Senate Loses Key Media Reformer

The Center for Digital Democracy’s Jeff Chester talked to Democracy Now! on Thursday about the impending departure of North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, a leading opponent of media consolidation and proponent of net neutrality. An excerpt:

See the entire video here.

Dorgan’s departure is definitely a blow. Hopefully, someone else in the Senate (maybe Al Franken?) will take up the cause. Even better if the movement had more than one champion in the Senate.

Chester’s concern about progressives not creating enough content on the Web is surprising. I thought liberal activists had been way ahead of conservatives in utilizing the blogosphere and web video, especially since progressive voices have nearly been shut out of the mainstream media. So, I’m not sure what Chester envisions. Maybe he means progressive activists should create more outlets on the Web that look like traditional newspapers and television newscasts? The biggest hurdle, of course, is having enough money to start up a news organization. There just aren’t enough wealthy benefactors funding progressive/diverse media these days. In the meantime, progressive activists are going to have to come up with creative ways to raise the cash needed to create the content.