Federal Communications Commission
Reboot.FCC.gov

Archive for April 2010

How to Participate in FCC Future of Media Workshop on April 30

Posted April 28th, 2010 by Andrew Kaplan - Special Assistant to the Future of Media project

 The FCC is holding its second Future of Media workshop on Friday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the topic: “Public and Other Noncommercial Media in the Digital Era.”

The workshop will focus on several key issues, including:

-- The possibilities for greater collaboration among noncommercial media entities such as public broadcasters, PEG channels, noncommercial web-based outlets, and other new media entities;

-- The role of public and other noncommercial media in serving the information needs of the underserved, including minorities, children, the disabled, and the economically disadvantaged;

-- Evolving business and organizational structures of public and other noncommercial media entities and the ways these are impacted by government policy;

 -- Innovative uses of social media, gaming, Internet applications, citizen journalism, mobile technologies, and other technological and organizational innovations; 

-- The possibilities for new kinds of noncommercial media networks and associated funding models.

The workshop will be held in the Commission Meeting Room, Room TW-C305, at the FCC headquarters on 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC. The public is encouraged to attend.   You can also participate in the workshop by viewing the FCC Live web page at www.fcc.gov/live. Submit questions to the panelists via e-mail (futureofmedia@fcc.gov) or Twitter using #FOMwkshop.   View the press release and agenda (.pdf)

Posted in Workshops Ideas and Debates Information Needs of Communities Noncommercial and Public Media
6 Comments

McLellan’s list of best local and microlocal news sites

Posted April 23rd, 2010 by Irene Wu

Michele McLellan, Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow and consultant to the Knight Foundation, is studying promising news sites all over the country, with an eye to their overall, long-term sustainability.  For a full discussion see www.rjionline.org/projects/mcellan/stories/community-news-sites/index.php   At minimum these sites must:

  1. Content must be devoted primarily to original news.
  2. Practices: must have commitment to accuracy, transparency and fair play.
  3. Engagement: promote civic engagement or an ethic of participation. 
  4. Frequency:  updated with news at least three times a week. 
  5. Sustainability: serious effort to develop a revenue model.

She categorizes them into four main groups:

  1. New traditionals: the work of professional journalists, often foundation funded, such as www.newwest.net/ or thelensnola.org/.  For more see, www.rjionline.org/projects/mcellan/stories/community-news-sites/new-traditionals.php
  2. Community:  bootstrappers with a focus on community building, with calls to civic action such as locallygrownnorthfield.org/ or vtdigger.org/.  For more see www.rjionline.org/projects/mcellan/stories/community-news-sites/community.php  
  3. Mirolocal:  reporting on a neighborhood or town, often supported by highly local ads, such as westseattleblog.com/, newmexicoindependent.com/ For more see www.rjionline.org/projects/mcellan/stories/community-news-sites/microlocal.php
  4. Niche:  focused on specific topics – dining, health, environment, or politics.  Revenue from ads, subscriptions, or syndicated content.  Such as www.latinalista.net/home/, www.qcitymetro.com/.  For more, see www.rjionline.org/projects/mcellan/stories/community-news-sites/niche.php)

McLellan is surveying these sites and will release reports on how they develop content and generate revenue over the next few months.  What do you think she is going to find?  Any suggestions on further sites to include?

Posted in
No Comments

Steven Waldman, Senior Advisor to FCC Chairman, Delivers Speech on Future of Media

Posted April 19th, 2010 by Andrew Kaplan - Special Assistant to the Future of Media project

 

Prepared Remarks by Steven Waldman, Senior Advisor to the Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, before the Free State Institute at the National Press Club
 
April 16, 2010
 
I’ve now attended many, many conferences on the future of journalism.  And I’m late to the game. There were, it seems, hundreds of conferences before I got into this field.   This makes me think there’s an obvious solution to the problems of journalism: Just charge a lot for participation in conferences about the future of journalism.  That’ll raise more than enough money.
 
As fool-proof as this idea seemed to me, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowki, asked that I go a bit further.  He asked me to run a project on “the future of media and the information needs of communities.”
 
The objective of this review is to assess whether all Americans have access to vibrant, diverse sources of news and information that will enable them to enrich their lives, their communities and our democracy.
 
Let’s first start with the question that seems to be most on your mind: is it even appropriate for the FCC to be looking at the future of media?  One analyst said that my inquiry itself would chill free speech.
 
Let me start with a pedestrian point.  What we’re working on  right now is  a report, not a rulemaking.  So our looking at topics like newspaper health in no way means we’ll be suggesting FCC regulating newspapers.  On the other hand, to do a report on the health of the news and information media and not mention newspapers would by like doing a study on baseball but refusing to look at pitchers.
 
Second, there’s an implicit premise that if the FCC were to look at the future of the media, that would represent a dramatic new role for the government.   In fact, the government already is very involved in the media industry.
 
I’m not talking about Ben Franklin getting postal subsidies for the Pennsylvania Gazette 200 years ago – though it is true that the Founders supported massive public subsidies for the newspaper business and it’s also true that the government still spends hundreds of millions of dollars on postal subsidies for periodicals to this day. I’m talking about a large pile of communication policies that has grown over the years, often with bipartisan support.
 
Among the ways the government affects media are:
 
·       The government in effect restricts how many TV stations a company can own in the country and within a particular market, and whether a company can own a newspaper and a TV or radio station in the same town
 
·       The government decided that some of the public’s spectrum should be used to serve local communities, and that in exchange for the right to use its channel, each station must operate in the “public interest” by airing programming that treats the needs and issues of its community.
 
·       It decides how spectrum is auctioned for wireless carriers.
 
·       It required satellite operators to set aside channels for educational or informational programming and allowed municipalities to require that cable TV operators do the same.
... Read More.

Posted in About the Project Ideas and Debates Information Needs of Communities
No Comments

The Case Against Increasing Government’s Role in Sustaining Journalism

Posted April 6th, 2010 by Andrew Kaplan - Special Assistant to the Future of Media project

With the news media struggling to survive in the Internet age, questions are being raised as to who will pay for quality journalism. In an essay written by Adam Thierer and Berin Szoka of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, the authors critique proposals that increase the government role in sustaining journalism or promoting more “public interest” content.

 In their first essay, the authors argue why taxing media devices or distribution systems to fund media content does not work. They believe such financial redistribution is “fundamentally inconsistent with American press traditions, highly problematic under the First Amendment, difficult to implement in a world of media abundance and platform convergence, and likely to cause serious negative side effects.”
 
In the second essay, Thierer discusses why proposals to tax broadcast spectrum licenses to transfer money to public media projects or “public interest” content is unfair to broadcasters, who are also trying to survive in the midst of marketplace turmoil. Further, he argues that such a tax “is unnecessary in light of the many other sources of ‘public interest’ programming available today” and that the government should not force media choices upon consumers.
 
What do you think?

Posted in Ideas and Debates Commercial TV and Radio Internet and Mobile
7 Comments