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UVic hosts social justice forum

Know the media, change the media, be the media. That’s the message the University of Victoria’s Social Justice Studies Program wants to get across this Sunday (March 25).

The social justice and media conference’s stated goal is to encourage ideas about how to democratize the media by reforming mainstream outlets and developing alternative and independent media.

“The idea is to bring (activists and journalists) together with concerned citizens and people who are just curious about the issue,” said Bill Carroll, director of social justice studies at UVic.

The event is put on by the social justice program and Community Media Canada, a Victoria-based site dedicated to promoting democratic media activism.

It features activists and journalists including Steve Anderson, founder of OpenMedia.ca, Stuart Hertzog, founder of community-media.ca and Janine Bandcroft, publisher and editor of Victoria’s Street Newz.

Anderson will speak about the power of the Internet to connect people, or what he calls “Open Internet, Open Democracy.”

He said he’s interested in what Victorians are thinking and doing, as the movement towards open media has been growing in Vancouver.

Anderson hopes the conference will encourage more people to get involved.

“It’s the leading edge to what I hope is to come… getting the government to respond to citizens and (allow them to) get involved in the policy making process,” he said.

Carroll hopes his students will learn about the importance of having sustained democratic conversations in the media and see the possibilities for opening more space for those conversations.

The conference is being held as part of an on-going series of social justice forums, Carroll said. It’s also part of the program’s commitment to promoting civic engagement among students, faculty and the community.

All members of the public are welcome to attend. Admission is by donation.

Social Justice and the Media Mini-Conference takes place Sunday, March 25 from 1-5 p.m. at the UVic Legacy Art Gallery at 630 Yates St.

For more information, visit web.uvic.ca/socialjustice or community-media.ca.

reporter@vicnews.com

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