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  • 1. Media Justice or Media Control (Knoxville, TN: Appalachian Community Fund, 2007), 4, accessed October 1, 2009, fscconvening.pdf.
  • 2. “A key strategic decision was to work on shifting the terms of media organizing from ‘Media Democracy,’ to ‘Media Justice’ . . . We thought that transforming the concept to Media Justice will put our efforts on the same level as other social justice and human rights organizing.” Nan Rubin, Highlander Media Justice Gathering (New Market, TN: Ford Foundation, 2002), 9, accessed October 1, 2009, http://
  • 3. Nicole Davis and the Applied Research Center, Strategic Grantmaking and Grassroots Organizing for Media Justice (New York: Applied Research Center, 2006), 11, accessed April 29, 2010, The Funding Exchange is a US network of 16 community foundations and a national office that together grant nearly $15 million annually to grassroots organizations working for social, racial, economic and environmental justice; see “FEX,” the Funding Exchange, accessed April 29, 2010,
  • 4. The organizations introduced in this chapter and referred to by acronyms include the Funding Exchange (FEX), the Media Justice Fund (MJF), the Appalachian

Community Fund (ACF), the Tennessee Health Care Campaign (THCC), and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC).

  • 5. “Funding Exchange—Media Justice Fund,” Funding Exchange Media Justice Fund, accessed April 29, 2010,
  • 6. Davis and Applied Research Center, Strategic Grantmaking, 8—9.
  • 7. Nan Rubin described the participants as “planners, project directors, coordinators, campaign organizers, and policy drafters who understand the power of getting content and technology into people’s hands, and are willing to take on the unglamorous work of making it so.” As the report notes, “There were no people there who were primarily content providers.” Highlander Media Justice Gathering, 2.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Ibid., 6—7.
  • 10. Hye-Jung Park, interview with author, July 14, 2009.
  • 11. Suzanne Pharr and Scot Nakagawa of Highlander’s staff noted this tension: “The divisions within the group were mainly between the policy advocates on one hand, and the media makers and community organizers on the other.” Nan Rubin, Highlander Media Justice Gathering Final Report prepared for the Ford Foundation, September 2002, 13.
  • 12. “Funding Exchange—MJF: Grants,” Funding Exchange Media Justice Fund, accessed April 29, 2010,
  • 13. Ibid.
  • 14. “Media Justice Community,” Funding Exchange Media Justice Fund, accessed April 25, 2010,; and “Knowledge Exchange Program,” Funding Exchange Media Justice Fund, accessed April 25, 2010, http://www.fex .org/assets/320_knowledgeexchangeprogram.doc.
  • 15. Hye-Jung Park, personal communication with author, September 16, 2009.
  • 16. See “About Central Appalachia,” Appalachian Community Fund, accessed April 29, 2010,; Chuck Shuford, “What Happens When You Don’t Own the Land,” the Daily Yonder blog, July 3, 2009, accessed April 29, 2010, what-happens-when-you-dont-own-land/2009/07/03/2205; Richard A. Couto, Making Democracy Work Better: Mediating Structures, Social Capital, and the Democratic Prospect (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999); Stephen L. Fisher, ed., Fighting Back in Appalachia: Traditions of Resistance and Change (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993); and Stephen L. Fisher and Barbara Ellen Smith, eds., Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, forthcoming).
  • 17. “Appalachian Community Fund,” Appalachian Community Fund, accessed April 29, 2010,
  • 18. Gaye Evans, interview with author, January 14, 2009.
  • 19. “Media Justice Collaboration Draft of Goals and Agenda,” Appalachian Community Fund, December 1—2, 2006.
  • 20. Evans, interview with author.
  • 21. Participants quoted in Media Justice or Media Control, 24.
  • 22. For one example among many, see Dwight B. Billings, Gurney Norman, and Katherine Ledford, eds., Back Talk from Appalachia: Confronting Stereotypes (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1999).
  • 23. Davis and Applied Research Center, Strategic Grantmaking, 20. Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) is a more recent initiative with a similar vision. MAG-Net is a national coalition of regional organizations working together to build a movement for media justice and communications rights. See “About MAGNet,” Media Action Grassroots Network, accessed April 25, 2010, http://www
  • 24. “Media Justice Project Description for FEX Member Funds,” Appalachian Community Fund, n.d.
  • 25. “Media Justice Grantees 2008,” Appalachian Community Fund, n.d.
  • 26. “Media Justice Initiative Recommendations,” Appalachian Community Fund, June 2007; and “Media Justice Grantees,” Appalachian Community Fund, 2008. The aims of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition’s Mountain Reporter Network—to distribute local citizens’ stories and have an impact on policy—will be familiar to many grassroots organizations; Fred Goff, cofounder of the DataCenter in Oakland, California, recently described the DataCenter’s “current focus on partnering with low- i ncome communities to help them capture their own story and make it accessible to the media, policymakers, and others working for change.” Goff, “Flashbacks,” datacenter update, Fall/Winter 2008, 6.
  • 27. “Tennessee Health Care Campaign: About Us,” Tennessee Health Care Campaign, accessed April 25, 2010,
  • 28. “Final Report to the Appalachian Community Fund from THCC,” Tennessee Health Care Campaign, November 7, 2008.
  • 29. Susan McKay, personal communication with author, August 24, 2009.
  • 30. McKay, personal communication; and “Final Report,” THCC.
  • 31. “About OVEC,” Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, accessed April 25, 2010,
  • 32. “About Us,” Center for Rural Strategies, accessed April 25, 2010, http://www.rural
  • 33. The Mountain Reporter Network also received a grant from FEX’s national Media Justice Fund.
  • 34. Vivian Stockman, interview with author, July 22, 2009.
  • 35. “2007—2008 Report to the Appalachian Community Fund,” Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, 2008.
  • 36. “In West Virginia, Big Coal owns interests in the West Virginia MetroNews Radio Network (with newscasts carried over radio stations across the state), West Virginia Media Holdings (four TV stations and the weekly state ‘business’ newspaper) and several state newspapers. In papers where there is no direct coal-related ownership, the coal industry is a major advertiser that many papers are reluctant to anger. Over the airwaves, there is a virtual black-out of mountaintop-removal-related news.” Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, “Application to the FEX Media Justice Fund, OVEC and the Center for Rural Strategies,” n.d.
  • 37. Mimi Pickering, “Mountain Reporter Network Place Stories—Information and Help,” April 22, 2009. See also “About Mountain Reporter Network PlaceStories,” Mountain Reporter Network, accessed April 25, 2010,
  • 38. “2007-2008 Report,” OVEC.
  • 39. Stockman, interview with author.
  • 40. Mimi Pickering, interview with author, July 28, 2009.
  • 41. Stockman, interview with author.
  • 42. Pickering, interview with author.
  • 43. Pickering, interview with author; Stockman, interview with author; and “20072008 Report,” OVEC.
  • 44. Catherine Borgman-Arboleda, interview with author, August 20, 2009.
  • 45. Borgman-Arboleda, interview with author; Borgman-Arboleda and Al Reynolds, “Media Justice Fund: Key Initial Findings for Discussion. Prepared for FEX Skills Workshop 2009,” ActKnowledge, 2008.
  • 46. Park, interview with author.
  • 47. In a published evaluation of another Ford Foundation program, the authors observe, “We believe that funders need to commit to specific organizing efforts for a minimum of five years. This period should include time for groups to plan and build relationships for the implementation of activities.” Marilyn Gittell, Charles Price, and Barbara Ferman, Community Collaborations: Promoting Community Organizing (New York: Ford Foundation, 2009), 46.
  • 48. Evans, interview with author.
  • 49. Davis and Applied Research Center, Strategic Grantmaking, 5, emphasis is in the original.
  • 50. Malkia Cyril, “Deep in My Heart: The South Speaks the Language of Media Justice,” WIMNs Voices blog, March 28, 2007, accessed April 25, 2010, http:// -the-south-speaks-the-language-of-media-justice.
  • 51. “1) Ownership of the means of production is democratized, publicly accountable and directly in our hands, 2) Media content is diverse, fair, informative, culturally relevant, and increases civic engagement, 3) Media rules are in the service of humanity, abide by international standards, and are enforceable protections of collective rights, 4) Movements for justice have the power and resources to use their communication rights to make structural change.” Media Justice or Media Control, 5- 6.
  • 52. Ibid., 4.
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