Sen. Al Franken (D.-Minn.) warned a packed house Thursday night in Minneapolis that the corporate takeover of our media, and the government's failure to stop it, is one of the most important issues of our time.
Franken said our media system is at risk everywhere we turn -- from our free speech online to the growing power of companies who own a massive number of media outlets.
The recent announcement that Google and Verizon believe Internet and wireless providers should decide what kinds of online content they allow customers to access should spur the FCC to immediate action. As it stands, Internet and phone service providers cannot and must not discriminate between different kinds of online content and applications.
The fight for Net Neutrality has turned into a lesson in Washington, D.C. sausage making. In the latest round, the usual special interest groups – led by lobbyists from AT&T, Verizon and their pet trade association CTIA – are pouring all their energy into arguments that wireless networks cannot be subject to Net Neutrality rules because of purported technical obstacles.
As we debate the future of news, we need to keep in mind what this debate is really about. We need to ask ourselves, “What is it we’re trying to save, protect or foster?” Or asked another way, “Journalism for what?” Identifying what we mean by journalism and why we care about its future is central to figuring out what solutions might get us there.
The most common response to these questions is that journalism is fundamental for our democracy. It's hard to argue with that, but how does it help guide us toward a new vision for news?
An online publication that will go unnamed and unlinked has accused Free Press of hypocrisy, claiming that as we criticize the Federal Communications Commission for secret meetings, we hide evidence of our own advocacy activity in violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act. The allegations are ludicrous on their face.
A familiar foe is once again threatening the future of many U.S. magazines and newspapers — and it’s not the Internet. The U.S. Postal Service’s recent proposal to hike postal rates has print publications even more worried about their future.
The USPS is asking the Postal Regulatory Commission to approve emergency rate increases in order to help offset a $7 billion deficit this fiscal year, which ends in September. But the rate increases, which would be the third price hike to hit periodicals since 2007, may put dozens of already struggling independent and alternative print publications — like In These Times — in jeopardy. They would balloon publications’ postage costs at a time when raising subscription prices and expanding ad revenue is basically out of the question.