Thursday, October 20, 2011

Duane Elgin - Occupy the Airwaves!

Duane Elgin adds his perspective to the #occupy movement, arguing that we - the citizens - need to consider the power of televised media to shape ideas. Here is one of his main points:
The future of our civilization depends upon employing the mainstream media -- our primary public space -- to cultivate an informed and engaged public. It is now our responsibility as citizens in the communications era to stand up for the conversation of democracy, including those we disagree with.
We are so losing this battle. Mainstream media is the domain vacuous talking heads pontificating on the manufactured crisis of the day, from worthless Congressional battles or elections to which movie star is sleeping with some other movie star/musician/athlete.

As the message at the top of this post makes clear, the mainstream media has no desire to tell us the truth or to keep us informed - rather, they rely on keeping us numb, sleep-walking, and ignorant.

Occupy the Airwaves!

Duane ElginSpeaker, Author, Non-Partisan Media Activist

"Occupy Wall St." is a spontaneous uprising of citizens. It is both a protest against corruption, poverty, homelessness, and greed as well as a call for citizens to come together to build a better world. For many, this is a '100 percent movement' that recognizes we are all in this time of change together and no one can be excluded from a respectful contribution to the conversation of democracy.

Emphasizing that the 'Occupy' gatherings are an attempt to reclaim citizen participation in our democracy, the Los Angeles City council passed a resolution that, "...the 'Occupy' demonstrations are a rapidly growing movement with the shared goal of urging U.S. citizens to peaceably assemble and occupy public space in order to create a shared dialogue by which to address the problems and generate solutions..." Former president Bill Clinton commented: "The Occupy Wall Street crowd basically is saying, '...There's something wrong with this country. This is not working for me. So I think it can be a good positive debate."

How can citizens express their frustrations, disappointments, and anger, as well as a sense of promise and untapped potential? Virtually all of the issues facing our democracy issues are fundamentally communication issues. Not surprisingly, at the foundation of much unrest and frustration is the inability of citizens to communicate, both with one another and with our elected leaders.

Power in a democracy is the power to communicate and mass communication in the United States and most of the world is dominated by one medium -- television. To put the power of television in perspective, the average person in the United States watches roughly 4 hours per day.
Read the whole post.

Duane Elgin is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and non-partisan media activist. Previous blogs on media themes include, "Take Back the Airwaves," "The Last Taboo on Television," and "Can Television Help Awaken a Healthy World?" His website is:

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