Well informed observers of the tech industry have
cautioned against two things: economic downturn and government
regulation. Each had a palpable sense of the inevitable – not a matter of
if, but when. As we enter 2020, the conditions for both are present, if
not altogether ripe.
Dire predictions of a global recession have been hovering over the economy for
several quarters. But low interest
rates, strong consumer spending, and investor confidence have kept the economy
buoyant. The new China trade deal and record-high NASDAQ belie economic
If this election year turns out like others, the economy will hum along through the first two quarters, then decelerate as we head into November. If an economic slowdown were to occur, it would owe as much to politics as to recessionary pressure. And even that might recede if the president gets re-elected.
Continue reading “Can Big Tech Be Reined In by Rules It Consistently Breaks?”
the news media know better than anyone, the great story of our times is change
– dramatic, accelerating, and often disruptive change.
key question is whether our economy, our educational institutions, and our
system of democratic self-government can harness this change for everyone’s
benefit – or whether the tidal wave of change will overrun us.
meet the challenges of change, we must think big and act boldly. Our growing divisions, however – our self-selecting
news bubbles, the tribalization of our politics, the noxious contempt each side
has for the other – are making it harder to solve big problems. The environment is certainly not conducive to
serious dialogue or to constructive problem solving.
Continue reading “The Challenge of Harnessing Change in a Global Economy”
are living in challenging times for those who depend on the work of a free
press. Every day, journalists across the
globe encounter censorship, harassment, and violence. In every part of the world, authoritarian
rulers are increasing their grip on the press, trying to prevent reporters from
holding the powerful to account.
The Washington Post
is sadly familiar with these attacks.
Our reporter Jason Rezaian was arrested and held inside Tehran’s
notorious Evin Prison for 544 days, even though he had committed no crime. We are grateful that he is now free and back
at The Washington Post, where his
writing often focuses on the importance of press freedom.
Continue reading “An Independent Press: Essential to Our Democracy”
The Federal Communications Commission announced on Sept. 16 that it
would be granting experimental licenses for companies in New York City and Salt
Lake City to test new advanced technologies and networks in specific geographic
This initiative, dubbed Innovation Zones, will be especially useful in
testing various technologies in real-world settings that will support 5G
wireless networks. These networks will
offer a range of advanced wireless services nationwide, with initial rollout in
urban centers where spatial and population density makes technical and economic
Continue reading “The 5G Privacy Opportunity”
In case you haven’t noticed, privacy – meaning the protection of your personal
data and information – is all the rage today. In fact, privacy has become
very big business not only in America, but also in Europe, where the General
Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) mandated sweeping privacy protections for
consumers and strict restrictions on how companies can use personal information
Doing business in this new era of privacy comes at a price, mostly for
compliance. Compounding this is the lack
of clear rules in the U.S. where there remains no comprehensive federal privacy
law. It is no wonder that many companies
have come to the privacy table kicking and screaming, forced to abide by a
growing patchwork of inconsistent state laws with no federal preemption in
Continue reading “The Price of Privacy on the Potomac”
has taken a firm stand against Huawei, the Chinese telecom behemoth – and for
good reason. Huawei is not your
garden-variety Chinese company in the same vein as Tencent, Alibaba, or
Baidu. By many credible accounts, Huawei
is a corporate extension of the Chinese government, replete with Beijing back
channels and generous government support.
In a report released by the
U.S. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence back in 2012,
Huawei and ZTE Corp., another Chinese company, were described as potential
threats to U.S. security interests precisely because of Chinese government
involvement. Last month, the U.S. Navy reported it was
under intense “cyber-siege” by Chinese hackers. These follow a
litany of allegations that have Huawei engaged in spying, commercial espionage,
and intellectual property theft over many years.
Continue reading “Don’t Let Huawei Control 5G”
There is a saying
that goes, “Everybody has a story to tell.”
My own NAB Show
story began a decade ago – almost to this day, in fact – when I spoke at my
first show as the new president and CEO.
On that morning, I shared the story of broadcasters’ unrelenting
commitment to always be there for their communities … to inform them … and to
It is a
deep-rooted commitment that manifests itself in many ways that often go
unnoticed – in ways that have become ingrained in everyday life for millions of
turn on the radio to find out what the weather is like before heading to work …
to learn how to help their neighbors in need … or to listen to the great
personalities who seem like old friends.
They turn on their televisions to watch their favorite local news anchor
and to get an unbiased report of what is happening in their communities.
Continue reading “Broadcasting Today: Energized by Innovation”
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) first went on the warpath against big
banks, she captured the attention of middle America. Now, Warren has turned her wrath on Big Tech. Her mantra is that big companies are bad, and
the bigger the badder they are for all of us. The government, she argues, should step up its
regulation of these companies and step in to break them up if necessary. Not only is Warren wrong but she is also out
of step with most Americans today.
would be unfair to lay all the blame on Warren for the campaign against big
corporations. This sort of populism has
been a strain in American politics since the Revolution, and most recently
since the Occupy Wall Street campaign. But
today’s anti-corporate movement has a new look and a new lexicon, including
terms like privacy, net neutrality, and transparency, to accompany the typical
notions of competition and consumer protection.
Continue reading “Campaign To Break Big Tech Is Regulatory Overkill”
The news media’s
annual celebration of Sunshine Week, which takes place March 10-16, has always
called to mind the importance of access to government information, transparency
of public records, and the idea that the free flow of information is an
essential element of “good government.”
Created by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) in 2005, the event was timed to coincide with the March 16 birthday of Founding Father James Madison, a strong supporter of the Bill of Rights. It has always been envisioned as a celebration of the Freedom of Information Act signed into law on July 4, 1966, which outlined mandatory disclosure provisions for federal documents and records.
Continue reading “Who Will Keep the Sun Shining?”
A new era of American history begins when the 116th Congress convenes in January 2019 with one of the most partisan classes in modern history. Depending on which side of the aisle they sit, the members’ mission will be either to balance the ship of state or continue full steam ahead.
Conventional wisdom suggests there will be conflict. Optimists hope there will be compromise. The reality will be somewhere in between as the new Congress will have the opportunity to forge a unified path on things that matter to all Americans. With so many pressing policy issues facing the republic – immigration, healthcare, homeland security, and more – it is a stretch to think telecom, media, and technology (TMT) issues will top the agenda or lead the day.
Continue reading “Conflict and Compromise Await New Congress in Telecom, Media, Tech”