For media mavens

  The first-ever Media and Democracy Congress invites journalists to San Francisco for four days to hear 52 speakers, including Backlash author Susan Faludi, National Public Radio's Ray Suarez and Victor Navasky of the Nation magazine. Up for discussion: "Publishing activism: How to transform readers and consumers into citizen activists," "Commercialism: The quest for truth in a material world," and "Online: Using new technology to reach new and bigger audiences." Sponsors include the Institute for Alternative Journalism, Utne Reader and Mother Jones magazine. The Feb. 29-March 3 gathering costs $175 and registrations are due by Feb. 1. Write The Media and Democracy Congress, c/o Institute for Alternative Journalism (IAJ), 77 Federal St., San Francisco, CA 94107 (415/284-1420). Or visit the Congress' web site: http://www.alternet.org/an/Congress.htlm.