The media has become a major influence in shaping the world. Many are concerned that fewer and fewer corporations are controlling the vast majority of our media -- in the United States just 5 or 6 corporations control most of the newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, books, music, movies, videos, wire services and photo agencies. This is alarming because this severally limits the perspectives and points of view that help us to shape our own individual perceptions of events in the world.
Media Democracy Day, on October 18, has become an important opportunity to speak out against the commercialization of our media. It is a time to call for media reforms that promote diversity, and better representation and accountability to local communities.
In 1996 a coalition of groups in Toronto and Vancouver organized a Media Democracy Day to challenge the monopolization of media outlets by a few corporations. Previously, organizations had organized a Media Democracy Day in Britain on October 18, commemorating the 1922 establishment of the BBC (British Broadcasting Company). By 2002, Media Democracy Day was being celebrated in cities throughout the world.
Since 1993, the United Nations has promoted May 3 as World Press Freedom Day -- an important opportunity to remind governments and civil society about the "crucial role a free press plays in strengthening democracies and fostering development around the world."
Help promote a free world press, media reform and support alternative media sources.
World Press Freedom Day - May 3
Media Democracy Day - October 18