Category Archives: Media Ownership

Mergers, diversity of ownership, and multiple perspectives.

How FEMA Blew Up A Wildlife Refuge 35 Times

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Originally published on Medium

Every year in September, around the anniversary of 9–11, Bay Area SWAT teams, along with occasional visitors from Bahrain, Hong Kong, Brazil or Israel, gather for the annual training exercise called Urban Shield. All around the Bay Area, they rappell, climb, tackle and shoot at terrorist actors in the nation’s biggest disaster preparedness exercise.

It’s been my privilege to be an observer at Urban Shield for two years running, which I wrote about here and spoke about here. But I didn’t observe one particular exercise last year when simulated improvised explosive devices (IED’s) were set off in a federally protected marine shorebird reserve at Alameda Point. There is a video of the exercise and here it is. This was repeated about 35 times over the course of two days and one night.

If I were a bird, I’d move.

Continue reading How FEMA Blew Up A Wildlife Refuge 35 Times
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FCC Responds to Radio Death – 9 Years Later

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Update 2-6-2017: Entercom has announced they will turn in KDND’s license rather than defend the water-drinking contest. The license surrender will be part of Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio.

Nine years after the death and four years after the filing of a petition to deny license renewal by Media Action Center (a fiscally sponsored project of Media Alliance), the FCC has finally convened a hearing on the 2007 death of Jennifer Strange.

Inside Radio Coverage of Entercom’s surrender

Sacramento Bee Coverage of Entercom’s surrender

Bradcast Interview with Sue Wilson (KPFK-FM Los Angeles)

Continue reading FCC Responds to Radio Death – 9 Years Later

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35 Civil Rights Organizations Tell Amazon To Get Out Of The Facial Recognition Business

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35 civil rights organizations (including Media Alliance)  joined a sign-on letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, also the owner of the Washington Post newspaper, to desist from marketing facial recognition technology to the government.

Public records requests reveal that the company has developed and sold a prototype product called “Rekognition” to police departments in Florida and Oregon.  Continue reading 35 Civil Rights Organizations Tell Amazon To Get Out Of The Facial Recognition Business

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Groups Call on Congress to Refuse Funding for Border Surveillance “Smart Wall”

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25 civil liberties and immigration organizations, including Media Alliance released an open letter to Congress calling on negotiators not to provide additional funding for border surveillance technologies as part of the “grand compromise” deal around border security. The letter specifies which technologies we are most concerned about, like algorithmic risk-assessment, facial recognition, and biometrics.

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An Open Letter To The Berkeley City Council

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailJune 21, 2018

Honorable Mayor Jesse Arrequin and Members of the Berkeley City Council:  Ben Bartlett,  Cheryl Davila, Lori Droste, Sophie Hahn, Kate Harrison, Linda Maio, Susan Wengraf,  Kriss Worthington

cc: City of Berkeley City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley, City of Berkeley City Attorney Farimah Brown, City of Berkeley City Clerk

City of Berkeley  2180 Milvia Street  Berkeley, CA 94709

In Re: Council Subcommittee Urban Shield Vote

On behalf of Media Alliance’s constituency in your city, I am writing to you with regard to Mayor Arreguin’s statment on June 19, 2018.

The purpose of this letter is to do two things:

  1. To identify the language in the Berkeley City Charter and municipal code that addresses agreements with other law enforcement agencies, including the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.
  2. To provide documentation of two previous Council votes in December of 2015 and June of 2017 in which the council purported to direct the Berkeley Police Department  and the Berkeley City Manager in whether or not to participate in the Urban Shield SWAT competition.

Continue reading An Open Letter To The Berkeley City Council

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43 Organizations Call On Congress To Protect Digital Civil Rights

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43 civil and human rights organizations (including Media Alliance) called on Congress today to protect marginalized communities from digital discrimination.

Harmful practices noted in the letter included deceptive voter suppression, housing and employment discrimination in online advertising, and exploitative notice-and-choice practices.

The letter went on to state that any new privacy legislation needs to incorporate these principles:

  •  Stop high-tech profiling;
  •  Ensure fairness in automated decisions;
  •  Preserve constitutional principles;
  •  Enhance individual control of personal information; and
  •  Protect people from inaccurate data.
Roundtable-Letter-on-CRBig-Data-Privacy

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