Our Mission

Media Democracy Day (MDD) is about democratization both through the media, and of the media. This means using the media for democratic self-governance; and reshaping the media themselves to make them more accessible, accountable, representative.

Vancouver has many wonderful cultural, media and arts festivals; that’s part of what makes the city as vibrant as it is. MDD draws on and is inspired by many of these festivals, but our project is a bit different. In the broadest and non-partisan sense, it is a political event, because democracy is always a political concept. It’s about how we govern ourselves, what contributions the media make to that process – and, perhaps most importantly, how we as citizens govern the media.

Throughout its history MDD has approached the project of media democratization with a three-pronged ambition:

  1. Know the media by engaging in critical, progressive, cross-cultural, and intergenerational policy dialogue
  2. Be the media by working directly with local media makers to produce messages that intervene in cultural and political life
  3. Change the media by collaborating with community members to create progressive coalitions and actionable political goals.

MDD has always been about building. We seek to build a vibrant local network of reformers (as a resource for campaigns, events), a community (sense of shared belonging), and a social movement (working collectively towards common goals).

Finally,  it’s about building bridges:

  1. Between generations by combining the social networking and online savvy of today’s generation of activists, with the political campaigning and policy analysis experience of the boomers and beyond.
  2. Between technologies by considering the implications of policy on the ‘mass’ media of broadcasting and press as well as the supple, interactive ‘new’ media, as both are vital components of a democratic media ecology.  The important divide is not between technologies, but between governing logics — corporate profit-oriented media, which dominate today’s system, on the one hand; and public service, community, and grassroots do-it-yourself media, on the other.
  3. Between the sphere of using and producing media, and the sphere of policy advocacy by strategizing and realizing interventions that involve citizens in the process of making the rules (net neutrality, usage-based billing, ownership concentration) that shape the architecture of the whole system.

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