The guy on the left is executive director of the Free Media Foundation or something like that. He said a few nice things like "the Green Party is doing the right thing", but mostly he talked at great length about his experiences representing the American media at international conferences. After a while my eyes glazed over a bit. I put up my hand for a while to make some comment , but I never got called on. I think he took a few questions from the audience, but every one of them required a ten minute answer, so the group never really jelled.

The Latino guy was a last minute standin, because the Latino guy we were supposed to hear from had some important family emergency to deal with. He talked about how his community had been so shut out of the main Milwaukee media that they had no choice but to start their own  weekly newspaper. He recommended the experience to any disenfranchised group large enough to support one. (It probably takes less then you would think.) My favorite side comment of his was the one where he noted that "the fourth estate* has their headquarters at 4th and State".

After grinding my but listening to these guys like a college student I found working the crowd in the tabling room to be much more of the interactive experience I was looking for. I still think talking to people one on one is a good kind of media, even if those guys think it doesn't matter. How are you going to "think globally, act locally" if there is no way to scale your personal actions up to the big picture? How can you feel like they matter if all you've ever interacted with is pieces of paper or snips on TV?


* The fourth estate is a term for the press, so named because their role is to keep the three other branches of government (legislature, executive, and judicial) honest by bringing the will of the public to bear by distributing information about what is going on.