activists can push for Internet policy in the public interest. Presenters: Harold Feld, Public Knowledge; Jessica Gonzalez, National Hispanic Media Coalition; Michael Livermore, Institute for Policy Integrity; and Matt Wood, Free Press.
Shifting Culture Through Storytelling, Media Making and Collaboration
Room: Governors Square 17
We’ve got hundreds of cable channels and a bazillion-dollar film industry — but this programming tends to feature a lot of the same old stories. When it’s a story about reproductive health, we see men talking about the need to limit women’s access to reproductive health services. We need to interrupt the dominant narrative with stories that reflect what’s really going on in our communities.  Presenters: Denecia Cadena, Young Women United; Jessica Collins, Media Literacy Project; Shanelle Matthews, Forward Together; and Andrea Quijada, Media Literacy Project.
“Middle of Nowhere” Screening – Room: Governors Square 12
The winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Award for directing, Ana DuVernay’s Middle of Nowhere is an elegant and emotional drama chronicling a woman’s separation from her incarcerated husband and her journey to maintain her marriage and identity. Ana DuVernay and Participant Media have been instrumental in moving forward the campaign to end predatory prison phone rates.
Creative Grassroots Fundraising for Journalists and Media Makers –  Room: Governors Square 16
Grants are great, but increasingly journalists and media makers are relying on grassroots fundraising models that deepen their connections with their communities and turn their fans into funders. This panel will review innovative, community-based efforts to break the cycle of dependence on commercial ads and fickle foundations.   Presenters: Tim Hwang, Awesome Foundation; Sabrina Roach, Brown Paper Tickets; Debra Rogers, Falmouth Community Television; Trevor Timm, Freedom of the Press Foundation; Josh Wilson,
Voices for Internet Freedom Meet Up – Room: Governors Square 17
Join the Center for Media Justice and Free Press for a Voices for Internet Freedom Meet Up.   Come and get an update on the project, learn about our new “phase” of development, meet other members and eat lunch together. (Participants responsible for bringing their own lunch).
The Long Struggle for Native American Sovereignty and Media Rights
Room: Governors Square 17
The Native American community has a long history of fighting for social justice. Consider Canada’s Idle No More movement, which has condemned the weakening of indigenous sovereignty and environmental rights.  But too often, a media environment hostile to serving the information needs of Native communities has undermined the struggle for Native rights. This is why Native communities have long understood the need to own their own broadcast stations and telecommunication infrastructure.  Presenters: Traci L. Morris, Homahota Consulting; Loris Ann Taylor, Native Public Media; Mark Trahant, Author; Sherry Salway Black, Partnership for Tribal Governance at the National Congress of American Indians
Opening Plenary: Our Media Reform History – Room: Plaza Ballroom All
Welcome to Denver! We promised inspiration when we told you about our conference, and our opening plenary session will deliver the goods — big time. They’ll take us back through our media reform history, review where we’ve been and reflect on where we are in 2013.  Presenters: Craig Aaron, Free Press; Hakim Bellamy, Albuquerque Poet Laureate; Staceyann Chin, Artist; Mary Alice Crim, Free Press; Juan González, Democracy Now, and New York Daily News Columnist; NARAL Pro-Choice America; Robert W. McChesney, Media Scholar; Rinku Sen, The Applied Research Center and; Joseph Torres, Free Press and independent Author; Carlotta Walls LaNier, Little Rock Nine
Private Platforms and the Threats to Public Journalism
Room: Governors Square 15

New digital tools have given us more freedom to communicate and create, but with that freedom have come new threats. This session will explore our post-industrial journalism landscape, and discuss the risks and opportunities it brings with it.  Presenters: C.W. Anderson, Professor at the College of Staten Island; Dan Gillmor, Professor at Arizona State University; Jamilah King, Editor of; Brian Stelter, New York Times Staff Reporter
Making Media, Making Change: Journalism That Seeks Solutions and Solves
Problems – Room: Governors Square 10
There are different visions for what solutions journalism is and what it can accomplish. Hear from leading media makers and journalists about community-driven projects in sites ranging from Los Angeles to Kosovo. This session will explore how solutions-oriented journalism can enhance a community’s capacity to solve its problems.  Presenters: Sarika Bansal, Solutions Journalism Network; Susie Cagle, writer and illustrator; Sarah van Gelder, Yes! Magazine; Roberta M. Rael, Generation Justice; Jon Vidar, The Tiziano Project
Call Me (Come Back Home): Fighting the Cost of Prison Calls, Part 1
Room: Governors Square 11
For the more than 2.5 million prisoners and detainees in America, maintaining strong family connections is vital to their successful reentry into society. And when prisoners are incarcerated at great distances from their homes, phone calls are the only way for them to maintain relationships with family members. But predatory phone rates have made it hard for prisoners to do just that.  This session will expose the prison phone industry’s corrupt business practices — and will share the history of resistance from prisoners, families and advocates who have fought for decades to end price gouging and kickbacks. Presenters: Rusita Avila, Media Literacy Project; Alex Friedmann, Prison Legal News; Lee G. Petro, Drinker Biddle and Reath LLP; Nick Szuberla, Working Narratives; and Dr. Artika Tyner, Community Justice Project
Call Me (Come Back Home): Fighting the Cost of Prison Calls, Part 2
Room: Governors Square 11
In 2012, a coalition of families, criminal justice groups, activists and public interest advocates launched the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice.  The group’s goal is to push the Federal Communications Commission to take action on the Wright Petition, which asks the agency to lower the cost of interstate phone calls from prisons. That organizing is shifting to the state level, where there are legislative and regulatory efforts to end phone-company kickbacks and set affordable in-state rates.  Presenters: Steven Renderos, Center for Media Justice

We Built This City: How Communities Can Get Better Broadband by Building It
Themselves – Room: Governors Square 10
The broadband service available to their residents is too slow and too expensive, and incumbent telecom companies have no incentive to improve speeds or reduce prices.  This panel will explore how communities in the U.S. and abroad have brought better broadband to their residents, what effects these improvement have had on local economies and how the lessons residents have learned can be applied elsewhere.  Presenters: Mitsuko R. Herrera, Cable and Broadband Administrator; Vince Jordan, Broadband, Longmont Power and Communications; Rick Karr, NPR, and PBS; Christopher Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance; Ana M. Montes, Utility Reform Network

The Lobby Game: How to Advocate for Media Change – Room: Governors Square 17
Do you want to become a bona fide advocate for media change? Corporations like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have tons of paid lobbyists who push state and federal policies that undermine the public interest. The only antidote is highly organized and skilled people power.  Learn by doing as you work in small groups to create legislative strategies that will beat the opposition.  Presenters: Bryan Mercer, Media Mobilizing Project; Clarissa Ramon, Public Knowledge; Hannah Jane Sassaman, Media Mobilizing Project; Chancellar Williams, Free Press
It’s Our Time: Community Media’s New Policy Agenda Starts Now
Room: Governors Square 17
In this interactive workshop, led by independent and community media leaders, we will brainstorm solutions and work collaboratively on shaping a shared policy agenda. How can media makers work to own our infrastructure? What approaching opportunities do we need to prepare for now? Presenters: Danielle Chynoweth, Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center; Steve Ranieri, Quote … Unquote; Tracy Rosenberg, Media Alliance; Nan Rubin, Prometheus Radio Project; and Sylvia Strobel, Alliance for Community Media
Seize Those Airwaves: Build Your Own Mini FM Radio Transmitter – Room: Plaza Court 7
This electronics workshop will help participants build their own Low Power FM radio transmitters. The final transmitter is small enough to carry in your pocket and has a broadcast range of about 10 meters under the best conditions. Presenters: Paul Bame,  Engineer and Media Activist; Ana Martina, Prometheus Radio Project; and Tim Russo, Free Speech Radio News

Change the Culture, Change the World – Room: Governors Square 16
What role does culture play in change? In recent years, a wave of cultural interventions — from 2004’s National Hip-Hop Convention to 2008’s grassroots Obama Hope campaign to 2011’s Occupy movement to 2012’s Undocuqueer uprising —has transformed the way we think about how movements form and move. Suddenly "the cultural turn" is the topic of the day, and people are rethinking the role artists play in creating social change.  Presenters: Jeff Chang, Journalist and Cultural Critic; amalia deloney, Center for Media Justice; Gan Golan, Author, Artist & Agitator; Favianna Rodriguez, Transnational Indisciplinary Artist and Cultural Organizer

Rural Broadband: How to Connect the 19 Million Americans Who LackBroadband Access
Room: Governors Square 11
Join rural advocates for a discussion about how to change our federal and state policies to achieve universal broadband access. Learn how you can support the effort to encourage the full participation of rural residents in our nation’s culture, economy and democracy through improved broadband access.  Presenters: Charles Benton, Benton Foundation; Edyael Casaperalta, Center for Rural Strategies; James Patterson,, Partnership of African American Churches; Sean Taketa McLaughlin, Access Humboldt
Want Your Own Community Radio Station? Here’s How to Start – Room: Plaza Court 1
If you’re ready to change the media, now is the time. October 2013 will bring the first opportunity in more than a decade to apply for a Low Power FM radio license. Presenters will discuss some of the great community radio stations that are already on the air and give you the inspiration to build your own. Presenters: Brandy Doyle, Prometheus Radio Project; Maxie C. Jackson III, National Federation of Community Broadcasters; Shawna Sprowls, KGNU Community Radio; Julia Wierski, Prometheus Radio Project
Occupy, Journalism and Activism: Media Making as Participatory Democracy
Room: Plaza Ballroom D
Occupy Wall Street put media at the center of its movement. While journalists at mainstream outlets sat scratching their heads, alternative and independent journalists — and citizen reporters — rolled up their sleeves and embedded themselves in the Occupy movement to chronicle its struggles and successes. 
Presenters: Katie Falkenberg, 23rd Studios; Chris Faraone, Boston Phoenix; Arun Gupta, Indypendent and the Occupied Wall Street Journal, Jo Ellen Green, Media Consortium, Kaiser Joe Macaré, Truthout; Tim Pool,Journalist; Astra Taylor, Documentary Filmmaker, Writer and Political Organizer
Keynote: Celebrating Our Media Moment – Room: Plaza Ballroom All
Celebrate on Saturday night with some of the brightest lights in the fight for better media: award-winning artists, Hollywood luminaries, visionary activists, veteran journalists and D.C. heavyweights. We’ll rally around our achievements and our work to change the media and build a better democracy. Presenters: Craig Aaron, Free Press,; Susan Crawford, Professor; Kimya Dawson, Artist, Grammy winner; Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!; Jonny 5, Musician, and co-founder; Shawn King, Musician; Evangeline Lilly, Actress; An Xiao Mina, Designer, and artist; Alex Nogales, National Hispanic Media Coalition;  Andrea Quijada, Media Literacy Project; and Brer Rabbit, Musician
Labor Unions: MIA in the Media – Room: Plaza Ballroom D

Over the past few decades, the media have largely ignored labor issues. And both corporations and politicians have used the media to discredit the labor movement. This campaign has weakened the rights of workers and the influence of unions in places like Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.  The panel will also delve into ways we can use independent media and grassroots organizing to change the narrative.  Presenters: Carrie Biggs-Adams, NABET-CWA; Mike Elk, In These Times; Bernie Lunzer, Newspaper Guild-CWA; Roberta Reardon, SAG-AFTRA; Federico Subervi, Center for Study of Latino Media and Markets; Todd Wolfson, Media Mobilizing Project

Storytelling Strategies for Social Change – Room: Governors Square 10
Media, arts and culture are vital tools for galvanizing people to take action and provoke dialogue on social and economic justice issues that affect the lives of the 99 percent.  These panelists are all organizing on the frontlines in their communities. Representing the workers’ rights, anti-war, anti-poverty and immigrant justice movements, these presenters will discuss the power of storytelling, share successes and challenges and discuss ways you can embrace storytelling in your own work to create social change.  Presenters: Matt Howard, Iraq Veterans Against the War; Bryan Mercer, Media Mobilizing Project; Megan Sheehan, Vermont Workers’ Center; Elandria Williams, Highlander Research and Education Center; Betty Yu, Center for Media Justice

Closing Plenary: Our Roadmap for Change -Room: Plaza Ballroom All
This is it — the grand finale to three days of nonstop inspiration and celebration. The movers and shakers getting it done day in and day out will send us home with bold ideas and a vision for the future. You’ll leave this session energized and ready to take on the world! (We’re not kidding.) Presenters: Craig Aaron, Free Press; Molly Culhane, New Moon Girls Magazine; Malkia Cyril, Center for Media Justice; Melissa Fitzgerald, Actress and Activist; Hari Kondabolu, Comedian; Jenny Lee, Allied Media Projects; Summer Matthews, Reel Grrls; Sascha Meinrath, New America Foundation and Open Technology Institute; YingYing Shang, Blogger and Activist; Tyanna Slobe, Blogger and Activist

After-Party and Comedy Showcase Deer Pile @ 206 E. 13th Ave. (above City O’ City)
Kick back, relax and share a laugh (and maybe a beer or two) with your fellow conference attendees. Denver comedian Andrew Orvedahl hosts the evening and will perform alongside Janine Brito, Matthew Filipowicz, Jamie Kilstein, Hari Kondabolu, Kristin Rand, Troy Walker and other special guests. We'll close out the night with a dance party featuring DJ Ren.  Admission: Suggested donations during the show will benefit comedians.
Check out the full schedule here: 


See All