More than 80 organizations and businesses are today urging Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski to enact real Net Neutrality rules, not the empty compromise the chairman has proposed.
Do you hear that rumbling? That’s the engines of the “Fairness Doctrine Fear Machine” spinning into high gear, again. The most recent round of misguided fear mongering comes from Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck at Fox News. After a speech from Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps, the pair are making a lot of noise about a new “government takeover of the media.” Unfortunately, it seems like Rep. Joe Barton is drinking their kool-aid.
A few weeks ago, I posted an article to Reddit.com (one of the Internet’s most beloved social news sites) about the woeful prospects for Net Neutrality. I wrote, “If we want Net Neutrality (or anything else), then we need to demand it.”
There are many different yard sticks to measure the health and quality of a local news ecosystem. We track ad revenue and audience numbers. We count the number of news outlets and look at the number of newsroom job losses. We watch out for journalism innovators and interesting partnerships. But occasionally in all of these examinations we lose sight of the forest for the trees. Sometimes, it is best to examine the quality of the journalism itself.
Earlier this year Clay Shirky did a comprehensive “news biopsy” of his hometown newspaper, the Columbia Daily Tribune. After literally dissecting the paper and weighing its different pieces he found that:
In today’s media landscape, where mega corporations run amuck, it’s easy to forget that the airwaves belong to the public. But they do, and in return for the free use of this extraordinarily valuable public resource, station owners agree to serve the public by providing a certain amount of public interest programming.
When Barack Obama was running for president, he made Net Neutrality an issue -- pledging to defend the core values of a free and open Internet by assuring that all Americans would have equal access to all websites and to all the promise of this digital age.