• Reform in the Age of Corporate Lawyers

    June 5, 2012

    In the post-Citizens United era, wealthy corporations and individuals think democracy is a trophy they can buy, stuff and mount on their parlor walls.

  • He Said He Said

    June 4, 2012

    Forget he said/she said. In mainstream media, it’s more like he said/he said.

    4th Estate’s new study of 2012 election-year coverage shows that major American newspapers and TV news programs feature up to seven times as many quotes from men than women. This is true even when “women’s issues” are the subject.

    4th Estate analyzed a sample of leading media outlets from Nov. 1, 2011 through May 1, 2012. During this period, eighty-one percent of the sources quoted in print articles about abortion were men. Seventy-five percent of those quoted in articles about birth control were men. Sixty-seven percent of those quoted in articles about Planned Parenthood were men.

  • Conan O'Brien Goes to the Dogs

    May 31, 2012

    If you’ve ever doubted the existence of “fake news” — the trend in which newscasts pass off paid advertisements as actual reporting — these segments, courtesy of the volcanic-haired late-night funnyman, should put those doubts to rest.

  • Conflicting Messages About the Right to Record

    May 30, 2012

    This month, federal agencies and local officials sent two powerful but conflicting messages to the American public about our right to record.

    On May 14, the Justice Department submitted a letter to the Baltimore Police Department that provided in-depth guidance on citizens' right to record. The letter was submitted as part of a court case that dates back to 2010. The plaintiff, Christopher Sharp, alleges that after filming the arrest of his friend in Baltimore, police confiscated his mobile phone and deleted the video.

  • Covert Consolidation: Out of Control and on the Rise

    May 29, 2012

    The Texas city of San Angelo bills itself as “the place to come for good times.”

    Forbes ranked it seventh in its 2012 “Best Cities for Jobs” rankings.

    And CNN called it one of the best places to launch a business.

    Unless, of course, that business is a local TV newscast. 

  • Sen. Kohl Stands Up to Verizon

    May 24, 2012

    Sen. Herb Kohl  just sent a forceful letter to the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department about Verizon's proposed deal with big cable

    "I believe these transactions present serious competition concerns which should be examined closely by your agencies," Sen. Kohl wrote.

  • Deep Cuts at the New Orleans Times-Picayune Trigger Thoughts About Journalism's Future

    May 24, 2012

    Since 2008, we have seen dramatic newsroom cuts at America’s major daily newspapers, and we’ve even seen some of our nation’s longest-running papers cease operations altogether.

    Today the New York Times is reporting more big cuts. David Carr writes that "The New Orleans Times-Picayune, which distinguished itself amid great adversity during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, is about to enact large staff cuts and may cut back its daily print publishing schedule, according to two employees with knowledge of the plans."

  • Open Wireless ... the Answer to Everything?

    May 21, 2012

    Once upon a time, Internet enthusiasts made the following comparison: The Internet is to 21st-century economies what navigable waterways and roads were to 19th- and 20th-century economies.

  • Twin Cities Community Radio Aims to Diversify the Dial

    May 21, 2012

    When President Obama signed the Local Community Radio Act, we at the Main Street Project knew we wanted to be part of this new era in radio. The LCRA created the potential for thousands of stations to join the airwaves across the United States. A Low Power FM station has the strength of about a 100-watt light bulb and a signal that typically covers a range of three to five miles.

  • Comcast Keeps Capping

    May 18, 2012

    On Thursday, Comcast announced plans to raise its data caps from 250 GB per month to 300 GB in some areas.


People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good