Published: Sunday 31 July 2005
right to communicate

"We have lost faith in the institutions of the mass media". This refrain is also the main theme of Media reform is, according to some, one of the most crucial but least organised areas of information age activism. A project of the feisty anti-commercialist Canadian journal Adbusters, admits to the fractured reform movement. But its organisers hope to unite disparate activities into a single movement, "on par with feminism and environmentalism".

The site draws inspiration from the Magna Carta, which set aside England's forests and fisheries as public commons in 1215 AD. 's starting point is public ownership of the airwaves.

"Why can't citizens pony up cash to put out their own ads?" the site asks. The next phase: legislate broadcasters into setting aside two minutes every hour for free, truly public access on air. The final step in establishing media democracy: "Enshrine a new global human right, the right to communicate -- the right of every person to meaningful access to the world's most powerful media."

However, the site provides little guidelines on how to achieve this. One hopes Adbusters will plug this gap soon.

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