As we approach the release of the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan next week, the agency has mounted a major PR offensive, trickling out nuggets of information, hoping each one generates a favorable story.
We have all heard the old saying, “If it bleeds, it leads,” and most of us have seen the results of this flawed approach on our evening TV news. However, sometimes it’s what we don’t see that’s most worrying. If stories of crime and car accidents make headlines, what stories are left untold?
Last month, the FCC sent letters to all the major wireless carriers, asking them to justify their increasingly outrageous early termination fees (ETFs). But the carriers' responses have been less than helpful, so we need to tell the FCC to step up the pressure and put an end to these fees.
The “digital divide” sounds so faceless, so placeless. Who are these supposed people without an Internet connection in today’s day-and-age? Where are these places that have been left behind? And is it really that big of a deal?
If you’re anything like me, the words “net neutrality” and “open Internet” don’t exactly get the party going on your computer screen at lunch. At a convening of ethnic journalists yesterday in San Francisco, media justice activist Malkia Cyril compared the discussions around net neutrality to “talking about the galaxy: Who cares?” Sure, it’s important stuff. And yeah, we know it’s out there.
It’s not often that policymakers are willing to slow down and take a broad look at the decisions that they have made, the changes they’ve incurred and the direction we need to head toward. But the Federal Communications Commission’s “Future of Media” inquiry is doing just that. The agency is taking a holistic look at our media system -- public media, journalism, media ownership and Internet, and the policies that have shaped the system.