Media & Communications Policy

Media & Communications Policy

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

Category Archives: Media Regulation

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Net Vitality Should Be the Cornerstone of U.S. Broadband Policy

Posted in Broadband, Digital technology, FCC, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality, Uncategorized
By guest blogger PROF. STUART N. BROTMAN, faculty member at Harvard Law School and author of the study Net Vitality: Identifying the Top-Tier Global Broadband Internet Leaders published by The Media Institute.  Prof. Brotman is a member of the Institute’s Global Internet Freedom Advisory Council.  The full version of this article appeared in The Hill… Continue Reading

The FCC’s Wheeler of Fortune

Posted in Broadband, Broadcasting, Digital technology, FCC, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality, Uncategorized
LAS VEGAS – Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler’s speech yesterday to broadcasters attending the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show here dealt primarily with broadcast-specific subjects.  But as expected, he also used the occasion to tout the Commission’s new Open Internet Order, arguing that broadcasters should support it because, like the must-carry rules,… Continue Reading

Is This What Net Neutrality Is Really About?

Posted in Broadband, Content Controls, Digital technology, FCC, First Amendment, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality, New Media, Uncategorized
Recent congressional hearings held in the wake of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality ruling provide a glimpse into what is so deeply wrong with this regulation, and why so many activist groups were behind it. It’s an aspect of this matter of which you were perhaps unaware while the FCC was considering its… Continue Reading

What Changed the FCC Chairman’s Mind?

Posted in Broadband, Cable TV, Digital technology, FCC, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality, Uncategorized
On the occasion last week of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s passage of “net neutrality” regulations, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Commission, announced that it was “the proudest day of my public policy life.”  It’s not known whether that statement is a reflection of how little Wheeler feels he’s accomplished in life, or an embarrassing… Continue Reading

Who’s Behind the Push for Net Neutrality?

Posted in Digital technology, FCC, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality, Uncategorized
If “net neutrality” were a life form, it would be classified as a simple organism.  And that lack of complexity, as it happens, is its very appeal to certain “progressives,” garden-variety regulators, and large Internet companies, who see in government regulation of the Internet opportunities to cement and extend their franchises. The brave and gifted… Continue Reading

‘Forbearing’ the Constitution: Net Neutrality and the FCC

Posted in Broadband, First Amendment, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality, Uncategorized
So the latest word is that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a branch of government that, amusingly, is still referred to as an “independent” agency, is about to enact so-called net neutrality regulations under Title II of the Communications Act. This, because according to its fans at the Commission, such regulations are needed in order… Continue Reading

The FCC’s Net Neutrality Vote

Posted in Broadband, Digital technology, FCC, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
Not unlike the way that people present themselves as avatars in cyberspace, policymakers in Washington present themselves behind a veneer that is usually as predictable as it is tiresome. But not always!  Once or twice a decade some public official will do something that surprises, and in doing so leaves all the other players gobsmacked… Continue Reading

The ITU and the Internet

Posted in Digital technology, FCC, Free speech, International Jurisdiction, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
In 1971, when China was first admitted to the United Nations, William Rusher quipped that it was "a case of loosing a China in the bullshop." Such is the first thought that comes to mind in reflection on the latest bit of mischief to issue from the UN, in this case courtesy of that body's International Telecommunications Union (ITU).… Continue Reading

Google and the First Amendment

Posted in Digital technology, First Amendment, Media Regulation
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. I just had the privilege of participating in a panel discussion at an American Antitrust Institute conference.  My panel included such luminaries as Eli Noam of Columbia, Gene Kimmelman of… Continue Reading

Julius Genachowski and Broadband Billing

Posted in Broadband, Digital technology, FCC, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
Comments made earlier this week by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski have raised hackles at organizations like Free Press and kindred groups.  The occasion was the Cable Show in Boston, and the offending subject was what is called “usage-based billing” – the radical notion that people who use more of a thing should pay more than… Continue Reading

Locking Up Reporters at the DOL

Posted in Media Regulation
If, like many people, you’re an investor, you are already familiar with the market-moving impact of government data, like the Department of Labor’s monthly payrolls and unemployment figures.  What you probably don’t know are the ways in which the DOL has for decades arranged for release of this information, or of their plans to change… Continue Reading

Net Neutrality’s Poison Petition

Posted in Broadband, FCC, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
For those in the communications policy business, perhaps the most jaw-dropping datum to issue from Tuesday’s elections is this: Of the 95 candidates for the House and Senate who signed a petition encouraging “net neutrality” regulation, all of them lost.  Not some of them.  Not most of them.  All of them. It’s really quite remarkable. … Continue Reading

Shedding Light on Title II and the First Amendment

Posted in Broadband, FCC, First Amendment, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
Now that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has proposed what Broadcasting & Cable’s John Eggerton artfully calls a “Title II Lite” approach to broadband regulation, it’s a good time to take a second look (or maybe your first) at a recent paper by Robert Corn-Revere. Bob wrote a Perspectives policy paper for The Media Institute titled… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit’s ‘Net Neutrality’ Decision

Posted in Broadband, Cable TV, FCC, Media jurisprudence, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
The D.C. Circuit Court’s decision, while obviously correct, will not slake the thirst of anyone looking for intellectual arguments for or against the FCC’s proposed regulation of the ISPs’ network-management practices. Because the court ruled that the FCC lacked the "ancillary" authority it asserted, the body of the decision amounts to little more than a… Continue Reading

Net Neutrality: Whose First Amendment?

Posted in Broadband, FCC, First Amendment, Free speech, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
It shouldn’t come as any great revelation that when the government proposes regulations affecting the media, there very well might be implications for the First Amendment.  Raising such concerns, and then examining their validity, is a normal part of the regulatory process. Kyle McSlarrow did just that last Wednesday in a speech to a Media… Continue Reading

Dueling Philosophies on Minority Ownership

Posted in Broadcasting, FCC, Localism, Media Consolidation, Media Regulation, Public Interest Standard, Radio
What happens when you invite the FCC’s two veteran commissioners to speak about the media at a Rainbow PUSH Coalition symposium?  When one of the commissioners is Michael Copps, and the other is Robert McDowell, you get two very different views of where things stand and how they could be improved, as we saw on… 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

A Unitary First Amendment – Redux

Posted in Broadcasting, Cable TV, Campaign Finance, FCC, First Amendment, Media jurisprudence, Media Legislation, Media Regulation, Public Interest Standard, Satellite Communications
By guest blogger LAURENCE H. WINER, Professor of Law and Faculty Fellow, Center for Law, Science & Technology, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz. “[W]e don’t put our First Amendment rights in the hands of [government] bureaucrats.”  What an extraordinary statement for the Chief Justice of the United States to… Continue Reading

Dan Rather Has an Idea

Posted in Broadcasting, Journalism, Media criticism, Media Regulation, Newspaper-Broadcast Cross Ownership
According to stories in the Aspen Daily News and the Aspen Times, newspapers of record for the nation’s elite snowboarders, Dan Rather gave a speech at the Aspen Institute on Tuesday, asking that President Obama create a national commission to “save journalism.” As one of the papers put it, without a skosh of irony, “Rather… Continue Reading

Filling the Open Seats at the FCC

Posted in FCC, Media Regulation
Late Friday afternoon the Senate confirmed Mignon Clyburn and Meredith Baker to fill the last of the open seats at the FCC.  Though not yet sworn in as this note is being posted, it is assumed that both will be joining Michael Copps, Robert McDowell, and Julius Genachowski as commissioners within a few days. We… Continue Reading