In partnership with SFU's school of communication


MDD 2014: Thank you!

On behalf of the whole Media Democracy Days (MDD) team we want to share our gratitude and happiness for incredible support and help you all have offered to us; thanks to you we are certain this year’s MDD was one of the best!

And while there are so many people to thank that listing each of them might take a while, of course we cannot avoid mentioning our particular appreciation to those who made sure MDD 2014 was such a success: SFU Harbour Centre’s and the Vancouver Public Library’s staff, who worked with us tirelessly and showed incredible support to this project; our wonderful line-up of speakers and moderators, who prepared interesting and engaging presentations and workshops; the many organizations and projects who organized their staff and volunteers to come share a day at our Media Fair and Lounge; the many organizations and individuals whose invaluable contributions made the event happen; the thousands of people who helped amplify our message through their social media, web and person-to-person networks; everyone who chipped in and totally rocked at “Bandwidth”, our pre-MDD fundraising party; the close to 70 volunteers who offered their time and energy as volunteers and helped us run such a massive event; CiTR for broadcasting LIVE from MDD; MArianela Ramos for her amazing graphic design work; the thousands of people who attended; and everyone in-between. In short, every last one of you! Read more

Michael Geist at MDD 2014!

Media Democracy Days 2014 is just around the corner, and we’re excited to introduce information privacy all-star, Michael Geist as our opening keynote!

Join us at noon on November 8th at the Vancouver Public Library to hear the man speak on Remaking the media: Remaking democracy. He will weigh in on how new technologies and the Internet – along with their regulation – are impacting the democratic process and how alternative projects are creating space by making the best of these new opportunities.

You can learn more about how Michael Geist fits into this year’s MDD program here.

Michael Geist is nothing short of an all-star when it comes to defending media democracy principles in Canada and around the world. The University of Ottawa law professor and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce law has devoted his career to keeping politicians on their toes and citizens up to speed on all things media. He’s played a crucial role as an educator, academic, and expert in Canadian institutions, and has been instrumental in recommending good policy decisions and critiquing the [many] bad.

From his popular blog and syndicated column in the Toronto Star and the Tyee, Geist comments on issues related to privacy, net neutrality, copyright, censorship, and more. His incisive and sometimes scathing analyses of government or industry decisions have mobilized public action and often forced those in power to scramble to justify themselves.

Michael Geist’s work has been key to ensuring that attacks on Canadian democracy don’t get hidden in the fine print! Check out his website here.

We look forward to seeing you at Media Democracy Days 2014!

Petrocultures and Media Activism

This year at Media Democracy Days, we explore how opposition to Canada’s commitment to the energy industry has fuelled democratic participation in the panel Petrocultures and Media Activism:

Captivated by the prospect of jobs, economic growth and tax revenues, federal and provincial governments have joined with the fossil fuel industry in aggressively promoting the extraction and export of bitumen, natural gas and coal as the ‘engine’ of the Canadian economy.  Ads and PR campaigns selling the virtues of the tar sands, LNG and pipeline expansion are everywhere, and mainstream media have been largely complicit in framing such development as beneficial, necessary and unstoppable.

In response, activists from First Nations, environmental groups and local communities have adopted a variety of strategies to inform, engage and mobilize citizen resistance to projects like Northern Gateway, as well as advocate for alternative forms of development which are more sustainable, inclusive, and equitable. The result has been a renewed conversation, an energized public discourse, and unprecedented political participation: The ‘stuff’ of a lively democracy! Yet, the question remains: Will the raised voices of Canadians be heard in the corporate boardrooms and government offices where decisions about our country’s energy future are made?

The panel will include Ben West, an anti-pipeline and alternative energy campaign director with ForestEthics; Caleb Behn, Dene First Nation activist, law student, emerging leader and subject of an exciting new documentary project Fractured Lands; Linda Solomon Wood, founder of the Vancouver Observer and the soon-to-be-launched National Observer – which will focus in on energy politics; and Mario Canseco, accomplished public opinion researcher and vice president of Insights West – a Vancouver-based market research and public opinion polling group that tracked public support for the Northern Gateway pipeline.

Come out on November 8th to the Vancouver Public Library to tap into the minds of those working to repair a fractured Canada!