Opening Night: Hersh, Klein, Goodman and Sanders

Tonight was the opening night for the short Media Consolidation conference here at the U of I, with Seymour Hersh giving the keynote. Drew wrote a nice, concise summary of Hersh’s talk at BeTheMediaBlog, and Andrew has already posted the audio.

Rep. Bernie sanders gave a rousing speech, unafraid to utter words like “working class” and “socialism,” and also not afraid to point out the topics the corporate media is unwilling to cover, such as the erosion of the financial security of the middle class. I’ll probably have this audio posted within the next day.

Naomi Klein gave a somewhat rambling overview of her experiences in Iraq, which were nonetheless interesting and engaging. For instance, did you know that most American reporters have Iraqis doing most of their data gathering for them, including interviews, pictures and video? That’s because even the “green” zone is pretty dangerous. However the Iraqis doing the real reporting don’t get credit, ostensibly in order to protect their safety.

Wrapping things up tonight, Amy Goodman gave a typically rabble rousing speech that touched on many of her stock anecdotes, like her experiences in East Timor 14 years ago, but also playing to the home crowd, giving mad props to the independent media scene in Champaign-Urbana.

We’ll have some highlights on Friday’s radioshow, and the full audio of everything will become available via links either here at mediageek or at the Be The Media Blog.