On election night in Honolulu, a Honolulu resident recorded the coverage aired by her local TV news outlets. Although she kept changing the channel, the coverage was the same on every station. That’s because three of Honolulu’s TV stations are controlled by a single company, Raycom Media. The stations share a single newsroom and broadcast identical news coverage.
Last week, Steve Coll of the New America Foundation wrote in the Columbia Journalism Review about the need to update our outdated media policy framework. As we consider his recommendations, it’s worth examining similar debates happening abroad.
The laws and regulations that shape journalism in America are like the 8-track cassettes of the media policy world: They still play, but they’re antiquated, inadequate and misaligned for our digital age. This is according to Steve Coll, president and CEO of the New America Foundation, who just published an extensive open letter in the Columbia Journalism Review to the head of the Federal Communication Commission’s "Future of Media" initiative.
Last week, former governor Sarah Palin called on Congress to cut all funds for National Public Radio. "It's time for Congress to defund this organization," Palin wrote after NPR fired analyst Juan Williams for comments he made disparaging Muslims on Fox News Channel.
Palin set off a firestorm that spread from extreme right-wing blogs to Bill O'Reilly to Capitol Hill. Sen. Jim Demint (R - S.C.) announced plans to introduce legislation that slashes all funds to one of the last, best sources of journalism we have in America.
This Halloween, it’s not ghouls and goblins you should be afraid of; it’s an insidious fake news invasion, and it may be heading your way – if it’s not already in your midst.
Alright, so that may be overly dramatic, but we should all be concerned with fake news and how it continues to spread in our communities despite years of public outcry. “Fake news” is advertising that is embedded in news segments and disguised as real news. The products and segments are never disclosed to the viewers as paid advertisements, and understaffed newsrooms all over the country are increasingly airing fake news because it saves them the time and expense of producing real news that serves the public interest.