Media Matters

WILL - Media Matters - February 26, 2012

Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism.

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(Duration: 1:00:03)

Gar Alperovitz's America Beyond Capitalism chronicles the discontent with the economic and political status quo in the wake of the "great recession." His expert diagnosis of the long-term structural crisis of the American economic and political system is accompanied by detailed, practical answers to the problems we face as a society. Unlike many books that reserve a few pages of a concluding chapter to offer generalized, tentative solutions, Alperovitz marshals years of research into emerging "new economy" strategies to present a comprehensive picture of practical bottom-up efforts currently underway in thousands of communities across the United States. All democratize wealth and empower communities, not corporations: worker-ownership, cooperatives, community land trusts, social enterprises, along with many supporting municipal, state and longer term federal strategies as well. America Beyond Capitalism is a call to arms, an eminently practical roadmap for laying foundations to change a faltering system that increasingly fails to sustain the great American values of equality, liberty and meaningful democracy.

Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist and government official. He is currently the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland. He grew up in America's heartland in Racine, Wisconsin, in the 1940s, and received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin; a masters degree from the University of California at Berkeley; and his Ph.D. in political economy as a Marshall Scholar at Cambridge University. After completing his studies he served as a legislative director in both houses of Congress and as a special assistant in the State Department. Among his many achievements is having been the architect of the first modern steel industry attempt at worker ownership in Youngstown, Ohio. In addition to America Beyond Capitalism, he has authored Unjust Deserts: How the Rich Are Taking Our Common Inheritance, and The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb, and his articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and The Nation. He is a founding principal of the University of Maryland-based Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.


WILL - Media Matters - February 19, 2012

Bruce Williams and Michael X. Delli Carpini discuss the future of news and journalism

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(Duration: 1:00:01)

The new media environment has challenged the role of professional journalists as the primary source of politically relevant information. After Broadcast News puts this challenge into historical context, arguing that it is the latest of several critical moments, driven by economic, political, cultural and technological changes, in which the relationship among citizens, political elites and the media has been contested. Out of these past moments, distinct 'media regimes' eventually emerged, each with its own seemingly natural rules and norms, and each the result of political struggle with clear winners and losers. The media regime in place for the latter half of the twentieth century has been dismantled, but a new regime has yet to emerge. Assuring this regime is a democratic one requires serious consideration of what was most beneficial and most problematic about past regimes and what is potentially most beneficial and most problematic about today's new information environment. -from Cambridge University Press. Available in hardcover, paperback, and eBook.

Bruce A. Williams received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota and has taught at the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, and the London School of Economics. His current research interest focuses on the role of a changing media environment in shaping citizenship in the United States. He has published five books and more than forty scholarly journal articles and book chapters. His two most recent books are The New Media Environment: An Introduction (with Andrea Press), published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2010 and After Broadcast News: Media Regimes, Democracy, and the New Information Environment. He is the editor (with Andrea Press) of The Communication Review. He is starting a new research project examining the influence of media on understanding the role of American military force in the world.

Michael X. Delli Carpini, Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty in July of 2003, Professor Delli Carpini was Director of the Public Policy program of the Pew Charitable Trusts, and member of the Political Science Department at Barnard College and graduate faculty of Columbia University, serving as chair of the Barnard department. Delli Carpini began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Rutgers University. His research explores the role of the citizen in American politics, with particular emphasis on the impact of the mass media on public opinion, political knowledge and political participation.


WILL - Media Matters - February 12, 2012

Author Richard Arum discuss higher education

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(Duration: 1:00:01)

In spite of soaring tuition costs, more and more students go to college every year. A bachelor's degree is now required for entry into a growing number of professions. And some parents begin planning for the expense of sending their kids to college when they're born. Almost everyone strives to go, but almost no one asks the fundamental question posed by Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on Higher Education: are undergraduates really learning anything once they get there?

For a large proportion of students, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa's answer to that question is a definitive no. Their extensive research draws on survey responses, transcript data, and, for the first time, the state-of-the-art Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test administered to students in their first semester and then again at the end of their second year. According to their analysis of more than 2,300 undergraduates at twenty-four institutions, 45 percent of these students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills-including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing-during their first two years of college. As troubling as their findings are, Arum and Roksa argue that for many faculty and administrators they will come as no surprise-instead, they are the expected result of a student body distracted by socializing or working and an institutional culture that puts undergraduate learning close to the bottom of the priority list.

Richard Arum is professor of sociology in New York University's Department of Sociology and professor of education at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. In January 2011 his book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, was published by the University of Chicago Press. The book received national media attention for its findings that, after the first two years of college, a significant number of students demonstrate no improvement in a range of skills including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing.

Professor Arum is also Program Director of Educational Research at the Social Science Research Council, where he has directed the CLA Longitudinal Project and successfully led efforts to organize educational stakeholders in New York City to create the Research Alliance for New York City Schools (an entity loosely modeled after the Consortium on Chicago School Research) that focuses on ongoing evaluation and assessment research to support public school improvement efforts.


WILL - Media Matters - February 05, 2012

Craig Aaron of Free Press

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(Duration: 1:00:01)

Craig Aaron took leadership of Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund in April 2011. Craig joined Free Press in 2004 and previously served as managing director, senior program director and communications director. He works in the Washington office and speaks across the country on media, Internet and journalism issues. Craig is a frequent guest on talk radio and is quoted often in the national press. His commentaries also appear regularly in the Guardian and the Huffington Post. Before joining Free Press, he was an investigative reporter for Public Citizen's Congress Watch and the managing editor of In These Times magazine. He is the editor of two books, Appeal to Reason: 25 Years In These Times and Changing Media: Public Interest Policies for the Digital Age. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Craig Aaron has most recently spoken out about the SOPA bill (Stop Online Privacy Act) and the financial impact of campaign advertising on media coverage during the 2012 presidential elections.


WILL - Media Matters - January 29, 2012

Project Censored’s Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips

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(Duration: 1:00:01)

Every year since 1976, Project Censored-a university-wide project at Sonoma State University founded by Carl Jensen, directed for many years by Peter Phillips, and now under the leadership of Mickey Huff-has produced a Top-25 list of underreported news stories and a book, Censored, dedicated to the stories that ought to be top features on the nightly news, but that are missing because of media bias and self-censorship.

Seven Stories Press has been publishing this yearbook since 1994, featuring the top stories listed democratically in order of importance according to students, faculty, and a national panel of judges. Each of the top stories is presented at length, alongside updates from the investigative reporters who broke the stories. Beyond the Top-25 stories, additional chapters delve further into timely media topics: The Censored News and Media Analysis section provides annual updates on Junk Food News and News Abuse, Censored Déjà Vu, signs of hope in the alternative and news media, and the state of media bias and alternative coverage around the world. In the Truth Emergency section, scholars and journalists take a critical look at the US/NATO military-industrial-media empire. And in the Project Censored International section, the meaning of media democracy worldwide is explored in close association with Project Censored affiliates in universities and at media organizations all over the world. A perennial favorite of booksellers, teachers, and readers everywhere, Censored is one of the strongest life signs of our current collective desire to get the news we citizens need-despite what Big Media tells us.

Mickey Huff is the Director of Project Censored and is a member of the board of directors for the Media Freedom Foundation. He is currently an associate professor of history at Diablo Valley College (DVC), located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Huff is radio co-host of the Project Censored Show with former Project Censored director Dr. Peter Phillips. The program airs as part of The Morning Mix on KPFA inBerkeley, CA on Pacifica Radio, and is rebroadcast on the Progressive Radio Network online out of New York City. He is also on the board of directors of No Lies Radio and is a former advisor to the Students for a Democratic Society at DVC. Huff regularly holds forums on campus with authors and activists from across the country to discuss issues surrounding history, critical thinking, and current events.

As mentioned, Peter Phillips directed Project Censored for many years. A professor in Sociology at Sonoma State University, Peter is also the President of the Media Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit established in 2000 to support First Amendment organizations and investigative research by raising funds for and working closely with Project Censored, and countless other investigative research and media related organizations.

Censored 2012 was published in October 2011.

Join the conversation this Sunday at 1pm by calling (217) 333-9455 or (800) 222-9455.


WILL - Media Matters - January 22, 2012

Josh Silver, CEO of United Republic

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(Duration: 1:00:01)

Josh Silver is the co-founder and current CEO of United Republic, an organization fighting the corrupting influence of well-financed special interests over American politics and government. He is also the former CEO and president of Free Press, the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization co-founded with Bob McChesney and John Nichols in 2002 to engage the American public in media policy. He was previously campaign manager for the successful "Clean Elections in Arizona" ballot initiative; director of development for the cultural arm of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; and director of an international youth exchange program. He has published widely on media, telecommunications, campaign finance and other public policy issues. Silver has been profiled the Wall Street Journal and featured in outlets including the New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Salon.com, C-SPAN, and NPR. He speaks regularly on media and technology issues and blogs at The Huffington Post.

Silver is one of the leading figures in the growing movement for media reform. His quest to foster more critical, investigative journalism led him to start Free Press, arguably the most effective organization in the media policy reform space. His work with Free Press focused on inhibiting media consolidation, ensuring that the Internet is fast, neutral and affordable, fostering more critical, independent journalism, and encouraging a more robust, politically insulated public media system.


WILL - Media Matters - January 15, 2012

Mari Jo and Paul Buhle on the 2011 labor demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin

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(Duration: 1:00:01)

In the spring of 2011, Wisconsinites took to the streets in what became the largest and liveliest labor demonstrations in modern American history. Protesters in the Middle East sent greetings-and pizzas-to the thousands occupying the Capitol building in Madison, and 150,000 demonstrators converged on the city.

In a year that has seen a revival of protest in America, here is a riveting account of the first great wave of grassroots resistance to the corporate restructuring of the Great Recession.

It Started in Wisconsin includes eyewitness reports by striking teachers, students, and others (such as Wisconsin-born musician Tom Morello), as well as essays explaining Wisconsin's progressive legacy by acclaimed historians. The book lays bare the national corporate campaign that crafted Wisconsin's anti-union legislation and similar laws across the country, and it conveys the infectious esprit de corps that pervaded the protests with original pictures and comics.


WILL - Media Matters - January 08, 2012

Tom Frank, author of Pity the Billionaire

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(Duration: 59:60)

Thomas Frank is an American author, journalist and columnist for Harper's Magazine. He is a former columnist for the Wall Street Journal, authoring "The Tilting Yard" from 2008 to 2010. Frank is a historian of culture and ideas and analyzes trends in American electoral politics and propaganda, advertising, popular culture, mainstream journalism and economics. With his writing, he explores the rhetoric and impact of the 'Culture Wars' in American political life, and the relationship between politics and culture in the United States.

His new book, Pity the Billionaire, Frank examines the peculiar mechanism by which dire economic circumstances have delivered wildly unexpected political results. Using firsthand reporting, a deep knowledge of the American Right, and a wicked sense of humor, he gives the first full diagnosis of the cultural malady that has transformed collapse into profit, reconceived the Founding Fathers as heroes from an Ayn Rand novel, and enlisted the powerless in a fan club for the prosperous. The understanding Frank reaches is at once startling, original, and profound.


WILL - Media Matters - January 01, 2012

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation

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(Duration: 1:00:01)

This week, Bob is joined by Katrina vanden Heuvel. Katrina is the editor, publisher and co-owner of The Nation magazine and has authored several books about American politics. A weekly columnist for WashingtonPost.com, she is a frequent commentator in the media on American and international politics.

She has received awards for public service from numerous groups, including The Liberty Hill Foundation, The Correctional Association and The Association for American-Russian Women. In 2003, she received the New York Civil Liberties Union's Callaway Prize for the Defense of the Right of Privacy. She is also the recipient of The American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee's 2003 "Voices of Peace" award. Katrina is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations, and she also serves on the board of The Institute for Women's Policy Research, The Institute for Policy Studies, The World Policy Institute, The Correctional Association of New York and The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.

Her newest book, The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in the Age of Obama, was released in October 2011.

This episode's maiden broadcast will be aired this Sunday, January 1, 2012, although it was recorded in December of 2011.


WILL - Media Matters - December 18, 2011

Noam Chomsky

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(Duration: 1:00:01)

Noam Chomsky is a US political theorist and activist, and institute professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Besides his work in linguistics, Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today. Chomsky continues to be an unapologetic critic of both American foreign policy and its ambitions for geopolitical hegemony and the neoliberal turn of global capitalism, which he identifies in terms of class warfare waged from above against the needs and interests of the great majority.

Chomsky is also an incisive critic of the ideological role of the mainstream corporate mass media, which, he maintains, "manufactures consent" toward the desirability of capitalism and the political powers supportive of it. On the role of the mass media, Chomsky argues that the vested corporate interests controlling newspapers, television, and radio, no less than the content of what these outlets offer, form what he and Edward Hermann in their seminal study Manufacturing Consent call a "propaganda model" supine in the service of power.

Chomsky's bibliography consists of over one hundred titles, spanning over sixty year's worth of work and research, vastly contributing to the public dialogue of both linguistics and politics. His most recent publication is a second edition of a collection of essays and interviews entitled, 9-11: Was There an Alternative?


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