AT&T wants you to. The phone giant is trying to make everyone believe that its takeover of T-Mobile would be good for jobs, innovation and the economy, while saving you hundreds of dollars on your smartphone.
Today, World Press Freedom Day is being celebrated, but a
new article suggests that a free press crippled by shrinking newsrooms may be
no match for the booming public relations industry. The article, published by ProPublica and the Columbia Journalism Review, reports that PR people now outnumber
journalists by more than three to one. As a result, the line between news
stories and public relations spin is becoming increasingly difficult to discern.
Public broadcasting has
survived another bruising round of attacks, thanks to the enormous outcry from
all corners of the country and across the political spectrum. Thanks, in other
words, to you.
As we gathered in Boston
earlier this month with 2,500 other media reform advocates at the National
Conference for Media Reform (NCMR), the White House and Congress were on the
verge of a possible government shutdown. The last minute deal our lawmakers
struck included roughly $40 billion in cuts to an array of vital programs, but
NPR and PBS were taken off the table. After hearing from millions of Americans,
lawmakers got the message.
On election night
in the fall of 2000 I was serving with AmeriCorps in Adirondack Park in upstate
New York. I was stationed at an old logging camp, now owned by the state, and
spent my days serving as a teacher and mentor in a local school. We got our
electricity from a generator and we didn’t have any access to cable TV or high
speed internet. So that night, my fellow AmeriCorps members and I huddled
around a small transistor radio in our kitchen and listened to the drama of
that contentious election play out on North Country Public Radio. It was our
only access to the outside world, our only reliable source of local, regional
and national news.
Americans radically overestimate the amount of federal funding that goes to NPR and PBS, but still have overwhelming support for that funding.
This weekend, Talking Points Memoreported on a new CNN survey assessing Americans' understanding and perceptions of the U.S. budget and government spending. The poll comes just days before a potential government shut down as the House and Senate battle over spending cuts for the rest of 2011.