Yet those of us know through experience that when women and people of color are omitted or barely mentioned in such a comprehensive undertaking, their interests are most certainly not going to be part of any structural changes. If Congress and the FCC follow this report, the future of media promises to be as white and male as the present.
[Download a PDF version of this summary and analysis here.]
The Federal Communications Commission has finally released its much anticipated report on the “Information Needs of Communities” (aka the “Future of Media Report”). The 400-page report is a wide-ranging look at the media landscape with an eye toward two questions: whether people and communities are getting the news and information they need, and whether current media policy is furthering local public interest goals.
I went to school for it, got a master’s degree in it, won
awards for it and taught it at two universities. So you could say I’ve spent a lot of time in
the business of informing my fellow citizens about the goings-on in their
But I don’t do it anymore. Not because I don’t believe that informing
the public is an important service—it absolutely is. I left the profession because I was no longer
convinced that we were providing any such thing.
The recently released FCC report on “The Information
Needs of Communities” focuses a good deal of attention on increasing
transparency by government and by broadcasters, who get to use the public
airwaves for free. Indeed, the FCC recommended that “disclosure should be a
major pillar of FCC media policy.”
The FCC has long recognized that providing communities
with locally responsive programming is a “bedrock” obligation of every
broadcaster. But to hold broadcasters accountable to this promise both citizens
and the FCC need data about how broadcasters claim they are serving local
The Federal Communications Commission released its long-awaited report on the future of media, now re-titled "The Technology and Information Needs of Communities.” The document spans a whopping 450 pages and touches on nearly every aspect of American media. The scope and depth of the report is impressive and the FCC future of media team should be commended for their tireless work on it.
However, at first glance, there are some glaring problems in key parts of the report that suggest troubling trends for those who care about better news and information for American communities. While the report does highlight a number of promising policy ideas—many proposed by Free Press and our allies—almost all of them are outside the jurisdiction of the FCC. We’ll post more on these policies soon.
On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission released its long-awaited report on the future of media, titled "The Technology and Information Needs of Communities.” Below is an archive of a live blog discussion and some of the best tweets from the event. Stay tuned for more analysis of the 450 page report from Free Press and SaveTheNews.org.
After more than a year of investigation, the Federal Communications Commission is set to release its report on the Future of Media this week. While there have been a number of “future of news” reports over the last few years, this one has potential to help reshape the media policy landscape that shapes everything we watch, read and hear. For too long, technology has outpaced media policy and the public interest is being left behind.