Tag Archive for 'vito-russo'

Media Justice Resources

I. What is Media Justice?

Articles and essays express visions for Media Justice

Digital Justice Principles– brought to you by the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition

Media Justice: An Affirmative Framework for Media Change by the Center for Media Justice

Media Matters: Media Literacy, Communities of Color and Challenging the Status Quo by Silja J.A. Talvi. Colors NW Oct. 2005

Media Reform? For What? Janine Jackson of FAIR and CounterSpin plenary address at the National Conference on Media Reform in 2005

Media Reform, Media Justice (video on-line) StreetLevel TV asks activists: What’s the difference between media reform and media justice? Shot at the 2005 National Conference on Media Reform in St. Louis, Missouri. Enter the title “Media Reform, Media Justice” in the search bar at the Internet Archive.

Pleading Our Own Cause by Makani Themba-Nixon (ColorLines, Winter 2003-2004)

Presente! a Radio Station Barn Raising by Hannah Sassaman, YES! Magazine, Spring 2005 Describes Radio Conciencia, the CIW/Coalition of Immokalee Workers community radio station in Florida

Speaking for Ourselves by Makani Themba-Nixon & Nan Rubin (The Nation, Nov 17 2003)

Voices from the Valley: Radio Cadena by Jonathan Lawson, YES! Magazine, Winter 2003

Where are the People in the ‘public interest’? U.S. Media Activism and the Search for Constituency by Aliza Dichter, 2004. Important discussion of activist campaigns in the new century – historic precedents and future possibilities

White Liberals and Glass Houses: A Reminder that Black Radical Journalism is a Tradition by Jared A. Ball, 2006. A discussion of the short-comings of left media and the media reform movement from a media justice perspective. Audio version also available

Why Are Civil Rights Groups Neglecting Media Policy? Seeta Peña Gangadharan. Alternet 2002

II. Reports/Research Documenting Media Injustice

Discrimination in employment and ownership, stereotypes and bias in media representation

Chicago Tonight: Elites, Affluence & Advertising Chicago Media Action’s report, released on July 19, 2004, provides an analysis, including race and gender, of Chicago Tonight, the flagship hour-long TV program of WTTW Channel 11, Chicago’s main PBS affiliate. Includes suggestions for action.

From Assimilation to Annihilation: Puerto Rican Images in U.S. Films by Richie Pérez, Centro de Estudios Puertorriquenos Bulletin, Hunter College 1990.

Maynard Institute: On their website the institute offers a number of industry studies documenting the lack of diversity in news organizations and racism and bias in the media.

The Network Brownout Reports – 2001-2006: National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Although the U.S. Latino community has grown significantly since the inception of this report the amount of coverage devoted to Latinos does not reflect this reality.

Newsroom Diversity Has Passed its Peak at Most Newspapers 1990-2005 study shows. Knight Foundation report provides national overview and at the site, you can also find newspapers by state and view their track record in diversity.

Pictures of our Nobler Selves – A History of Native American Contributions to News Media by Mark N. Trahant.

Race and Media Diversity Database Searchable, annotated bibliography of publications and videos that focus on racial diversity in the media.

The Reading Red Report 2007: A content analysis of general-audience newspapers in circulation areas with high percentages of Native Americans. Cristina L. Azocar, San Francisco Journalist Association and the Native American Journalist Association.

Rethinking the Discourse on Race: A Symposium on How the Lack of Racial Diversity in the Media Affects Social Justice and Policy.

WIMN’s Field Guide to Media Research: Gateway to many reports measuring and analyzing representation, participation, production and impact.

III. Challenging Big Media!

Media Accountability Campaigns and Resources

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) 2003-2007 Report on Hate Crimes Against Arab Americans. See Chapter V: Defamation and Bias in the Media for a discussion of media bias since 911, (p. 75) Also, A Bibliography of Anti-Arab Discrimination, Stereotyping, and Media Bia

American Indian Sports Team Mascots This site tracks past and current efforts to stop the use of Indian mascots, symbols and imagery in school-related activities. Useful links and resources for educators and activists.

The Audience Strikes Back This Jump Cut article provides a glimpse of media accountability activism in response to Hollywood Film circa 1980.

BastaDobbs.com – A project of presente.org to hold CNN accountable for the hateful anti-immigrant commentary of their employee, Lou Dobbs.  Update: Lou Dobbs is now an ex-employee of CNN. Go to this site for more information on the campaign.

Center for Rural Strategies  Rural Reality vs. Reality TV: Anatomy of a Public Awareness Campaign Find out how and why CRS stopped CBS from producing a new version of the Beverly Hillbillies.

Chief Illiniwek: Dignified or Damaging? Joseph P. Gone (Gros Ventre) argues against the use of Indian mascots in response to the University of Illinois former mascot, Chief Illiniwek. The mascot was officially discontinued in 2007 after years of activist pressure.

Facing the Music: The Fight to Save Radio Airwaves – Journalist, dee-jay and activist, Davey D, discusses media accountability campaigns over the past few years, comparing strategies and making suggestions for the future.

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) A national media watch group that provides analysis of media bias from a progressive perspective. On their site you can access the radio program CounterSpin, the magazine Extra!, and FairBlog or join the Action Alert Network. Also check out the FAIR report

Smearcasting: How Islamophobes spread fear, bigotry and misinformation

GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of GLBQT people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Media Resource Kits including: Monitor and Mobilize, Media Reference Guide & Covering Hate Crimes are available on their site.

How to Respond to Hate Speech: Resources and video clips

Is KMEL The People’s Station? A Community Assessment of 106.1 KMEL An excellent report describing the Youth Media Council’s efforts to hold the SF Bay Area station, KMEL, accountable to its listeners.

Media Justice: Access and Accountability (audio on-line) This edition of Making Contact profiles various media justice projects and campaigns including the grassroots boycott of Hot 97 for playing the racist “Tsunami song.” Interviews with Jay Smooth, Malkia Cyril, Makani Themba and many others.

National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media Not entirely up-to-date but still contains useful information.

Racebending.com Visit this site to learn about Paramount Pictures discriminating casting policies and cultural insensitivity in the feature film, The Last Airbender. The site includes information on efforts to boycott the film and Racebending 101, responses to FAQ’s regarding racial stereotypes in film and popular culture. Great resources for activists and teachers!

The Return of Cruising Reviewer Michael D. Klemm discusses the original (1980) activist response to the movie Cruising upon its re-release in 2007.

Soundbites and Cellblocks: Analysis of the juvenile justice media debate & a case study of California’s Proposition 21 Published by We Interrupt This Message, 2001

Speaking for Ourselves: A Youth Assessment of Local News Coverage Youth Media Council’s study of KTVU Ch. 2 in the San Francisco Bay Area revealed  disproportionate coverage of crime. Includes analysis and recommendations for better coverage. Published by We Interrupt this Message, 2002.

Team Spirits: The Native American Mascots Controversy. Eds. Richard C. King and Charles F. Springwood. Forward by Vine Deloria, Jr. Deloria, Vine, Jr. University of Nebraska Press, 2001. In this work activists and academics explore the origins of Native American mascots, the messages they convey, and the reasons for their persistence into the twenty-first century. Also showcased are examples of successful opposition, including an end to Native American mascots at Springfield College and in Los Angeles public schools.

IV. Strategic Communications Tools

How to use communications to shape public conversations and win social justice

Talking the Walk: A Communications Guide for Racial Justice, ed. by Hunter Cutting and Makani Themba-Nixon, We Interrupt This Message 2003.An excellent “insider’s guide to disrupting the current narrative (or lack of one)on racial justice.” Find on-line tools for this book here.

Communicate Justice 101 The Center for Media Justice published this how-to guide for social justice organizers.

V. Organizations

Media Activist, Media Literacy, Journalists and Funders

Allied Media Conference Every summer activists, media makers, poets and allies gather in Detroit to share tactics, stories and dreams.

Center for Media Justice is the anchor organization for MAG-Net and a leader in strategic communications for social justice. See their site for news and tools for media justice.

Detroit Digital Justice Coalition works to secure the fundamental human right of communication  through activities that are grounded in the digital justice principles of: access, participation, common ownership, and healthy communities.

Esperanza Peace and Justice Center: Based in San Antonio, TX. The Esperanza is a cultural and political mecca of the Southwest. Publishes La Voz newsletter, hosts art exhibits, film festivals and on-going cultural projects. The Esperanza continues to play a leading role in coalition efforts to win social justice in Texas and the world!

Free Press holds national conferences on media reform and provides lots of information on their website about media issues.

MAG-Net/Media Action Grassroots Network is an emerging coalition of regional organizations working together to build a movement for media justice and communications rights.

Media Alliance: Provides training in strategic communications, journalism for activists and other community members. If you’re in the SF Bay Area sign up for Media Alliance’s listserve to find out how to get involved with media activism.

Media & Democracy Coalition National Coalition of organizations working for progressive media policies.

Media Democracy Fund supports projects that work for a just media environment and democratic media policy.

Media Justice Fund – The Funding Exchange supports media justice organizing.

New York City Grassroots Media Coalition organizes an annual gathering of media activists and year-round networking events.

Reclaim the Media: Based in Seattle WA. Find out what’s going on in media activism in the Northwest and beyond by visiting this bountiful site. Don’t miss the cool media heroes trading cards!

UNITY:Journalists of Color, Inc. Representing 7,000 journalists of color, UNITY is an alliance of four national associations: Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Native American Journalists Association.  Hosts the annual UNITY Convention and develops programs that promote journalism advocacy and education, with a focus on fairness & accuracy in news coverage and diversity in newsrooms.

WIMN/Women In Media & News If you’re interested in gender and the media this site is for you! If you’re not, visit it and you will be.

Media Literacy:

New Mexico Media Literacy Project This project trains teachers and produces a wide range of media literacy curriculum on advertising, tobacco and alcohol, body image and more. Check out their companion website http://www.medialiteracytoolbox.com/ for more information on lesson plans, videos and dvd’s.

Native American Mascots: An Examination This resource helps you “dig deeper” into the question of mascots.

VI. Video, Film, Audio, Publications, Books

The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies by Vito Russo. A co-founder of GLAAD and Act-Up, Russo was the first to study Hollywood’s impact on the public perception of gays. Also see the movie version (1995) by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and What We Learned at the Movies

Latin Film and Video Images and Latinos and the Media are packed with useful essays. Centro De Estudios Puertorriqueños Bulletin [Scroll down to 1990 – both editions printed that year]

Shot in America: Television, The State and the Rise of Chicano Cinema, Chon A. Noriega. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000. Documents the work of Chicano media makers against the backdrop of social movements including campaigns against stereotypes like “Frito Bandito” and job discrimination in Hollywood.

Video / Film / Websites

Color Adjustment by Marlon Riggs (1991). A study of network television and racial representation including clips from Amos ‘n’ Andy, Good Times, Roots, The Cosby Show and more.

Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes A self-described “hip hop-head” takes an in depth look at masculinity and manhood in hip hop. Resources for teachers on the site.

IDA B. WELLS: A Passion for Justice by William Greaves. Documents the life of the pioneering African American journalist, activist, suffragist and anti-lynching crusader of the post-Reconstruction period.

In Whose Honor by Jay Rosenstein. This documentary takes a critical look at the long-running practice of “honoring” Native American Indians by using them as mascots and nicknames in sports. Documents activist Charlene Teters, a Spokane Indian and mother of two, and her impassioned transformation from a graduate student into a leader of a national movement.

Paper Tiger TV See this New York City based video collective’s on-line catalogue for lots of tapes on media activism including Renee Tajima Reads Asian Images in American Films: Charlie Chan Go Home

Pepperspray Productions Check out the offerings of this video activist collective in Seattle, WA including the tapes Big Media is Big Enough Already! featuring testimonies from the 2007 FCC Media Ownership Hearings in Seattle and Ya Se Pudo, documenting the Radio Barnraising for LPFM station KPCN.

Pirate Radio USA It’s not about Left vs. Right, it’s about Big vs. Small Watch the trailer here. A feature length digital documentary about the underground world of illegal radio in America, where people play what they want and say what they want—unless the FCC catches them.

Planet of the Arabs by Jaqueline Salloum. A trailer-esque montage spectacle of Hollywood’s relentless vilification of Arabs. Riffs off of Jack Shaheen’s anthology Reel Bad Arabs. View on-line.

Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People features Jack Shaheen, author of the book by the same name. Study guide for the film

Soldiers Without Swords: The Black Press in America by Stanley Nelson. Chronicles the history of the Black press in the U.S. The site includes lesson plans and other resources.

Stop the Movie (Cruising). When William Friedkin came to New York’s West Village to shoot the movie Cruising, gay activists responded with lively street protests. Filmmaker Jim Hubbard documented some of the action with Super 8 film. DVD’s available from jimhub@earthlink.net

Race: The Power of an Illusion Three-part documentary about race in society, science and history. The website is chalk-full of useful resources including lesson plans for teachers. Episode 3, The House We Live In, shows how race has affected housing policies and home ownership in the U.S.

Waves of  Change celebrates and documents developments in community media and the struggle for media resources around the world. Interviews, videos and great analysis. Check it out! 

Film/Video Distributors:

Arab Film Distribution Excellent source of film and video from throughout the Arabic-speaking world.

California Newsreel: Film and video for social change This film distributor has one of the most extensive collections of film and video in the world. Includes the Library of African Cinema and Unnatural Causes (2008) a series that explores socioeconomic and racial inequities in health.  Diversity training, tools for educators and more!

Fanlight Productions Their catalogue includes a large selection of films on disability issues.

Frameline Largest distributor of LGBT aka Queer media.

Groundspark Respect For All Project facilitates the development of inclusive, bias-free schools and communities by providing media resources, support and training to youth, educators and service providers.

Media Education Foundation produces and distributes documentary films and other educational resources to inspire critical reflection on the social, political, and cultural impact of American mass media.

MediaRights.org has a searchable data-base of films and videos. Learn how to host the annual Media that Matters Festival and watch the winners on-line.

Third World Newsreel distributes a number of special collections of contemporary video and work by the original Newsreel Collective including Black Panther and Up Against the Wall Ms. America.  TWN also conducts production training courses in New York City and fiscal sponsorship for producers.

Women Make Movies The largest distributor of films by and about women in the world!


A Thousand Kites Through the Media Justice, Criminal Justice Campaign learn how to use radio to serve as a line of communication between prisoners and their family members, and between those who want to share criminal-justice-system-stories and the community at large.

Emancipatory Journalism Part hip hop mixtape, part lecture tape, Jared Ball describes the FreeMix radio project and the tradition of black underground press that inspired it.

VII. Progressive News and Public Affairs Programs/Blogs

[This is just a sampling -These sites will link you to more ways to diversify your media diet]

The Black Agenda Report: A journal of African-American political thought and action.

The Black Commentator: Commentary, analysis and investigations on issues affecting African-Americans and the African world.

Colorlines Magazine: Covering the latest in race, culture and organizing. Published by the Applied Resource Center, along with the blog, RaceWire Colors NW A multicultural media company offering news and perspectives for and about people of color in the Northwest.

The Daily Yonder: This site focuses on news for the 55 million people who live in rural areas in the U.S.

Democracy Now! Daily progressive public affairs with Amy Goodman available on community stations and as streaming video and audio on-line.

Feministing.com provides a platform for young women to comment, analyze, influence and connect.

FSRN/Free Speech Radio News Available on community radio stations across the U.S. and on-line. International in scope with reports from journalists from the region they are reporting on.

Indymedia: Launched to cover the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, the Indymedia portal now links to independent media centers throughout the world. You can post news here too!

National Radio Project: Listen on-line to current and archived public affairs shows on activist topics.

New America Media: Find breaking news and public affairs stories from over 2000 ethnic media outlets at their site.

PNN/Poor News Network is a multi-media access project of POOR Magazine, dedicated to reframing the news, issues and  solutions from low and no income communities. Visit their site for perspectives you absolutely will not find anywhere else!

Radio Bilingüe, a non-profit radio network with Latino control and leadership, is the only national distributor of Spanish-language programming in public radio. Listen on-line to news, music and public affairs. Their website is in English and Spanish.

WINGS / Women’s International Newsgathering Service: Listen on-line or find out how to contribute stories to WINGS.

VIII. International Organizations Concerned with Media Justice & Communication Rights

WACC/World Association for Christian Communication promotes communication for social change. Search the site for information on the Global Media Monitoring Project and the No-Nonsense Guide to Communications Rights GenderIT.org was founded by the Association of Progressive Communications as a resource for all those working for gender equity and IT (information technology) policies that empower women.

IX. Archives / Web Resources Relevant to Media Justice History

The Black Journalist Movement: How They Got Their Start Video oral histories with African-American journalists that broke into mainstream media in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Charlayne Hunter-Gault and many more!

The Art of Self Defense by Ayana Baltrip-Balagás 2006 An overview of graphic artist, Emory Douglas’ work for the Black Panther Party and newspaper.

The Black Panther / Black Community News Service Index and Archive: Access issues of the Black Panther Newspaper, articles, political cartoons, art work and photos.

X. Resources for Anti-oppression Education & Organizing

The Western States Center, located in Portland, OR, an organization that has a number of resources for social justice organizations on their website, from their Dismantling Racism. These include:

Moving A Racial Justice Agenda: Organizational Assessment, Are you ready? Assessing Organizational Racism: a tool for predominantly white organizations and multi-racial organizations of white people and people of color.

Challenging Homophobia, Racism and Other Oppressive Moments: tips on how to respond to comments and behavior (for “moments,” not for deeper dynamics)

Resources from other sources:

White Supremacy Culture from Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun, ChangeWork, 2001 This is a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture which show up in our organizations.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack Start the conversation with this short and effective piece.

Tools for White Guys who are Working for Social Change: Another useful article from the SOA Watch website.

Definitions: from A is for Ableism to W is for White Supremacy Cool glossary for today’s activist! Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work For Racial Justice, by Paul Kivel, New Society Publishers, 1996. This is one of the better books on this topic.

An Open Letter To Activists Concerning Racism In The Anti-War Movement February 13, 2003: written by activists in response to organizing in NYC.

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