The Media Power Collaborative provides resources and hosts discussions to learn more about the history of our media system, the policies that underpin it today, and the bold ideas that many are advocating for to transform it. 

The resources below are a good place to start. Got something you want to add to the list? Go to our contact page and send us the resource and info on why we should include it.

As individuals, we seek to gain:

  • Foundational historical knowledge of how and why we have arrived at this point, including previous struggles for media democracy
  • A critical understanding of the media system and our places within it — as workers, community members, etc. — in both local and national contexts
  • Committed solidarity with a shared vision for civic information and public investments
  • A strong familiarity with the different possible interventions to make that vision a reality
  • Capacities for strategic leadership to organize in our workplaces and communities

As a group, we aim to:

  • Develop a common analysis of our media system that integrates our collective experiences
  • Build a community and shared culture around transforming our media system
  • Function as a connecting hub for media-policy ideas among media workers, movement organizers and allied researchers
  • Serve as an initial base to advocate and mobilize for public policies that build a new national civic-information landscape

Media past: How did we get here

The Media Power Collaborative explores the history of media policy and organizing in the United States.

Robert McChesney, Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times (The New Press, 2016)
Victor Pickard, Social Democracy or Corporate Libertarianism? Conflicting Media Policy Narratives in the Wake of Market Failure (Communication Theory, 2012)
Printing Hate (Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, 2021)
Lewis Raven Wallace, John Biewen and Chenjerai Kumanyika, “More Truth” (Scene On Radio, S4E11, 2020)
Makani Themba and Nan Rubin, “Speaking for Ourselves” (The Nation, 2003)
Joseph Torres, “How Local Media Fueled the Tulsa Massacre — and Covered It Up” (Free Press, 2021)
Joseph Torres, Alicia Bell, Collette Watson, Tauhid Chappell, Diamond Hardiman and Christina Pierce, Media 2070: An Invitation to Dream Up Media Reparations (Free Press, 2020)

Media present: assessing the current situation

The Media Power Collaborative discusses the current landscape of media policy and organizing in the United States.

Joshua Benton, “Do Countries with Better-Funded Public Media Also Have Healthier Democracies?” (NiemanLab, 2022)
Black in the Newsroom documentary (Media 2070, 2022)
Kevin Davis, Amy Kroin and Mike Rispoli, New Jersey’s Civic Information Bill: The Story of the Campaign to Transform Local Media (Free Press, 2022)
Dr. Travis L. Dixon, A Dangerous Distortion of Our Families: Representations of Our Families, by Race, in News and Opinion Media (Color Of Change and Family Story, 2017)
Losing the News (PEN America, 2019)
Carla Murphy, “Why We Need a Working-Class Media” (Dissent Magazine, 2019)
Victor Pickard, “The Commercial Era for Local Journalism Is Over” (NiemanLab, 2021)
Josh Stearns and Christine Schmidt, “How We Know Journalism Is Good for Democracy” (Democracy Fund, 2022)
Joseph Torres, “Racism in the Media Persists 50 Years After Kerner Report” (Free Press, 2018)
S. Derek Turner, How Big Is the Reporting Gap? (Free Press, 2020)

Media futures: how we move forward

The Media Power Collaborative explores big ideas and bold visions for the future of media policy and organizing in the United States.

Rodney Benson and Matthew Powers, Public Media and Political Independence (Free Press, 2011), pp. 3–14, 61–66
Elizabeth Green, Darryl Holliday and Mike Rispoli, The Roadmap for Local News (2023)
Darryl Holliday, “Journalism Is a Public Good. Let the Public Make It” (Columbia Journalism Review, 2021)
Sanjay Jolly and Ellen Goodman, “A ‘Full Stack’ Approach to Public Media in the United States” (German Marshall Fund, 2021)
Timothy Karr and Craig Aaron, Beyond Fixing Facebook: How the Multibillion-Dollar Business Behind Online Advertising Could Reinvent Public Media, Revitalize Journalism and Strengthen Democracy (Free Press, 2019)
Hillary Ross, Expanding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to Fund Local News (Day One Project, 2021)
Anya Schiffrin, “The Infodemic” (The Nation, 2020)
Tom Stites, A New Business Model Emerges: Meet the Digital News Co-op (Nonprofit Quarterly, 2021)

State and local media policy

The Media Power Collaborative discusses state and local efforts to strengthen the news.

Building Narrative Power to Change Local News

The Media Power Collaborative discusses narrative power strategies.

Building narrative power – stories that communicate our values, connect us to one another, and mobilize us to action – is critical for change, whether its holding our peers and newsrooms accountable, or calling for policies that support new journalism models.

In this MPC meeting, we review what narrative power is, why we need to build it, share case studies, and workshop ideas on how to tell our stories in order to win.

State of the Union on Local News Policy

The Media Power Collaborative builds its understanding of the political landscape

MPC members heard from a set of eight speakers from across the country who are helping drive forward exciting work to transform local news and civic information. Speakers included lawmakers, community organizers, lawyers, and policy experts. The meeting was a first step for the MPC in building a policy agenda of its own, as the group establishes itself as a grassroots political voice in local news campaigns nationwide.

Building Worker and Community Power to Transform Local News

This past #MayDay, the Media Power Collaborative examines the overlap between community needs and labor needs as we work to build a more equitable and sustainable media system through policy change.

We heard from Alex Han of In These Times magazine, Kate Harloe of Freelance Solidarity Project, and Andy Grimm from The Chicago News Guild on the importance of organizing.

Photo Credit: Timothy Karr