Less than a week before the Federal Communications
Commission is set to vote on a proposal that would transform public access to
information about political ad spending, it seems the agency may be on the
verge of caving to industry pressure. Two out of three FCC commissioners have
expressed openness to a broadcast industry counter proposal to segregate
information about individual political ads, keeping that information offline
and locked in dusty file cabinets.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the most powerful corporate front group you’ve never heard of. Drawing the vast majority of its financing from big corporations, the group allows these firms to help write bills that it then secretly passes off to state legislators to get turned into laws.
The U.S. government has increasingly shown an intense desire to “friend” you, to “follow” you, to get to know your every online move.
Now members of the House of Representatives are channeling that desire into legislation that clears a path for authorities to work with companies like AT&T, Facebook and Google to snoop on Internet-using Americans.
Sounds like an Onion headline, but it’s not. Yesterday
a U.S. appeals court struck
down a ban on political advertising on public TV and radio stations. That
means your local NPR and PBS stations could start airing all those nasty attack
ads that clog up the airwaves in an election year.
Want to give the federal government and big companies new
powers to spy on you?
You’re in luck: There's a bill for that.
It's called CISPA — the "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and
Protection Act" — and it's a frightening piece of legislation.It could allow for a new online spying
regime, letting Big Brother read, watch and listen to everything we do on the
Many of the same technological changes and economic pressures that have driven the development of collaborative journalism are also driving media consolidation. In both cases, proponents argue that benefits include reducing overhead costs and pooling resources to provide quality journalism to the community.
In Free Press’ 2011 report on
international models for public media, we noted how many of the changes we
are witnessing in the American media landscape are also happening internationally.
Public media systems around the world are debating how best to transition from
broadcast to broadband, newspapers are cutting costs and struggling to adapt to
the digital age and governments are grappling with ways to bridge the digital
divide. All of these debates impact the future of journalism at home and