media has become a major influence in shaping the world. Many are concerned that
fewer and fewer corporations are controlling the vast majority of our media --
in the United States just 5 or 6 corporations control most of the newspapers,
magazines, TV and radio stations, books, music, movies, videos, wire services
and photo agencies. This is alarming because this severally limits the perspectives
and points of view that help us to shape our own individual perceptions of events
in the world.
Democracy Day, on October 18, has become an important opportunity to speak
out against the commercialization of our media. It is a time to call for media
reforms that promote diversity, and better representation and accountability to
1996 a coalition of groups in Toronto and Vancouver organized a Media Democracy
Day to challenge the monopolization of media outlets by a few corporations. Previously,
organizations had organized a Media Democracy Day in Britain on October 18, commemorating
the 1922 establishment of the BBC (British Broadcasting Company). By 2002, Media
Democracy Day was being celebrated in cities throughout the world.
1993, the United Nations has promoted May 3 as World Press Freedom Day -- an important
opportunity to remind governments and civil society about the "crucial role
a free press plays in strengthening democracies and fostering development around
promote a free world press, media reform and support alternative media sources.