open media, open democracy

Annual Report, 2009

Table of Contents
Table of Contents
From the National Coordinator Organizational Development Emerging Media Reform Movement OpenMedia ca Online OpenMedia ca Campaigns & Projects SaveOurNet ca Fresh Media Media Democracy Day More Campaigns Looking Forward Network Members 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 14 15 19


From the National Coordinator

Dear friend, 2009 has been an incredibly exciting year! Over this past year, we have worked diligently on numerous exciting initiatives such as Fresh Media,, and Media Democracy Day. There were packed Open Internet Town Hall events in four cities, over 12,000 comments were sent to the CRTC in support of Net Neutrality, and both the Liberal and NDP parties came onside and aggressively showed their support for Internet openness. We also re-branded our organization from Campaign for Democratic Media to, a name that better reflects our image, values, and principles of “openness” – ensuring that everyone has open and accessible connections to each other and to a wide diversity of opinions and expression through our media institutions, structures, and policies. This year, transformative change will come through what I like to call the open media movement. This burgeoning movement is really a constellation of interconnected yet distinct communities that are advancing and defending open communication rights and values around open source software, open data, open Internet, open web, open content, open education, open government, and all things open. At first glance, open media is simply about the above issues that have intrinsic values such as accessibility, choice, diversity, and openness. While these values intersect to create an essential nucleus for media innovation, they are only starting points. For example, access and choice, in addition to putting value in real choice for online content and Internet Service Providers, also touch on the need for media literacy, production programs, and knowledge. Likewise, a media system that supports diversity and ground-up innovation includes support mechanisms for different ownership models -- independent, non-profit, campus, community, and public media. The best way to support cultural creators, media workers, citizen producers, and consumers, is by developing an underpinning of diversity that we can tap into. The open media movement has become increasingly vibrant and is well positioned to take advantage of the declining power of Big Media. We know that journalism and media production in general are sustainable; it’s the big media model that is unsustainable. The crisis in the traditional media industry, combined with the proliferation of the most open medium in history, the Internet, has produced a historic opportunity for media and journalism to serve our communities again. However, this crisis alone does not guarantee a permanent positive transformation of our media system. Canada is facing a big battle with respect to digital strategy policy. As you read this, Canada still has a wireless market that is among the most concentrated and expensive in the world. Canada is also falling behind other OECD countries concerning key Internet measurements, and unlike many other countries, Canada lacks a national broadband plan. If we get digital public policy right, we can turn this around and become a leader in Internet and mobile communications, which will lead to empowerment, job creation, and new forms of entrepreneurialism, expression, and social change. But this requires bold action from policy makers and politicians and it’s our job to create pressure for decisive action. As we continue to build momentum and create awareness, it looks promising that 2010 will be the year that the open media movement fully blossoms. I hope you’ll join us in creating a media and news ecology that is responsive, participatory, and open – a fresh media system for the 21st century.

Steve Anderson


Organizational Development

Annual Report 2010

OPEN Media, OPEN Democracy
A New Brand for A Growing Movement
This year we took a bold leap forward toward building a brighter, lasting future for the open media movement and the initiatives of Campaign for Democratic Media. We seized the opportunity to rebrand the organization in a way that is more reflective of the direction that will best position us to tackle and take on critically important issues as they arise., the official new name, reflects our commitment to pursuing and creating a media system in Canada that is open and accessible. As online communications and web based tools gain in popularity, our new brand reflects this shift while still encompassing other, more traditional forms of media. is stronger and more memorable, and effectively communicates what we are all about. We have finalized the new logo and over the coming weeks, our website will be redeveloped to a more open, navigatable, and accessible resource for Canadians. We have become the go-to resource for Canadians on media, culture, and telecommunication issues and now with a more recognizable and reflective brand, we can reach out to more people than ever.

Where we’re at: and the Coalition are regarded as groups that are cutting edge, pushing the envelope, and creating innovative strategies throughout our campaigns. We are a nexus for citizen engagement in media and communications and we are uniquely positioned to be a catalyst for reinventing Canada’s media.

Building Relationships

Through various projects and events, we are building relationships and partnerships with organizations and institutions like Vancouvers W2 Community Media Arts Centre, Simon Fraser University (Burnaby campus), the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, and other environmental, arts, public policy, technology, and social change groups.


To date, the online contacts have grown to over 10,000 across the country and we expect it to more than double in 2010 as we gain exposure through the web, talks, events, and building relationships.

In the Media

Over the past year, members of,, and Fresh Media have been featured in both local and national media. Steve Anderson has been interviewed by CBC National, Global National, and CBC Radio. He has been a guest on numerous radio stations across the country and a regular on local talk radio stations like 1410 in Vancouver, and he has been written about or quoted in print and online local and national sources such as The Toronto Star,, The Tyee, Briarpatch magazine, and more.

Fresh Space has acquired a working space at the new W2 gallery space at 112 West Hastings.


Organizational Developement

Revitalizing a Media Reform Movement in Canada
In December, we completed a Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Report entitled “Revitalizing a Media Reform Movement in Canada”. The report is the result of an in-depth study funded by the Necessary Knowledge for a Democratic Public Sphere program of SSRC, with support from the Ford Foundation. It was conducted in partnership with Robert A. Hackett at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver), and the World As sociation for Christian Communication (WACC), an ecumenical NGO concerned with communication rights for all. The aim of the study was to help identify issues, allies, resources, and frames that could facilitate successful media reform campaigns, projects, and partnerships. We prepared and distributed an online questionnaire to 224 currently and potentially allied NGO’s, conducted 18 telephone and in-person interviews with key individuals in Canadian advocacy groups, and held a workshop of 19 activists, advocates, academics, trade unionists, and independent media producers, including the national steering committee. The research shows that there is definitely potential for a much stronger network and movement for change in media and telecommunications in Canada. Key findings include:

There is overwhelming recognition of the importance of the Internet in NGO work, and unanimous endorsement of the principle of Net Neutrality as a regulatory underpinning for equitable and affordable access to the Internet. The data confirm that trade unions and independent media, arts, and culture groups, particularly those representing media and cultural workers, are core advocates for democratic communications. Other groups, especially those concerned with human rights, are also supportive. More than half of survey respondents rate Canadian mainstream media’s democratic performance as poor or very poor, although many NGOs report positive relationships with particular media. NGOs appear to have a more favorable view of the CBC and independent media. An overwhelming majority of NGOs agree that the quality and diversity of Canadian journalism affects their organization’s work. There is an encouraging culture of collaboration amongst NGOs in the sectors we surveyed. Values such as openness, accessibility, participation, choice, diversity, and innovation may resonate well with NGOs in Canada. Media reform organizations should consider some kind of expansive institutional structure, such as an association or network that can facilitate communication and engagement with a broad and diverse array of organizations.

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The study was released in January 2010 and is available online at /revitalize. Building from this study, will be inviting citizens to provide input concerning our work through an online survey.

5 Online

Annual Report 2010

Reaching out to more people across the country than ever before...,, Media Democracy Day, and Fresh Media have effectively used the web to gain a vital online presence. Through Facebook fan pages and groups, twitter, blog posts, weekly alerts, and mail-outs, we have the ability to reach more people than ever. Twitter conversations and online live discussions continue to build momentum around various issues including a recent discussion hosted by the Financial Post on the Traffic Management Hearings in July 2009. Through live streaming of events like our Toronto and Vancouver Internet Town Halls, Vancouver Internet Dance Party, and Fresh Media Festival, we were able to reach national audiences and allow them to participate and contribute to panels, roundtables, and other conversations.

YouTube Highlights
In February 2009, Steve Anderson appeared in a video entitled “Saving Canada’s Internet”. The video went viral on YouTube in 2 days with over 20,000 views.

Also in February 2009, launched an online campaign for Valentines Day. The “Make the Internet Your Valentine” video made its YouTube debut to raise awareness about Net Neutrality and build momentum for the campaign. The video saw over 1000 hits in it’s first week.

Holiday Card to Tony Clement has been innovative and creative with our online campaigns. In December, we launched our holiday card campaign, encouraging Canadians to sign a twitter card to Industry Minister Tony Clement asking him to stand up for “Internet Freedom”. We also encouraged them to send a letter from our site calling on Minister Clement to ask the CRTC to conduct regular compliance audits of ISP traffic management practices.

Campaigns & Projects


Annual Report 2010

Talking to Canadians, Across the Country
Town Halls
In June, the coalition hosted town hall discussions in Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa to engage the public in open discussions on what the future of the Internet should look like. Some of the speakers included Jacob Glick - Canada Policy Counsel, Google Canada; Rocky Gaudrault - CEO Teksavvy Solutions Inc; Charlie Angus, NDP; Mark Surman - Executive Director, Mozilla Foundation; Derek Blackadder - National Rep with CUPE; Raymi the Minx; and numerous other special guests. Each town hall was packed with participants and we realized just how engaged people are concerning Internet governance issues. Discussions propelled the open Internet movement through the final stretch of our campaign to push the CRTC to take action concerning traffic management. Toronto’s town hall was live streamed with unprecedented partnerships with several print and online media outlets and alternative weekly’s including Now Magazine, The Georgia Straight, The Real News, The Tyee,, Straight Goods, and numerous popular, leading blogs such as michaelgeist. ca,, and We also live streamed Vancouver’s town hall event on our website and were therefore able to reach thousands of people across the country who wouldn’t have otherwise known about the town halls and the issue of Net Neutrality.

Toronto Town Hall Panel - Rocky Gaudrault, Derek Blackadder, Sass & RaymitheMinx
(Photo by Andrew Louis /

Citizen input from these and other events will provide a solid foundation for the creation of our 2010 SaveOurNet. ca “Canada’s Internet” report. For more info, visit:

Toronto Open Internet Town Hall

(Photo by Andrew Louis /

Ottawa Open Internet Town Hall Steve Anderson


Internet Evangelist Toolkit
In order to extend our reach to more people, we created an Open Internet Evangelist Toolkit. From our site, citizens can download this guide and host town hall meetings in various formats. The Toolkit is accompanied by a Net Ambassador video presentation that we put together with Matt Thompson. The video has already been viewed online over 10,000 times and is used regularly at talks. People can show the video and or use the accompanying slides and transcript. Already community groups in Halifax have utilized our toolkit and worked with us to organize a town hall event in their city. It was a high profile event with segments broadcast by the local CBC radio station. Groups in Quebec, Barrie, Ontario and elsewhere are planning to use our toolkit to organize events in 2010.

See the toolkit here:

CRTC Hearings - July 6-10, 2009 coalition members and network experts appeared before the CRTC at the “traffic management” hearing in Quebec to make the case for Net Neutrality. THE TRIFECTA On July 9,’s public interest presentation included testimony from an all-star team including one of the original architects of the Internet, Dr. David Reed of MIT (one of the engineers who helped develop the underlying architecture of the Internet), and network experts Dr. Andrew Odlyzko of the Minnesota Internet Traffic Studies (MINTS) project, and Bill St. Arnaud, Chief Research Officer for CANARIE Inc., Canada’s Advanced Internet Development Organization, alongside David Fewer, Acting Director at CIPPIC, and Steve Anderson. Steve Anderson brought citizen voices to the hearing, representing the over 12,000 comments sent to the CRTC by Canadians. He highlighted that the CRTC works for the Canadian people and that their decisions impact consumer choice, innovation, and free speech. ACHIEVEMENTS: In a tangible step forward, the CRTC put forth traffic management framework on October 21, defining what is considered unjust discrimination of Internet traffic. This provides a platform for public interest interventions in the future. Internet throttling continues for now, but Canadians now have a point of leverage to put a stop to this practice.

Internet Dance Party
Playing with new ways to engage audiences and extend our network, we put together a celebratory party with several musical performances at Gallery Gachet in downtown Vancouver. The party put us in touch with a new constituency who had not previously known about the threats posed by ISPs to the open Internet.

Political Dimension
As a result of the SaveOurNet. ca coalition’s strong efforts, Net Neutrality topped the liberal agenda on their site in May. Also that month, New Democrat Digital Affairs Critic Charlie Angus, tabled Bill C-398 in favour of Net Neutrality. By the end of 2009, both the New Democratic Party and the Liberals have adopted official party policies supporting Net Neutrality.


Fresh Media

Annual Report 2010

Celebrating innovation & Re-imagining media and journalism

Fresh Media 2009, Meet a Blogger Corner

(Photo by Jacqueline Cusack McDonald)

On Saturday October 24, launched our biggest festival in Vancouver called Fresh Media Festival. The one-day forum provided a positive space to celebrate innovation and independent media and re-imagine media and journalism in Canada. Fresh Media Festival was a fantastic day of collaboration, discussion, sharing of ideas and skills, and creating on-thespot media and art through a series of workshops, panels, roundtables, and diverse media and art showcases. We packed the W2 Centre with hundreds of participants representing students, professionals, media

makers, artists, and citizens. The festival was live streamed to a national audience via NowPublic, The Tyee, Vancouver Observer,,, and, allowing people across the country to participate in our main panel and online TV show. We were also able to beam in guests such as Amber Mac, Mark Surman, Judy Rebick, and Jason Mogus. We helped create momentum for a dynamic community that will change the face of media moving forward. The Fresh Media Festival sets the stage for a crowd sourced national campaign in 2010 to

push for policies in support of independent, community, and public media. Fresh Media received incredible publicity and press coverage from both online and print sources including, The Tyee, Xtra. ca, Xtra West, Vancouver Observer,, Vancouver Media Coop, The Vancouver Sun, The Source, Schema Magazine; and radio and TV interviews with TALK1410, CKNW, CJSF, CBC’s The National, and CBC radio. For a complete list of all the talent, workshops, and more, please visit:


Fresh Media

Clockwise from top: Crowd at What is Media? Panel; Fresh Media Crew - Vivian, Kat & Joey; in the exhibition; Party goers creating on the letterpress; fresh hot type poster; live painting in the windows at Fresh Media Festival.
(Photos by Kaitlyn Kat Braybrooke ( & Jacqueline Cusack McDonald)

We partnered with W2 to throw an amazing Fresh Media afterparty that featured local dj’s and mc’s and had party goers typesetting using the Woodward’s letterpress.

(Photos by Honey Mae -


Media Democracy Day

Annual Report 2010

Pushing Beyond the Frame...
In its 8th year, Media Democracy Day Vancouver was well attended with hundreds of participants engaging in hands-on workshops, panel discussions, and the Media Democracy Fair. Audience-panel discussions pushed sessions to their limits and feedback thus far has been very positive! Keynote speakers included: Favianna Rodriguez - Renowned SF Bay Area digital graphic artist/ community arts centre founder, and Donald Gutstein - SFU Prof/author of Not a Conspiracy Theory. Other speakers included: Rafe Mair Political Journalist and former BC Cabinet Minister, Gwen Barlee - Western Canada Wilderness Committee, Robert Hackett - SFU Professor and author of Remaking Media, Nick Middleton - cowriter, director, and editor of Be the Media, and more!
For more visit:

Be the Media Panel: Nick Middleton, Linda Solomon, Leela Chinniah, Dawn Paley, and Kim Elliott.
(Photo by Jacqueline Cusack McDonald)


Media Democracy Day

Clockwise from top left: Keynote speaker Donald Gutstein; Community TV 101 Panel - Seonok Lee, Robert Prey, Sid Tan, & Lianne Payne; Keynote speaker Favianna Rodriguez; We the Media workshop with Colette Gunson.
(All Photos by Jacqueline Cusack McDonald)


More Campaigns

Annual Report 2010

The CRTC is reconsidering the role of community television in Canada and we have a historic opportunity to create a rejuvenated, FRESH, and innovative independent media sector in Canada. In early December, CACTUS and launched a campaign to create an independent production fund that would support the establishment of community media centres to provide training, resources, and facilities to keep

media fresh, diverse, and independent. The CRTC is conducting a Public Consultation for the first review of community television in eight years. We are encouraging Canadians to voice their concerns about the current state of community TV. Hearings will be held in Ottawa/Gatineau starting on April 26th, 2010. Visit:

In support of the Canadian Media Guild, launched a campaign to save free TV. 11 million people in smaller cities and towns across Canada are at risk of losing access to free, over-theair TV service as TV networks try to cut costs. We asked Canadians to take action by sending a message to the Minister of Heritage, James Moore, copying the President of CBC/Radio-Canada, and

CEO’s of CTVglobemedia and Canwest (Global TV). So far, over 2000 comments have been sent to the CRTC urging them to rethink approval of a plan to cut free TV. For more info, please visit: nchID=10

Last May, launched a campaign urging Canadians to contact the CRTC in support of Al Jazeera English’s (AJE) application to broadcast in Canada. Thanks to leading efforts by Anita Krajnc,’s Canadians for Al-Jazeera campaign was successful! More than 2,600 public comments were submitted to the CRTC in support of AJE.

The CRTC approved AJE to broadcast in Canada, a huge victory for the diversity of Canada’s media landscape. The ‘Al Jazeera effect’ has already diversified Arab media with its forthright and daring journalism since it was launched in 2006. Now with the ability to broadcast in Canada, AJE will introduce a much needed global southern perspective.


Looking Forward
We know that big media practices are failing and finances are unsustainable. The crisis in the traditional media industry can be the opportunity for media and journalism to serve our communities again. The question is: who is going to fill the vacuum where big media once was? Also, while the Internet is perhaps the most transformative communications technology in human history, Canada has fallen behind in terms of Internet access, speed, and cost. We still have a deficit in Internet openness, as several Internet Service Providers continue to limit access to content and services in this country. The CRTC’s new “traffic management” guidelines are an important achievement for the open media
The Future of Media, Fresh Media Exhibition
(Photo by Kaitlyn Kat Braybrooke -

movement, but it is still not enough to ensure that we have access to all the Internet has to offer. Canada’s digital destiny is dependent upon whether Canadians are allowed to provide input into policies and whether our representatives are bold enough to provide leadership. Better media means better policies and that requires engaging all Canadians in the discussion. To be successful in the long run, we’ll need a homegrown strategy that captures the imagination, creativity, and ingenuity of people from across Canada.

(Photo by vanz via Flickr/CreativeCommons)

2010 Core Projects:
Fresh Media Digital Strategy Outreach Programs
Moving forward, will focus its efforts in four main areas: Fresh Media, SaveOurNet. ca, helping to develop and push forward a “made in Canada” digital strategy, and delving deeper into community building, education, and awareness programs and activites. Within each area of focus, we will develop strategies and tools by which to hold the Canadian government accountable.


Looking Forward

Annual Report 2010

One thing is clear: to implement the changes we need, our leaders must be emboldened by broad-based public support. We will require both visionary leadership and old-fashioned organizing to engage the public on these crucial issues such as re-invigorating public media and support for innovative, independent media and Canadian culture. The first goal of this initiative is to spark a broader conversation about the future of media. We lit that spark with our Fresh Media Festival in the fall of 2009, and now we need to build that successful dialogue into a larger consensus for media innovation. The initial ideas that came out of our Fresh Media Festival and online interactive TV Show will need to be fine-tuned and put into action.

Work Plan:

Push the CRTC to direct the $100,000,000 Community Media levy (that the cable companies collect) towards the creation of new-media incubators that lead to job creation, empowerment, and media innovation. Devise a citizen powered Fresh Media policy proposal and report, laying out a framework for a rejuvenated and fiercely independent media system in Canada. Develop a Fresh Media Index – a searchable, participatory, online database of public and independent media, and independent Internet Service Providers. This is a crucial resource for citizens wishing to make a Fresh choices concerning media and Internet services.

Storytelling Through Podcasts Workshop with Dave Olsen
(Photo by Jacqueline Cusack McDonald)

Community, Education, and Awareness Programs
Working with the Tides Foundation’s Media Democracy Project, and in collaboration with Simon Fraser University, we are developing a youth-led education initiative that brings our message into high schools and universities through an interactive workshop entitled “Opening the Internet – Finding and Defending Democracy Online”. In this pilot project, students are introduced to some fundamental concepts surrounding the Internet, including its founding principles, its potential for cultural and artistic innovation, and the current threat to its democratic basis due to interference from commercial Internet Service Providers. Students acquire resources around community involvement and support for net neutrality in Canada. They are directed to a special section of our website with suggested steps for taking action on media issues, key contacts, and a detailed map of the youth media education and production environment in the Greater Vancouver Area.


Looking Forward
High-speed Internet, or “broadband,” is one of the most transformative communications technologies in human history. There is something uniquely powerful about everyday people having access to the Internet from tiny devices in their pocket. That ubiquitous access to each other creates possibilities that are worth fighting for and saving. The mobile and wireless accessed Internet is pivotal to our success in becoming a leader in communications, as well as to the improvement of our economy on the whole.

The fact is, broadband is no longer a luxury—it’s a public necessity.
Although the CRTC’s new “traffic management” guidelines are an important milestone in the fight for an open Internet, they also put the onus on consumers to file complaints and prove that ISPs are throttling our use of the Internet. Allowing big telecom companies to continue acting like Internet gatekeepers is bad for free expression, bad for consumer choice, bad for innovation, and the economy. Building on the many victories already won, the coalition and the open Internet community will focus on pushing for ISP audits. We will also push for Net Neutrality legislation and ensure that all future legislation and guidelines apply to the increasingly important wireless Internet access.
(Photo by codiceinternet via Flickr/CreativeCommons)

Work Plan: is running an online letter writing campaign asking Tony Clement to take action. Tony Clement has felt the pressure and responded with his own letter confirming his reluctance to take action on this issue. A dialogue has begun, now we need to show him that there are political costs associated with his inaction. We will continue our innovative educational and citizen engagement efforts until Clement takes action. will publish an open letter to Tony clement from leading businesses, thought leaders, and cultural groups. will rally citizens, public interest groups, and businesses, behind the first complaint against an ISP using the CRTC’s traffic management guidelines. Setting a precedent here is crucial, we must ensure that we do not lose the first complaint. is conducting groundbreaking research on the centrality of Internet openness to social change, our economy, and free expression. We will publish a report titled “Canada’s Internet: Open, Competitive, Innovative”. This first of its kind report will be used to sway the few businesses, NGO’s, and politicians that remain on the fence concerning Net Neutrality. We expect our report and corresponding campaign to complete the Net Neutrality debate once and for all.

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Looking Forward

Annual Report 2010

Canada needs a vision. We need a long-term viable investment in policy - a “made in Canada digital strategy” - one that takes the best from what other countries are doing and adds to it the unique characteristics of Canada. We can once again become a leader in cultural production and communications access, speed, and innovation, and we can close digital divides that prevent people from expressing themselves and connecting with each other. To harness this opportunity, politicians and policy makers will need to develop a digital strategy that focuses on mobile communications and Canada’s broadband infrastructure. Our government needs to engage citizens in this process rather than listen to lobbyists behind closed doors. This is our future, we’re all stakeholders, and we all need to be invited into the process. We remain at a communications crossroads in Canada. As the future of traditional media remains in flux, we need to make inroads at the policy level in order to guarantee that every citizen across the country has access to all the Internet has to offer. In 2010 and beyond, the policy-making process concerning Canada’s digital strategy promises to be a crucial and highly contested space, where the decisions that are made will have a deep and long lasting impact on Canadian media and communications. Our digital strategy must contain policies that are bold and transformative; policies that jumpstart digital innovation and restore Canada’s global Internet leadership.

(Photo by dalbera via Flickr/CreativeCommons)

Work Plan:, it’s partners, and volunteers will launch a pan-Canadian digital strategy consultation called “”. We will ask Canadians across the country to tell us what their digital strategy looks like. At the core of this consultation will be a short survey that, our partners, and volunteers will distribute to Canadians across the country. The results from the survey will be used for a crowd-sourced digital policy proposal called: “Digital Canada”. The Consultation will both build consensus around the policy positions we put forth, and build a community of voters who will hold politicians’ to act on our proposal. will host and take part in a series of public forums to elevate discussion on these key issues, and collect input for our proposal.

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Network Members


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