I grew up in California,
spent most of my life there and experienced many earthquakes, including the
deadly 6.9 Loma
Prieta quake of 1989. So the 5.8 earthquake that rattled
Washington, D.C., Tuesday was not (you’ll pardon the
pun) as earth-shaking for me as it was for many people who felt the ground
beneath them move in ways utterly new and foreign.
Last Thursday five
AT&T employees and twelve of its outside attorneys, from six different
firms, got on a conference
call with thirty-two officials from the Federal Communications Commission and
the Department of Justice. All told there were close to 50 people participating
in the meeting.
Two recent reports paint a rosy
picture of local TV news. Stations are launching new programs, jobs are coming
back and revenues are up. Bolstering these reports are stats from the Radio
Television Digital News Association, which called 2010 a record
year for local news.
I just wish that were the whole
picture. However, neither of these reports fully grapples with the impact covert consolidation —
in which a station signs away control of its newsroom to a competitor — is
having on the media ecosystem.
I have spent most of the week poring over news stories, blogs and commentary on last week’s decision by Bay Area Rapid Transit officials to shut off cellphone service to quash planned protests on its trains and platforms.
Rupert Murdoch's problems — including possible illegal behavior in the U.K. and the U.S. — won’t go away no matter how hard he tries to cover them up.
On Tuesday, British authorities released a letter that exposes a massive News Corp. cover-up of illegal phone hacking. This is a serious scandal, but we aren't afraid to have a little fun at Murdoch's expense:
Today we're launching a game — Whack a Murdoch — that helps you vent your anger about News Corp.