In October of 2020, a virtual academic conference on critical media literacy and the dangers of media censorship took place. Weeks later, in a stunning twist of irony, the entire video archive of the conference disappeared from YouTube (the archive has yet to be restored). This is just one of many instances reminding us of the perilous power imbalances caused by the lack of transparency and democratic accountability when it comes to privatized digital services, platforms, and technologies. When so much of our ability to live, learn, and speak freely is determined by the designs of private corporations and “black-boxed” algorithms, how free are we, really? What does “freedom” mean in the digital era? More importantly, what should it mean?

In the first of our three-part livestream series “The Long Sili-CON: Power & Censorship in the Digital Era,” co-produced by TRNN and Project Censored, we examine the case of the disappearing Critical Media Literacy Conference of the Americas and what it tells us about the possibility of (academic) freedom in the digital world. We will host this livestream from 8-9:30 pm EST on The Real News Network YouTube channel, which will include a panel discussion and a live Q&A session with panelists and audience members. Our panel will include:

  • Maximillian Alvarez (discussion moderator) – Editor-in-Chief, The Real News Network
  • Andy Lee Roth – Associate Director, Project Censored
  • Allison Butler – Department of Communication, UMass Amherst
  • John K. Wilson – Contributing Editor, AcademeBlog.org
  • Mickey Huff (Q & A moderator) – Director, Project Censored; President, Media Freedom Foundation

Join us for this important event and be part of the discussion! Register on Eventbrite for information about viewing and for updates on the other livestreams in the series.

Project Censored

Project Censored is an American nonprofit media watchdog organization. Project Censored’s objectives include the training of students in media literacy, First Amendment issues, and the advocacy for free press rights.