important the Knowledge Exchange is - Center for Media Justice

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15 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

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National Gallery on the Mall, Washington DC - Photo by Paul Locke
The Knowledge Exchange has been convening since 2007 to strengthen the effectiveness, collaboration, and impact of
the movement for media reform and justice. Through presentations, roundtables, working groups, popular education
sessions, trainings, and meetings with government officials, participants work to craft a shared vision for: universal,
affordable, and equally distributed media and communications rights; increased consumer choices; effective
representative government; community empowerment; and individual self-determination.
The Knowledge Exchange works towards this vision by building alignment between grass-tops leaders, community or-
ganizers and media policy leaders from across the country and inside the Beltway, while generating shared strategies
and projects. It supports grassroots and beltway groups to collaborate for human rights within the media sector while
ensuring the integration of these rights into specific fights for telecommunications, media and Internet policies. Past
exchanges resulted in the Net Neutrality policy campaign and the authoring of the Wireless Bill of Rights.
The 2013 Knowledge Exchange was held May 14th-17th in Washington D.C. It was hosted by the Center for Media
Justice and Consumers Union and sponsored by The Ford Foundation. Sixteen participants came together from across
the movement for media justice and reform to re-envision and begin to sketch out a model movement for media and
telecommunications rights. We identified the key opportunities and critical campaigns happening right now and
discussed ways to build the infrastructure for crafting a participatory frame and unified messaging.
The convening successfully provided the opportunity to reflect on big picture questions and use tools and approaches
to think strategically together with a movement lens. Simultaneously holding a broad systemic view and grounded
pragmatic strategy stretched many of the groups present, especially those from the media reform sector. The results
were profound: the development of strategies to win on critical issues and foster effective collaboration within a com-
prehensive media movement.
The issues we addressed in the convening emerged from a shared understanding that technology is rapidly evolving
as power becomes concentrated in fewer and fewer media companies, and the disproportionate impacts of the digital
divide on historically disenfranchised communities increased. In order for communities of color, immigrants and
working class and poor communities to have a public voice to advance movements for justice and equity, we must
work for a media system and policies that provide equal rights, access and the power for people to tell their own stories.

Affirmation of the need for the collaborative training and strategy space and relationship building that the
Knowledge Exchange provides.

Clarity that the looming issue of privacy is critical to all the organizations within the media justice and reform
sector and that a collective strategy should be developed.

Confirmation that engagement of key decision makers by representatives of impacted communities is a
crucial piece of strategy that must be continued. Immediately following a meeting with federal decision
makers (held during the Knowledge Exchange) we won a decision on the collective campaign for reform of
prison phone call charges.
During the Knowledge Exchange it became clear that
we needed to identify a set of policy priorities with broad
movement alignment across the spectrum of our different
strengths and roles. We also learned that groups fighting
against “false solutions” and groups fighting proactively for
our vision needed to understand each other better and
collaborate more effectively.
We discussed six critical crosscutting issues in our current
landscape to work on, one ongoing fight, and strategic
action steps for each. Below is a brief summary of our
collective priority policy fights:
FIGHT: More minutes allotted for users of Lifeline services.
Digital Privacy & Cyber-Security
FIGHT: Protecting communities from increased
electronic surveillance and data-mining programs.
Net Neutrality & Internet Freedom
Community Broadband
FIGHT: Protecting and investing in community-owned
broadband networks to build local economies.
FIGHT: Stopping the legal challenges and winning in
Mobile & Wireless
FIGHT: Addressing the risk of corporate controlled tech-
nologies compounding the divides of racial and eco-
nomic inequality.
Digital Phone Transition
FIGHT: Ensuring that no population is left behind and
unable to benefit from upgrades to the system.
Media Ownership
FIGHT: Shifting institutions towards media equity and ownership diversity.
Ana Montes of The Utility Reform Network discussed
the importance of the Lifeline program in California
and noted that the 250 monthly minutes allotted for
Lifeline cell phone users isn’t enough.
“People cannot realistically call doctors and social
workers, access emergency services, nor connect
with distant loved ones on a mere 8 minutes a day.”
Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self
Reliance pointed out that many cities and munici-
palities across the country have been successful in
building out broadband networks that have given
an economic boost to communities.
“The E-rate program is a false solution for communi-
ties. It promotes reliance on corporate entities with
alternative interests as opposed to constructing
a public network that can permanently solve the
problem of access and the digital divide.”
There was clear agreement that movements for justice
and equality can only succeed when communities of color,
immigrants and working class and poor communities have
a public voice. Critical to these movements is the fight for a
media system and policies that give us equal rights, access
and the power for people to tell their own stories.
During the Knowledge Exchange we were able to
demonstrate the impact of this by taking our stories and
our concerns to the doorstep of key federal decision mak-
ers. Participants met with Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman
of the Federal Trade Commission, Mignon Clyburn, acting
Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission,
and Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner of the FCC.
During the visits, our key tactic was to have people from the
Knowledge Exchange share on-the-ground stories that put
a human face on the issues the federal regulatory bodies
are debating, and underscored their current and potential
impact on communities across the country.
The visits gave us an opportunity to lift up positive solutions
for our communities and a chance to learn the commission-
ers’ views on key policy fights such as privacy rights, Life-
line, the cost of prison phone calls, community broadband
and more. Below are highlights from the stories participants
told decision makers.
Mike Medow of Allied Media Projects explained that
many of the elderly clients they work with in Detroit
are hesitant to go online and access much needed
services because of concerns over privacy.
“People think that seniors are resistant to modern
technology. The reality is that they are particularly
vulnerable when it comes to issues of privacy.”
Steven Renderos of Center for Media Justice thanked
Chairwoman Clyburn for championing the cause
of lowering the cost of interstate phone calls and
reminded her that there’s still work to be done.
“The fight to lower the cost of prison phone calls has
gone on for a decade. Whatever grassroots support
is needed for rule making, it’s there. It’s time to cross
the finish line and secure justice for Martha Wright
and all the families of those incarcerated.”*
Working with Regulators
“When Commissioner Rosenworcel walked in, she was
visibly surprised and said something along the lines of,
‘Wow, this really is a big group.’ That’s right. And we
represent even bigger groups.”
Christopher Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
*The commitment to finally address prison phonecall charges
came shortly after the meeting.
Our movement must become strong, effective and strategic enough to win the changes needed on all
of these issues. We have been largely successful in engaging a range of players to work together. The
Knowledge Exchange and other joint efforts have been an important piece of this collaboration. However,
the groups working to prevent the changes we need are far more resourced than we are. Our only chance to
overcome them is even stronger alignment and more coordinated strategies.
Without tools for collaborating, a full-scale analysis of the current landscape (including current and poten-
tial allies; “frenemies”; partners; members; opposition groups and challengers), creating a sustainable strat-
egy for meaningful change feels next to impossible. Throughout the Knowledge Exchange we spent time
working to identify the barriers to successful collaboration that face the media movement. We used a tool
developed by the Movement Strategy Center called Movement Pivots. It addresses five major
movement challenges; Isolation, Defensive Stance, Marginalization, Competition, and Control. We then
practiced pivoting away from the places we are stuck towards how we need to be as a movement:
Interdependent, Offensive, Strategic, and Innovative.
The movement challenges and the pivots resonated deeply with the participants. There was a discussion
about how the issue of isolation manifested itself within the media movement. The media policy work
happening across the country and inside the Beltway has larger implications for democracy, human rights,
ecology and the economy. However, many organizations currently operate in a bubble when it comes to
developing strategies and goals, only looking through the lens of their own immediate needs. Even if an
organization operates in a network, or partners with others working on the same issues, that may not
translate into collaborative planning. We discussed how using the movement pivot “Interdependence” could
support a collaborative approach for planning that would help us all to create more effective plans.
There was a lot of discussion about the critical strategies and actions that we need to expand in order to
have the collective impact that the media movement is working towards. Here is a summary of strategies
we identified during the exchange that all require collective action:
• To build our movement we need to
convene membership meetings and co-
develop policies and campaign strategies that
can leverage grassroots agendas to become
national policy changes.
• We need to focus on building a base of allies
and groups.
• We need to develop and harness collabo-
rative tools and shared resources to build
individual organizational capacity in order for
us to move towards a shared vision.
• We need infrastructure to document and track
corporate abuses.
• We need to develop case studies that expose
the effect of corporate abuses within the media
policy field.
• We need to promote local ordinances that
empower the rights of residents and their
• We need to find ways to use arts and culture
to reveal and enhance the unique meaning,
value, and character of the vision we have for
our communities and the policies that impact
those visions.
• Infrastructure needs to be developed to collect
data and stories of impacts from communities
across the country.
• We need strategies that are appropriate for all
• We need to continue to develop and main-
tain relationships with nontraditional and
temporary allies from corporations to indepen-
dent artists, and leverage their expertise, influ-
ence & knowledge.
• It is critical to develop participatory action
framing, messaging and policy strategies.
• We need a plan to shift the waste-fraud-and-
abuse frame to focus on the companies vs. the
• We need to tie state deregulation battles and
erosion of critical assistance programs (i.e.
Lifeline) to the overall privatization battles
that our country is facing.
• Pushback is needed on “anti-regulation
messaging” with proactive messages that
show we need leaders to govern.
• A Knowledge Exchange distribution network.
• Infrastructure to collect data and stories of impacts from communities across the country.
• Issue-based communications collaboration infrastructure (pilot Lifeline communications).
• Infrastructure to document and track corporate abuses (e.g. privacy).
• A Tribal Forward Stance working group.
• Opportunities to develop collective framing and messaging.
• The DC based working group needs to identify allies in Congress and issue-specific ally groups.
• Beltway and social justice groups need to collaboratively develop frames for technical issues in a way that will
appeal to broader audiences.
• A Data Demands or Public Spectrum working group for upcoming fights.
• Lifeline messaging, framing & strategy development working group, which will be key in the next phase of the
Lifeline fight.
• A collective strategy on IP Protocol that includes messaging, framing and community education.
• A Privacy working group in order to develop messaging, framing and community education strategies.
• Regular “state of play” updates on media justice issues & electronic versions of strategy tools.
• Continued engagement among Knowledge Exchange participants and organizations.
• Updates on pilot programs and strategies needed by Knowledge Exchange working groups.
• More spaces and opportunities to work with allies to figure out how to most effectively collaborate on issues
and priorities.
The urgency around privacy and
other issues currently facing the me-
dia justice and reform community is
increasing. The need to reflect on big
picture questions and use new tools
and approaches to movement
strategy –- while planning for the
critical looming collective fights will
be critical in 2014 and beyond.
We will build on our past successes
by continuing to strengthen the
impact of future Knowledge Ex-
changes and working together for
the rights of disproportionately im-
pacted community members while
achieving the collective vision we
have been fighting for.
We invite ideas for new content,
tools and topics as well recommen-
dations for future participants. We
look forward to working collab-
oratively through the Knowledge
Exchange for years to come.
Collaborative engagement was identified as essential to maximize resources, expand the media movement,
and produce winning outcomes on the issues we are collectively fighting for. Below is a summary of our
ideas generated at the Knowledge Exchange for collaboration that would benefit each group:
Jennifer Yeh,
Free Press.

Yeh advises Free Press on
legal matters related to
policy, research and cam-
paign work, and repre-
sents Free Press before the
Federal Communications
Commission, Congress
and other federal and state
Christopher Lewis,
Public Knowledge.
Currently Vice President of
Government A￿airs, Lewis
previously served as Dep-
uty Director of the O￿ce
of Legislative A￿airs at the
Federal Communications
Jessica Gonzalez,
National Hispanic Media
As Vice President of Policy
& Legal A￿airs Gonzalez
helped draft the Memo-
randan of Understanding
between Comcast Corpo-
ration and leading national
Latino leadership organiza-
Joy Spencer
Center for Digital
As Project Director of the
Digital Food Marketing &
Youth Initiative, Spencer
focuses on community en-
gagement around issues
that a￿ect the health of the
poor and communities of
color, both internationallly
and domestically.
Sarah Morris,
New America Foundation,
Open Technology Institute.
As policy counsel, Morris
assists in the research and
development of policy
proposals related to open
technologies, broadband
access, and emerging tech-
nology issues.
Jason Lagria,
Asian American Justice
As the Telecommunica-
tions & Broadband Policy
Senior Sta￿ Attorney, La-
gria advocates for policies
that promote universal
access and reduce barriers
to critical technology and
Simran Noor,
Center for Social Inclusion.
As Coordinator of Advo-
cacy, Noor is responsible
for policy research and
analysis, advocacy strategy
and tool development and
relationship building with
grassroots and national
Brian Howard,
National Congress of
American Indians Embassy
of Tribal Nations.
As Legislative Associate,
Howard works on telecom-
munications, sovereignty,
self-determination, and
tribal capacity buidling.
Ana Montes,
The Utility Reform Netork.
As Organizing Director,
Montes is responsible for
resolving utility complaints
from consumers and man-
aging TURN’s California
consumer education, lead-
ership development and
advocacy projects
Adi Kamdar,
Electronic Frontier
Kamdar specializes in
copyright, patent, free
speech and intermediary
liability issues.
Alix Webb,
Media Mobilizing Project.
As Computer Center
Keyspots Site Coordina-
tor and MMP co-founder,
Webb has worked for two
decades with grassroots
organizations working for
economic justice and an
end to povery in the
United States.
Hazeen Ashby,
National Urban League
Policy Institute.
As Legislative Director,
Research & Field, Ashby
focuses on telecommuni-
cations, immigration and
civic engagement.
Danielle Chynoweth,
Independent Media Center.
As co-founder, Chynoweth
led its purchase and con-
version of the downtown
buidling into a community
media and arts center.
Michael Medow,
Allied Media Projects.
As Co-Director, Medow
has guided its growth,
expansion of the annual
Allied Media Conference,
launch of local programs
and deisgn and develop-
ment of online platforms.
Christopher Mitchell,
Institute for Local
As Director of the
Tel ecommuni cati ons
as Commons Initiative,
Mitchell is a leading expert
on community broad-
band networks and public
sector technology
Pedro Joel Espinosa,
As Coordinator of Mobile
Voices, Espinosa oversees
a platform for immigrant
and low-wage workers in
Los Angeles to create sto-
ries about their lives and
communities directly from
cell phones.
This report is published by the Center for Media Justice (CMJ) based on the discussions at the 2013 Knowledge Ex-
change, a strategic convening and year-round project conducted in partnership with Consumers Union (CU). Thanks
the sta￿ of CU and CMJ for their planning, coordination and leadership of the Knowledge Exchange. Special apprecia-
tion goes to the Ford Foundation for their support of this exciting project. This report was written by Liz Butler, based
on extensive note taking by Brandi Collins. Much gratitude goes to the participants on the 2013 Knowledge Exchange
for their thoughtful conversations, to all the note-takers, and to the sta￿ of CMJ and CU for additional editing.
Published online and in print by the Center for Media Justice, October 2013.
Permission is granted to use, copy, distribute, adapt, remix, and/or modify the contents of this document for noncom-
mercial purposes. Please cite the Center for Media Justice as the original source if distributing or
reusing sections, pages, images or the whole booklet. Please contact CMJ, if you can, to let us know how you are using
and reusing this material—we welcome your feedback.
Liz Butler, Movement Strategy Center
Soyun Park, Movement Strategy Center
Chris Calabrese, ACLU
Matt Wood, Free Press
Marti Doneghy, AARP
Kenneth Degra￿, Senator Pelosi’s o￿ce
Joel Kelsey, Senator Blumenthal’s o￿ce
Jodie Gri￿n, Public Knowledge
Seeta Peña Gangadharan, Open Technology Initiative
Gene Kimmelman, Open Technology Initiative
Corrine Yu, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Dyana Forester, Jobs with Justice
Chanelle Hardy, National Urban League
Lisa Navarette, NCLR


Consumers Union: Ellen Bloom, Delara Derakhshani, George Slover & Theresa Thomas
Center for Media Justice: Malkia Cyril, amalia deloney, Brandi Collins & Steven Renderos