About The Blog

“Media & Communications Policy” is a blog that strives to offer informed and thoughtful commentary on a variety of First Amendment and communications policy issues. The principal authors, Patrick D. Maines and Richard T. Kaplar, have been avid observers and active participants in the communications policymaking process for more than 25 years. Their observations on how the media affect and are affected by technology, commerce, politics, ideology, and social mores promise to be often provocative and always insightful – and not, we might add, beholden to the reigning ethos of political correctness.

About The Authors

Patrick D. Maines

Patrick D. Maines has been President of The Media Institute in Arlington, Va., since 1984. Mr. Maines has designed and directed all of the Institute’s program activities, and has formulated the Institute’s policy positions on a wide array of issues.  Prior to joining The Media Institute, Mr. Maines had careers in corporate public affairs and publishing in New York City.

Areas of Expertise

  • Emerging technology
  • Copyright and intellectual property
  • Media competition and concentration
  • Content and structural regulation of the electronic media
  • First Amendment and freedom of speech


Richard T. Kaplar

Richard T. Kaplar is Vice President of The Media Institute in Arlington, Va. He has written, edited, or produced more than 40 books and publications on a wide variety of communications policy and First Amendment issues.

Areas of Expertise

  • Marketplace approaches to communications policy
  • First Amendment – freedom of speech and press
  • Media content controls; media ownership
  • Commercial speech


  • John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio; Bachelor of Arts in English (magna cum laude); 1973
  • The American University, Washington, D.C.; Master’s in Public Administration; 1977