In 2005, GeoClan.com
spoke with Inja Coates of the Media Tank,
a non-profit organization that believes
in making change through an assortment
of activities including lectures,
screenings, forums, national organizing
,speaking engagements and media literacy
among other activities.We consider The
Media Tank and its constituency as friends of GeoClan.com because of their efforts to make change
in the way we receive and make media!
TELL US ABOUT MEDIA TANK AND ITS BEGINNINGS
(FOUNDERS, ETC)? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN
UP AND RUNNING:BUSINESS AND WEBSITE?
Media Tank was founded in 2001. It
grew out of work I was doing around the
2000 Republican National Convention and
the campaign for public access TV. I'd
been thinking about starting a media education/activist
org for a while and then hooked up with
some folks in 1999 that wanted to set
up an alternative media center for the
Republican National Convention. we
combined efforts and created the Independent
Media Center of Philadelphia (IMC-Philly).
After the convention, we decided
that the IMC should stay focused on alternative
news content and so we created media tank
to take on more media education and policy
work. We had several projects and
events in 2001 however we received our
incorporation and kicked off speaker series
in January. 2002.
WHAT IS YOUR MISSION AND VISION FOR YOUR
Living in a time when media has increasing
power to shape the values and opinions
of our society, Media Tank works to provide
communities with tools to understand and
participate in critical decisions about
our nation's media system and culture.
Through community education and national
organizing, we bring together media arts,
education and activism to broaden the
movement for media justice and reform
as a key strategy for social change.
promote media literacy, policy education,
and a vibrant media culture through community
workshops, lectures, screenings, forums,
national organizing ,speaking engagements,
and resources materials. Media Tank has
emerged as a model organization in the
growing movements for media justice, education
and reform by developing new ways to open
up debate and encourage public participation
in media issues.
envision a media system that allows for
greater access, diverse representation,
and room for public discourse that is
not steeped in corporate/commercial interests
that favor profits above the needs of
people and communities.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ENTITIES YOU WORK
We work with a wide variety of local interests,
including community groups, labor, independent
bookstores, universities and schools,
government officials, educators, students,
etc. Nationally we work with other
media education and advocacy groups, activist
organizations, public interest groups,
HOW MUCH STAFF ARE YOU WORKING WITH NOW?
We have 2 full time folks and another
full time person about to start and two
part time interns.
ARE YOU FUNDED BY ANYONE IN PARTICULAR
(FEEL FREE TO GIVE A SHOUT TO BREAD AND
ROSES FOR ALL THEIR WORK)?
In addition to some foundation funding,
media tank has gotten a lot of grassroots
support for our work. in addition
to collecting donations at our events,
we receive donations from several hundred
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR MEDIA TANK? ARE
YOU FROM THE AREA? SCHOOLING (IF ANY)?
I am the cofounder and executive director
of media tank. I grew up in the
Midwest but have been in and around Philly
on and off for about 20 years.
went to high school and college in the
WHAT DO YOU THING OF UPLOADING CHANGE
OR MAKING CHANGE (THINK OF
SLOGAN: UPLOADING CHANGE)?
I think it's awesome. what a brilliant
slogan. I like how it connects the current
technology with current struggle and also
speaks to the ground-up approach of grassroots
more info on the Media Tank visit their
web site at http://www.mediatank.org/