When will we reach the breaking point? Our minds have become a virtual dumping ground of pollutants — manipulative ads, distorted news, untold violence, spin and hype. We can cope with the media onslaught to a degree. But all signs suggest that the cumulative effects of this toxic culture — on our stress levels, our moods, our relationships, our worldviews, even our mental health — could become one the most pressing issues of our generation.
The Media Carta Manifesto
WE HAVE LOST CONFIDENCE in what we are seeing, hearing and reading: too much infotainment and not enough news; too many outlets telling the same stories; too much commercialism and too much hype. Every day, this commercial information system distorts our view of the world.
WE HAVE LOST FAITH in the institutions of the mass media. A handful of corporations now control more than half the information networks around the world. At a time when people worldwide face hunger, social disruption, war and ecological collapse, only those who know how to walk the walk, talk the talk or pay big bucks are getting their message across.
WE HAVE LOST HOPE that our national media regulators will act in the public interest. Essential rules limiting media ownership and concentration are being scrapped, while rules protecting local content and access are diluted.
WE HAVE LOST PATIENCE waiting for reform.
WE IMAGINE A DIFFERENT SYSTEM – a media democracy. We see great promise in the open communications of the internet and want that openness expanded into every form of media. We envision a global system of communications that has as its foundation the direct, democratic participation of citizens. To this end, we demand the timely transfer of key media sources back to the people.
As a start, we demand the right to buy radio and television airtime under the same rules and conditions as advertising agencies. We ask our media regulators to set aside two minutes of every broadcast hour for citizen-produced messages. We want the six largest media corporations in the world broken up into smaller units.
What we ultimately seek is a new human right for our information age, one that empowers freedom of speech with the right to access the media. This new human right is: The Right to Communicate.
WE HEREBY LAUNCH A MOVEMENT to enshrine The Right to Communicate in the constitutions of all free nations, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.