So, two weeks ago tomorrow I started working for the Center for Media Justice. It is a kick ass organization that connects media reform and media justice to racial and economic justice. My position is the National Media Justice Organizer. Basically, I am run the national coalition, MAG-Net, which is coordinated by CMJ and ultimately, my role is to be the go to person for media justice policy. And, my colleague and boss is consciously trying to step back some within the organization and part of my job is to fill some of those national spokesperson spaces that she has previously occupied.
Now, I was very clear when I started my job that I had a strong policy background but that I did not have a strong background in media policy. I even asked for a packet of materials on media policy to be sent to me in advance of starting the job, so I could start doing some solo learning. Unfortunately, because of the transitions that were taking place before I came on board that did not happen. So, in the last two weeks, I have read hundreds of papers, notes, minutes, and articles on the policy issues with which we work. I have had, already, half a dozen meetings and as many again this week. I am just starting to get a handle on some of the most pressing media justice issues on the table right now...the primary issue of concern being the switch to Digital Television and the lack of outreach and support to low-income, fixed income, and disabled folks in the U.S. that rely on over-the-air signals for their information and news. While I have had a very solid crash course regarding the issues around DTV Transition, and I am just beginning to learn about "white spaces" and how that ties into the launch of DTV, I was neither wishing nor hoping, two weeks and a couple of days into the gig, to have to deal with a visit to the bay of the FCC!
Now in terms of the policy around which I work, it would be as if I worked around defense policy and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff showed up on your third day of work. This week, I will spend time at several FCC hearings in various communities on the transition. Thank GOD for Eloise Chen of Media Alliance. She has been the primary organizer of the various events and has deepened my understanding of the issues we are talking about. The last thing I want to do, as the national organizer for what is really the go to organization for outside the DC Beltway media justice and reform work, stand up in front of Commission Edelstein and have him realize that I don't know what the hell I am talking about.
I am loving my new job. My co-workers are a riot. My boss is no joke (she has jokes but homey DEFINITELY don't play that), and I have mad respect for her. This is an awesome place for me to grow and expand, and I look forward to it...I am even looking forward to the FCC visit...though I would have preferred if they could have come....say...next September.