House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent an unequivocal message of support for public media to a crowd of some 2,000 participants at an afternoon plenary session of today's (April 8) National Conference on Media Reform in Boston. Pelosi enthusiastically cited a range of media reform objectives, including continued support for pubcasting. She said that Democrats and Free Press, the conference organizer, are working together to ensure funding to "NPR, PBS and their local affiliates," as well as expand low-power FM radio and fight for net neutrality.
Earlier in the day, Amy Goodman, host and co-producer of public broadcasting's Democracy Now!, presided over an international panel on "WikiLeaks, Journalism and Modern Day Muckraking" before an audience of around 500. Eight small cameras captured the presentations for later broadcast or streaming live to a secondary audience of activists following the conference online. Goodman's daily show, with roots in Pacifica radio, is heard almost everywhere in America, on hundreds of small stations and two satellite channels. Her impact and image has been magnified by the way that Democracy Now! has evolved from a radio program into a model for low-cost, multi-platform distribution.
The National Conference on Media Reform continues through Sunday. — Mark Fuerst