"All of the issues they are advocating are those that will ultimately benefit the greater good," says Contee, who'll speak on the conference's closing panel. "It's what people want — there's something happening that's unstoppable, inevitable, and extremely powerful."

"We're at a good moment," Aaron adds, "because we're realizing how important it is to be at the table, but also how challenging it is to move policymakers and politicians. Even in a very divided political culture, we can really be a part of making things a whole lot better, of giving people what they need to help change their democracy."

The National Conference for Media Reform kicks off Friday at 9 am, and offers three days of workshops, panels, caucuses, keynote speeches, meetings, and parties. For more information, visit freepress.net.

Sean Kerrigan can be reached at skerrigan@phx.com. Follow him on Twitter @seankerrigan21.

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