“a democracy of ignorant citizens can be as dangerous as a dictatorship”

The power of the people's voice.

This quote by Paul Chappelle was on one of Robert Shetterly’s portraits in his “Americans Who Tell the Truth” series on display as Mr. Shetterly gave the opening talk on Saturday  at  the first Maine Grassroots Media Conference.

I have to start out by complimenting the organizers.  Especially Meaghan LaSala who pulled off this really great event with what looked like total aplomb.  And then say there are a LOT of links in this post and you should go to every one on them.  These people are all doing great work and I think you will find all of them very informative.

So this is what I learned at the conference:

My voice is my instrument and has a full range to use.  High to low.  It’s okay to become emotional on radio as long as it is genuine emotion.  Good writing makes great radio.  Critique doesn’t need to hurt.  Thanks, Lisa.

There are lots of  different voices out there some get heard and some don‘t.  There are also lots of great young filmmakers out there who are helping them to get their stories told.

My friend Kate said at lunch that we go to these things to rejuvenate ourselves and be in a room full of people who think about the world in a similar way.  It helps us feel like we are not always  swimming against the tide.  Larry Dansinger’s workshop to organize a regular grassroots news publication was that roomful of people for me.  (once I got  past the noise that the mainstream media representative was making)  It was really a fruitful hour, well spent.

Low power radio is about to expand.  The FCC is getting ready to release a few more low power radio licenses probably by mid 2012.   The Prometheus Radio Project can help you if you are starting your own very local radio station.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is as active as ever and blessed to have Shenna  Bellows as their spokesperson.  She encourages us all to use the Freedom Of Information Act and the Maine Right to Know Act as much as possible to get the information we need to expose malfeasance in whatever form it may take. And to keep cross posting, reposting, blogging etc etc.

There is a newish organization called the “Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting”, which at the conference was represented by that stalwart of the liberal media Jay Davis, doing the investigative reporting that all the mainstream media outlets have dropped as “too expensive”.

There are lots of people like me out there.   Over 100 at this conference alone.  It’s a nice warm feeling.


4 responses to this post.

  1. I would rephrase that. “A Corporate Oligarchy made up of shareholders, beneficiaries of Federal benefit programs, can be more dangerous than a rattlesnake in your sleeping bag.”


  2. Yes, and we don’t like where that ignorant consent is taking us.


  3. Disasters turn everyone’s lives upside down. This story, out of the Texas wildfires, illustrates my point. In a crisis, there’s nobody to call in Washington, D.C. Those people just take over and screw it all up. Neighbors take care of neighbors.



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