• No Way, AT&T

    November 22, 2011

    The Wall Street Journal just reported that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is moving to join the Department of Justice in rejecting AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile.

    Genachowski will reportedly call for an "administrative hearing" in tandem with the DoJ's suit to block the merger. This signals that the prospects for approval of this merger are next to none.

    "It's rare for the FCC to seek an administrative hearing on merger deals like this," reports the Journal. "The last time the agency did this was in 2002 on the proposed merger of EchoStar and DirecTV. The companies eventually pulled the deal."

  • Media Consolidation: The Illusion of Choice

    November 22, 2011

    Big broadcasters want to expand their market influence, cut jobs and slash local news coverage. They have an opening — the Federal Communications Commission is currently reviewing all of its media ownership rules. These rules determine how many media outlets a corporation can own, and broadcasters are angling for fewer restrictions at the expense of our communities’ need for vital news and information. Just as the fight is heating up, blogger the Frugal Dad reminds us just how much power and influence broadcasters already have. Check out the infographic, then take action

  • Pressure Builds in Response to Journalist Arrests

    November 22, 2011

    On Monday afternoon Joe Pompeo of Capitol New York broke the news that 13 New York City news organizations and 10 press-freedom groups from across the country had sent a letter to city officials in response to recent journalist arrests. The same day, the New York Press Club announced a new coalition was forming to monitor the NYPD’s treatment of the press.

    We have been tracking and documenting these journalist arrests since September and a week ago launched a citizen petition calling for all charges to be dropped and demanding that Mayor Michael Bloomberg commit to protecting the First Amendment.

  • Mayor Bloomberg's First Amendment Problem

    November 21, 2011

    Since the beginning of his crackdown against the Occupy Wall Street movement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has gone to great lengths to present himself as a champion of the First Amendment. But the free speech rhetoric coming from City Hall hasn't matched the brutal reality journalists have experienced on the front lines of the protest.

    In the two months since the movement began, 26 journalists covering OWS events across the country have been arrested. More than half of these arrests have occurred in New York City, where 12 journalists were arrested in the last week alone.

  • Journalism Community Condemns Press Arrests

    November 18, 2011

    This was a bad week for press freedom in America. Thirteen journalists covering Occupy Wall Street have been arrested in New York City and numerous others were roughed up, blocked from accessing the protests or threatened by police. Reports suggest that police have used strobe lights to blind cameras, and demanded to have local TV news helicopters grounded during raids on Occupy Wall Street.

  • AT&T, Verizon and Other Telecom Tax Dodgers

    November 18, 2011

    Big corporations have become a focal point for the nation’s anger and mistrust (see: Occupy Wall Street). It’s no wonder. As millions of Americans struggle to keep their homes and their jobs, big companies are continuing to post — and trumpet — record profits. That fact alone has many of us outraged.

    A new report, “Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers,” is sure to outrage us even more. Produced by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the study examines the income taxes paid (or not paid) by 280 companies in the Fortune 500.

  • Tucson Falls Victim to Covert Consolidation

    November 17, 2011

    Raycom Media has taken control of three TV stations in Tucson in a covert consolidation deal. The new virtual triopoly will result in dozens of layoffs, as local anchor Lou Raguse noted on the air yesterday.

    When Raycom takes over operations of Belo-owned KMSB and KTTU, Raycom’s station KOLD will produce all of the news for the three stations. "KOLD will, by contract, provide certain services to support the operations of KMSB and KTTU, including producing local news in high definition, in-depth weather, traffic and sports, and website administration,” said a Belo spokesperson in an email to Broadcasting & Cable.

  • American Censorship Day

    November 16, 2011

    Try it. Go to BoingBoing and try to read some blog posts. Or try to make out the logos at Reddit or Metafilter.

    Those sites and logos are blacked out to draw attention to American Censorship Day, a major effort by a coalition of dozens of groups including Public Knowledge, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla and Free Press (longer list here) to kill the “Stop Online Piracy Act.” SOPA (H.R. 3261) is a bill moving through the House of Representatives that could rip apart the fabric of the open Internet — and introduce a new regime of online censorship.

  • Occupy Crackdown Targets Journalists

    November 15, 2011

    For the past two months I have been tracking journalist arrests at Occupy protests around the country. Tuesday, Nov. 15, was the worst day yet in terms of police suppression of the press.

    It all began in the middle of the night, when police moved in at 1 a.m. to forcibly evacuate Zuccotti Park, the original Occupy Wall Street encampment. Not long after the park raid began, journalists on Twitter began to report that they were being blocked from covering the police actions.

  • No Robots on My Phone

    November 15, 2011

    If a new bill gets through Congress, marketing robots will invade your cellphone.

    The bill, called the “Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011” (H.R. 3035), would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to allow marketers and bill collectors to make endless calls to your mobile phone — just like they currently can on your landline, but this time using minutes that you are paying for.


People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good