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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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

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