This chronically ignored crisis is getting a national spotlight.
And it would never have happened had it not been for the thousands of activists
who spoke out against the practice of covert consolidation and helped us
document its impact on local news broadcasts across the country.
Below is a transcript of the speech Sen. John Kerry delivered today on the Senate floor in opposition to the "resolution of disapproval," a measure that would strip the FCC of its authority to protect consumers and the open Internet.
This is one of those times when on the floor of the United States Senate we hear a proposal that
people characterize as one thing but it is, in fact, anything but what they're
characterizing it as. What Senator — I just heard the good senator from
Mississippi talking about this, “We don't want to slam the brakes on
development,” he said. “We don't want to have the F.C.C. intrusion.”
Next week the Senate is expected to vote on a
measure that could kill the Internet as we know it.
The political process surrounding this
“resolution of disapproval” — which will have a negative impact on small
business owners, entrepreneurs, students, activists and everyone else who
depends on the open Internet — is opaque and complicated.
Everyone loves transparency. (For me, it brings to mind
those “The More You Know” public
service announcements). And as FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn put it at October’s
FCC open meeting, “Disclosure and transparency: words that inspire confidence,
increase the public’s trust and convey good faith. We’re seeing, hearing and
focusing more and more each day on ways to enhance these efforts in both our
public- and private-sector engagement.”
Justin Bieber is pissed off and you should be, too.
What's made Bieber so angry? A bill in Congress that could rip apart the open fabric of the Internet and let corporations censor free speech.
The "Stop Online Piracy Act" or SOPA gives private entities the power to blacklist websites at will. And it violates the due process rights of the thousands of users who could see their sites disappear from the Internet.
Ladies, keep the
Manolo Blahniks in the closet; gents, don’t worry about squeezing into those
True Religion jeans. The next time you want to make an entrance at your
watering hole of choice, the only accessory you’ll need is a newspaper.
Or so goes the
logic over at the Newspaper Association of America, whose new advertising campaign
bears the tagline “Smart is the new sexy.”
This week the Knight
Foundation announced three new board members and a new strategy regarding its
journalism investments. The foundation, whose aim is to “help sustain democracy by leading journalism to its best
possible future,” has been one of the leading funders of
journalism projects and initiatives across longstanding media organizations and new
news models. The new board members are all leading media thinkers who have
a long history of putting innovative ideas into action.
Broadcasters use the public airwaves for free in exchange
for a commitment to serve and inform their communities. If you want to know
exactly what your local broadcasters are doing to meet those public-interest obligations,
the best place to look is their public files.
Unfortunately, public files are currently difficult to
access, requiring curious residents to drive down to the station during
business hours. In large media markets, a trip to view the public file could
mean traveling over 100 miles.