Media Democracy Legal Project

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Media Democracy Legal Project

Origins

The Media Democracy Legal Project has grown from the work of the Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community and the Cultural Environment Movement , working with lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild and other legal professionals, in conjunction with the Media Alliance of San Francisco.[1]

Mission

To use constitutional legal process to attain democratic governance of our publicly owned airwaves in accordance with the democratic ideals of our U.S. Constitution.

The Media Democracy Legal Project is engaged in building the popular political movement necessary for the creation of diverse, democratic broadcast communications.[2]

Constitutional "remedy"

Circa 2006, the Media Democracy Legal Project was preparing to file a ground breaking case that constitutionally challenges the present broadcasting monopoly.[3]

Our case asks for this constitutional remedy:
That our publically-owned airwaves must be democratically managed with a much larger decentralized public broadcasting sector, justly financed by commercial users limited to 50% of the public airwaves. Public interest and fairness rules for broadcasters must be reinstated.
Democracy is stretched thin when very few for-profit conglomerates control the flow of mass communications.

Media "Monopoly"

From the MDLP website; Q:What is "the Media Monopoly?" A: Today the media is mostly owned and controlled by a half dozen or so megacorporations. These few giant corporations carefully control the narrow range of allowable information, dialogue, and debate in our "free society." This monopoly of the flow of information is in direct conflict with our Constitutional Rights.[4]

Media "Democracy"

From the MDLP website; Q:What would real Media Democracy, look like, how would it work?

A: A real Media Democracy would reserve at least 50% of the broadcast channels for a diversity of non-profit independent stations, both of great diversity in opinion and representing the many multicultural groups of this nation. Full information and debate would be encouraged, as well as a range of cultural and artistic expression. To fund this important expansion of democracy, the half of the air waves spectrum open to commercial use would be leased at fair market value for the tens of billions of dollars per year it is worth. Elected national and regional commissions would fairly distribute the funds generated by this new broadcasting system that would support non-profit broadcasting.[5]

Need for a "Media Democracy Legal Project"

From the MDLP website; Q: Why does there need to be a "Media Democracy Legal Project?" A: The public has a right to freedom of information it plays a critical role in furthering knowledge, so that "we the people" can be informed for governing ourselves as promised in the Constitution. Legislative, Administrative AND Legal battles must be fought to reclaim the Freedoms promised in our Constitution. The legal constitutional challenge is a key vehicle for exposing the dangers of monopoly media control of information and raising awareness of our rights. A Constitutional case is winnable! [6]

Personnel

Serving on the Board of the Media Democracy Legal Project, circa 2006:[7]

The Rev. Paul Sawyer, Pasadena

MDLP Legal Team includes:

Project Administrator is:

Advisors Include:

Links

Circa 2006;[8]

References