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United Church of Christ Office of Communication Inc. Monthly Newsletter


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UCC OC INC. TALKS TECH AND MEDIA JUSTICE 

At General Synod in Tampa - the UCC's biennial national gathering - the Office of Communication Inc. incorporated media justice into the conversation. Board Chair Andrea Cano spoke on the changes in church use of technology based on our survey of dozens of congregations. (Her presentation can be seen here.) Cano talked about the need to preserve freedom of expression online as a civil right through media access: expanding broadband access, ensuring net neutrality, and more through the "10 Must Dos to Ensure Internet Access, Good Media, and Good News." Many of the attendees called for congregations to start communications committees to develop church policies for social media and technology advocacy for all.

OC INC. ANNOUNCES PARKER LECTURE AWARDEES

OC Inc. announced its 29th annual awardees for the Parker Lecture and Awards, to be held Sept. 28, 2011 at 8 a.m. at the Washington Post conference center in Washington, DC. The FCC's Steven Waldman, founder of Belief.net and author of the Future of the Media Report, will be delivering the Parker Lecture, and retiring FCC Commissioner Michael Copps will be honored with the Newton Minow Award. Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, will be receving the Everett C. Parker Award, and Joe Waz, retired Senior Vice President for External Affairs and Public Policy Counsel at Comcast, will receive the Donald M. McGannon Award. More detail here. Click here to reserve your spot at this important gathering. 


OC. INC ALERTS YOUTH MEDIA MAKERS TO PRISON PHONE RATE INJUSTICES

At the Allied Media Conference in June, OC Inc. staff, ministers, and board members highlighted issues around phone service to prisoners and other detainees. At a June 24 workshop at the conference in Detroit, OC Inc. helped organize a panel to highlight the exhorbitant costs charged to prisoners and/or their families when they try to keep in contact by phone during their incarceration. Rev. Edward T. Haggins, founder of the Matthew Prison Fellowship in Cleveland, shared his experience working to connect prisoners with their families by phone. “When these men have something to do, and someone who cares about them, they’re not likely to be fighting…and not likely to come back," he said. More information on the workshop and our campaign is here. 


OC INC. JOINS CALL FOR GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY FOR TV STATIONS

Hearkening back to the UCC's earliest media justice efforts, OC Inc. and the Public Interest Public Airwaves Coalition (PIPAC) called on FCC Chair Julius Genachowski to enchance viewers' ability to hold TV stations accountable to their communities. The Coalition drew on a recent comprehensive FCC report written by this year's Parker Lecturer, Steven Waldman. The Coalition envisioned a streamlined, easily accessible online form that will enable viewers and citizens to compare the amount of local news, election coverage, and other essential information offered by local TV stations nationwide. 

"As an advocate for broadcaster accountablity and transparency for more than 50 years, the United Church of Christ sees enhanced disclosure as central to the relationship between audiences and the stations licensed to serve their needs," said Andrea Cano, OC Inc. board chair and a former television reporter. "Communities of faith and communities of color, in particular, need a tool to more meaningfully hold broadcasters accountable to their viewers." OC Inc. is a part of PIPAC, which also includes the Benton Foundation, Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Free Press, Media Access Project, and the New America Foundation. Read more here.



HELP BRING LOCAL COMMUNITY RADIO TO YOUR COMMUNITY

OC Inc.'s ten years of advocacy bore fruit last year with the passage of the Local Community Radio Act - however, the fight for more diverse, local radio is not over. Currently, the FCC is taking comments from the public on whether local organizations should be granted the radio licenses, or whether they should go to "translators", radio signal repeaters that would effectively undermine the intent of the bill. For an explanation of the process, check out this video from Prometheus Radio Project. 

Please help reinforce the bill by taking action through Prometheus' page

As the process develops over the next year, OC Inc. and partners will be working on some training sessions on how your organization or house of worship can apply for a low-power, non-commerical station. For more details or questions, please email OC Inc. Policy Advisor Cheryl Leanze at cleanza@alhmail.com. 

http://www.uccmediajustice.org/
info@uccmediajustice.org

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