Benton Foundation

Digital Skills and Job Training: Community-driven initiatives are leading the way in preparing Americans for today’s jobs

The American job market, by a lot of measures, seems very healthy. The unemployment rate is low and, though labor-force participation has been at historically-low levels, recent employment numbers indicate that more people are coming back to the job market. But there are some Americans who have not benefitted from the improving job picture. Even among those with jobs, wage growth – especially for those whose pay is middle-income or less – has been weak, while upper-income workers have fared better.

Listening to Consumer Privacy Advocates

On Oct 10, privacy advocates got their turn to speak before the Senate Commerce Committee, laying out the necessity of a national privacy law that goes beyond the protections already offered by some states. The hearing highlighted that consumer advocates and industry representatives don’t always see eye-to-eye on how protective a national law should be. But who will get to influence the legislation while it is drafted? “I want to be clear that the next federal privacy law will not be written by industry,” Chairman John Thune (R-SD) said.

Senate Commerce Committee Hearing on Consumer Data Privacy

On Oct 10, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing titled "Consumer Data Privacy: Examining Lessons From the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act.” The hearing provided the opportunity for Sens to hear from privacy advocates about the types of consumer protections to consider in future legislation. Witnesses included: Dr.

Net Neutrality: I'll See You In Court

On Sept 30, 2018, Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed SB 822, California’s net neutrality law -- the strictest in the nation and widely seen as a challenge to the federal government. The Department of Justice quickly sued the state to block enactment of the rules. Two days later, lobbyists for broadband service providers filed their own suit. Everybody seems to be suing everybody in the latest chapter of the net neutrality saga. But, some clarity could come from it. And, ya know, Congress could act and settle the matter.

What You Stand For

We all know Michael J. Copps as a person and a public official. But I want to speak to Michael’s values. As an FCC Commissioner, Michael Copps brought the FCC to the public and the public to the FCC. He engaged broad constituencies in policy discussions. Among these, he valued input and participation from groups he termed “non-traditional stakeholders" like civil rights groups, Native Americans, people with disabilities, and other marginalized communities.

Senate Privacy Hearing: Apologies, Explanations, And Weak Support

On September 26, 2018, executives from six major U.S. tech and communications companies testified before the Senate Commerce Committee at a hearing titled Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy. Representatives from Amazon, AT&T, Google, Twitter, Apple, and Charter were there to help lawmakers as they all discussed “possible approaches to safeguarding privacy more effectively.” Tech companies, on the whole, followed the trend that has emerged out of Silicon Valley when they testify before Congress: Apologize, explain, and offer to work with lawmakers on a regulatory solution.

Your Community's Role in the Future of 5G

On September 26, at the Federal Communications Commission’s open meeting, commissioners will vote on an order that will limit the roles of local policymakers in the deployment of fifth generation (5G) wireless infrastructure.

Race, Ethnicity, and Communications Policy Debates: Making the Case for Critical Race Frameworks in Communications Policy

In our working paper, we discuss how civil rights and minority-focused advocacy groups have engaged – or circumvented – Internet policy issues to better serve the communication and technology needs of their underrepresented constituents. In addition, in accordance with critical race theorists (e.g.

Presenting the 2018 Charles Benton Junior Scholar Award

I am thrilled to return to TPRC to present the winners of the Charles Benton Early Career Scholar Award. Deeply embedded in the DNA of the Benton Foundation are three key values: access, equity, and diversity. Today we celebrate a paper that, we feel, makes an important contribution to communications and media policy literature. We know that communities of color face complex challenges achieving equitable outcomes. This paper delves into why. There are a couple of takeaways here that I’d like to highlight.

A Platform for Political Theater

On September 5, 2018, lawmakers on Capitol Hill hosted two hearings with the heads of Facebook and Twitter. In the morning, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at the hearing on Foreign Influence Operations’ Use of Social Media Platforms.