Telling Our Own Stories: Wally Bowen on Creating a Democratic Media

Documentary on the life and work of media reform activist Wally Bowen, founder and executive director of the Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) in Asheville, North Carolina. Interview recorded May 2012.


Media reform activist Wally Bowen of the Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) of Asheville, North Carolina speaks from his front porch about his work and life, reflecting on themes of democracy, equal opportunity, sense of place, social capital, and the dangers of corporate-controlled Internet and journalism. Bowen shares his vision of locally-controlled media, which he says would not only create fulfilling work opportunities and enhance knowledge and human connection, but also enable us to shift from being passive consumers to engaged citizens. Speaking directly to the problem of social and economic inequities, Bowen introduces listeners to the problem of corporate media control and educates on the possibility of a different, more democratic model of journalism. As Bowen tells his story, including topics of home, spirituality, and facing the challenges of illness (ALS), he encourages us to tell our own. The documentary encourages listeners to become more active and engaged in their own lives.