Media & Communications Policy

Media & Communications Policy

Issues & Developments in the Realm of Communications and Media Policy & the First Amendment

Category Archives: Journalism

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Orts and All

Posted in Digital technology, Journalism, Media criticism
Facebook Buys the Oculus Rift.  As mentioned here a few months ago, the video game trade press has been wildly enthusiastic about the development of the VR headset called Oculus Rift.  And why not?  By all reports the OR headset is a significant leap forward in its immersive qualities, thereby providing a more life-like environment. … Continue Reading

Five Myths About the Federal Shield Law

Posted in First Amendment, Free speech, Journalism
By guest blogger KURT WIMMER, ESQ., partner at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C., and chairman of The Media Institute’s First Amendment Advisory Council. Free speech is the oxygen of the blogosphere.  Blogs, tweets and Facebook posts couldn’t have the profound influence they have rightfully earned in our new and diverse marketplace of ideas … Continue Reading

Google’s Impact on Journalism

Posted in Journalism, Media competition, Network Neutrality
The products and services offered by Google are well known and highly regarded. Every day, millions of consumers around the globe visit the company's search engine or sites like Google News or YouTube. And for this, the company's employees and (especially) its founders have been well compensated. But there's another side to Google that consumers know very little about. That is Google the corporation, and the effect its business practices are having on competitors, and most dramatically on the professional media, news and entertainment alike… Continue Reading

DOL Reportedly Postponing New ‘Lock-up’ Policy

Posted in Digital technology, First Amendment, Journalism
Published reports suggest that the Department of Labor is poised to delay implementation of a policy announced in April that would require reporters working in the DOL’s “lock-up” room to use government computers and transmission lines when writing stories about DOL reports and data as they’re released.  The proposed policy caused a flurry of criticism … Continue Reading

On Growing Old(er)

Posted in Journalism
Owing to a desire, after posting so many pieces about communications policy, to establish a more personal relationship with the five or six people who read this blog regularly, herewith a piece on something altogether different. I speak, as do so many, about the phenomenon of aging, and about the dread “D’ word associated with … Continue Reading

Sugar and Spice

Posted in Journalism
Every month or so, poll results that rankle are published by somebody.  A good example of the genre is the Gallup poll, published June 23, wherein it’s revealed that, by a more than two-to-one margin, men (young men especially) would prefer a boy child to a girl. Gallup put the question this way: Suppose you … Continue Reading

Dodging a Bullet: The FCC’s Report on the Future of the Media

Posted in FCC, First Amendment, Journalism, Public Interest Standard
Seventeen months ago the FCC teed up what until last Thursday was known as the “Future of Media” project.  For all practical purposes the project’s report, now called “The Information Needs of Communities,” is likely to be forgotten in half that time. On the face of it this sounds like a criticism.  Far from it! … Continue Reading

Orts and All

Posted in Journalism, Media criticism
Can’t Miss TV Comes now the news that Michael Moore, the merry propagandist, is joining Keith Olbermann on Al Gore’s Current TV, the legendary television network.  It’s practically a miracle!  Even now the crowds are queuing up to catch a glimpse of this dynamic duo. One can only imagine the kind of material that, in … Continue Reading

One Toke Over the Line

Posted in Journalism
I know the law won’t be forgivin’, But that’ll be the choice I made, I used to farm for a livin’, And now I’m in the growin’ trade. — Levon Helm/Larry Campbell, “Growin’ Trade” California’s Proposition 19, formally known as the “Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Act,” was a ballot initiative that would have legalized … Continue Reading

Squirrels: They’re Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

Posted in Journalism
The lugubrious data just keep pouring in.  Despite interest rates at zero, the economy is barely moving.  Unemployment is high and seemingly intractable.  The national debt and federal deficit are at all-time highs.  States and municipalities are on the cusp of bankruptcy.  Housing prices are flat or declining.  And the price of gold, that uncaring … Continue Reading

The American Samizdat

Posted in Journalism
Back in the bad old days, “samizdat” was the name given to that body of politically forbidden literature that was clandestinely published and circulated in the Soviet Union.  In 2010, the Internet serves as an American samizdat, to the advantage of conservatives of one shade or another. The Internet advantages “conservatives” more than “liberals” not … Continue Reading

The MSM: In a Horse Race to Irrelevancy?

Posted in Journalism
Perhaps because of their declining prospects, much of the mainstream media are acting very hinky these days.  On the one hand we have the spectacle of such as the Associated Press and Newsweek openly adopting opinion as their journalistic motif.  While on the other we see newspapers, like The New York Times and The Washington … Continue Reading

News and Opinion

Posted in Journalism
It’s not often that a parenthetical aside is the most notable part of a speech or written document, but that’s exactly the case with an opinion piece published in today’s Washington Post by that paper’s columnist Robert Samuelson. Writing, and brilliantly as always, about health care legislation, Samuelson takes The New York Times and The … Continue Reading

Commissioner Michael Copps and Media Ownership

Posted in Broadcasting, FCC, Journalism, Media Consolidation, Media Regulation
Owing to his earnest and mild-mannered (if intellectually scruffy) ways, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps has rarely inspired anger.  No matter how wrong-headed his views – and he’s been wrong about virtually everything for the whole of his time as a Commissioner – he’s been accorded that kind of tolerance that people bestow on those seen … Continue Reading

Fox News and Its Critics

Posted in Free speech, Journalism
Criticism of the Fox News Channel by the Obama Administration is neither inexplicable nor unprecedented.  But the response to this flap by the press is all of that and then some.  From the near-total silence of most, to the blinkered and self-righteous response of a few, the affair casts an unflattering light on the mindset … Continue Reading

The AP and Joshua Bernard

Posted in Journalism
The decision made by the Associated Press to publish a photograph of a mortally wounded Marine in Afghanistan has been condemned by many, including the slain soldier’s family and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The photo itself is both horrifying and heart wrenching, as it shows Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard clinging to life as he lay … Continue Reading

More on Newspapers and Aggregators

Posted in Copyright, Digital technology, Journalism, Media competition, New Media, Publishing
If newspapers ultimately survive, they might owe a debt of gratitude not only to Rupert Murdoch (as Patrick Maines suggested here recently), but also to two brothers who have combined their expertise in economics and the law to analyze the problem and come up with a potential solution. As I wrote here earlier this month, … Continue Reading

Rupert Murdoch and the Future of Journalism

Posted in Journalism
It’s reported that Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., pledged last week that his company has plans to charge for the online news content of all its newspapers and television channels.  Though the announcement came with few details as to when the charges will commence or how they will be structured, the fact that it … Continue Reading