Press Advisory

Prologue to a Farce

Communication and Democracy in America

Please join Mark Lloyd, author of the new book Prologue to a Farce, and former FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani for a conversation on the current state of media and telecommunications policy and its impact on civic engagement and community, specifically focusing on women, children, and minorities. The discussion will consider how to ensure that democratic concerns are a priority in media and telecommunications policy, and how to promote our valued civic and cultural principles in a coarse consumer environment.

Mark Lloyd has crafted a complex and powerful assessment of the relationship between communication and democracy in the United States. In Prologue to a Farce, he argues that citizens’ political capabilities depend on broad public access to media technologies, but that the U.S. communications environment has become unfairly dominated by corporate interests.

Featured Speakers:

Mark Lloyd, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, LCCREF board member, and author of Prologue to a Farce: Communication and Democracy in America

Gloria Tristani, Of Counsel, Spiegel & McDiarmid and former FCC Commissioner


Thursday, May 17, 2007 Program: 12:30pm to 2:00pm Admission is free.

Lunch will be served at noon.

Center for American Progress 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor Washington, DC 20005 Map & Directions

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

RSVP for this Event

For more information, please call 202.741.6246.


Mark Lloyd is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and an affiliated professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

From the fall of 2002 until the summer of 2004, Lloyd was a Martin Luther King, Jr. visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught communications policy and wrote and conducted research on the relationship between communications policy and strong democratic communities. He also served as the executive director of the Civil Rights Forum on Communications Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan project he co-founded in 1997 to bring civil rights principles and advocacy to the communications policy debate. Previously, Lloyd worked as general counsel to the Benton Foundation and as a communications attorney at Dow, Lohnes & Albertson in Washington, D.C., representing both commercial and non-commercial companies. He also has over a dozen years of experience as a broadcast journalist including work as a reporter and producer at NBC and CNN.

A widely-published author in both popular and academic publications, his book Prologue to a Farce: Communication and Democracy in America was released by the University of Illinois Press in 2007. Lloyd received his undergraduate from the University of Michigan and his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Gloria Tristani currently is Of Counsel at the Washington, DC-based law firm of Spiegel & McDiarmid and is a former FCC Commissioner. While at the FCC (1997-2001) one of her primary goals was to ensure that telecommunications services remained affordable and accessible. Her efforts included working to accelerate broadband deployment to rural and other underserved areas; advocating for the “E-Rate” program, which provides discounted Internet access to schools and libraries; and serving as Chair of the FCC’s V-Chip Task Force.

Ms. Tristani has also served as President of the Benton Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s work in educating policymakers, academics and activists about their stakes in communications policy. Prior to her work there, she served as the Managing Director of the Office of Communications of the United Church of Christ, where she advocated for, among other things, a diversity of ownership and viewpoints, meaningful public interest obligations, and enhanced children’s educational television programming.

In addition to her federal regulatory commission experience with the FCC, Ms. Tristani served for several years on the New Mexico State Corporation Commission, the first woman elected to that commission and its Chair in 1996. While there, she worked to advance the interests of consumers, particularly in the areas of telecommunications and health insurance.

Ms. Tristani was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with Spanish as her first language. She holds a JD from the University of New Mexico School of Law, and she received her BA from Barnard College of Columbia University. She is licensed to practice law in Colorado and in New Mexico (inactive), as well as before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.