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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News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson: Telling It Like It Is

Posted in Journalism, Media criticism, Publishing, Uncategorized
It’s not every day that a speech given by a publishing executive is truly noteworthy, but remarks given earlier this month by Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp., are the exception to the rule. Speaking on August 13 at Australia’s Lowy Institute for International Policy, Thomson delivered a powerful speech in which he decried, among… Continue Reading

Trump and the Media

Posted in Journalism, Uncategorized
Far too many people, GOP presidential candidates included, earnestly describe Donald Trump as vulgar, narcissistic, uninformed, or juvenile.  What they don’t realize is that Trump and the media see attributes like these as his good qualities. The better characterization of Trump and his run for office is that it’s vaudeville; a kind of political Three… Continue Reading

The First Amendment and Free Speech Under Assault

Posted in Campus Speech, First Amendment, Free speech, Journalism, Network Neutrality, Uncategorized
If you’re not alarmed by the assault on the First Amendment and free speech generally, you’re not paying attention. Consider the list of offenses committed by the government.  They range, in recent times, from the Department of Justice’s spying on the phone records of reporters at the Associated Press, to the National Security Administration’s domestic… Continue Reading

Decline of Legacy Media, Rise of the Conservatives?

Posted in Journalism, Media criticism, Publishing, Uncategorized
For the legacy news media, the bad news just keeps on coming.  In recent days, for instance, the Pew Research Center released a piece titled “The Declining Value of U.S. Newspapers,” chronicling the extraordinary decline in the purchase and sale price of major U.S. dailies. Some of the examples given are so extreme they look… Continue Reading

We Are Not Charlie. We Are Weak.

Posted in First Amendment, Free speech, Journalism, Media criticism, Publishing, Uncategorized
The worst aspect of the Charlie Hebdo affair is that human beings were murdered for practicing free speech.  A distant second is the way this affair, and the earlier hacking of the Sony Pictures studio, has exposed the pieties and inadequacies of so much of the media. Speaking the other day at the Consumer Electronics… Continue Reading

The Udall Amendment: When Politics Mean More Than the Constitution

Posted in Campaign Finance, First Amendment, Journalism
It came as no surprise when, in June, Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and 41 other U.S. senators, Democrats all, proposed a campaign finance amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Ever since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, Democrats and their surrogates in the media and allied advocacy groups, worried that the case would work to… Continue Reading

Dropping George Will Is a Bad Way To Arrest That Subscriber Decline, Post-Dispatch

Posted in First Amendment, Free speech, Journalism, Media criticism, Publishing
Even as such things are becoming commonplace, the sacking of George Will’s syndicated column by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sets a new low in mainstream journalism’s race to the bottom. In case you’re unfamiliar with the situation, Will wrote a piece (“Colleges become the victims of progressivism”) in which he ridiculed, in the context of… Continue Reading

The Human Element of War

Posted in Journalism, Uncategorized
If you like your politics unencumbered by doubt, you shouldn’t read Lone Survivor just as the ISIS is retaking parts of Iraq for which Americans once died.  You might have a hard time getting your moral and intellectual bearings at the contrast between the kind of selfless heroism shown by Marcus Luttrell and the Seals… Continue Reading

Political Correctness Takes a Turn for the Worse

Posted in First Amendment, Free speech, Journalism, Media criticism
It’s widely understood that “political correctness” can be employed as a speech-killing device.   But it’s only been in recent times that we’ve been able to witness the full range of its lethality. From colleges and universities like Fordham, Brown, and Brandeis have come recent, ugly demonstrations of intolerance, based on PC–themed arguments, which have yielded… Continue Reading

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