A look at the various media used to reach and inform voters during elections -- as well as the impact of new media and media ownership on elections.
Elections and Media
We don’t need to rank in importance the issues of special interest money, ludicrous redistricting, and big media. They are each part of a linked democratic challenge. There can be no real democracy without curbing big money. There can be no real democracy without making Congressional districts representative of the areas they encompass. There can be no real democracy without an electorate informed by media that digs for the facts citizens need to help chart the future of our country. Bring these three abuses under control and democracy can flourish again. Only We the People can make
The midterms just completed (except for recounts) were historically important, and in this critical time for our democracy, we must try to make some sense of where we are. The bad news is split government; the good news is split government.
Tuesday, Nov 6 was Election Day in the United States. At the national level, Republicans kept control of the US Senate, while Democrats won enough seats to win control of the US House of Representatives. At Headlines, we keep a close eye on two key Congressional committees because of their jurisdiction over many telecommunications issues and oversight of the Federal Communications Commission: 1) the Senate Commerce Committee and 2) the House Commerce Committee's Communications and Technology Subcommittee. What did we learn about the new Congress?
As Tennessee voters head to the polls, Senate candidate Phil Bredesen (D) is taking aim at Rep Marsha Blackburn’s legacy on broadband. In a recent campaign ad, former-Gov Bredesen calls out the House Telecommunications Subcommittee chair for having “voted against $600 million in broadband initiatives.” At issue: Blackburn’s March 2018 vote against the sprawling omnibus government funding bill that contained a series of committee-negotiated tech legislation central to Blackburn’s panel.
[Commentary] We are in a brave new world. Facebook and 'Big Tech' have contributed to the erosion of our democratic discourse. We need to have these new titans assume responsibilities on par to the influence they have over our information ecosystem. We need to address this bug in our democracy. Short-term policy solutions can help curb some of Facebook’s harmful effects, but the larger task before policymakers -- and all of us -- is to critically examine the long-term health of our democratic discourse.
The special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations owith illegally using social media platforms to sow political discord, including actions that supported the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump and disparaged his opponent, Hillary Clinton. In a 37-page indictment filed in United States District Court, Mueller said that the 13 individuals have conspired since 2014 to violate laws that prohibit foreigners from spending money to inf
Donald Trump Jr. had multiple online conversations during the 2016 presidential campaign with WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released a hacked trove of Democrats’ emails, according to four congressional officials. Trump, the president’s son, in recent weeks handed over Twitter messages he exchanged with WikiLeaks to several congressional committees investigating Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election, according to the officials.
Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr slammed social media and their Sec. 230 exemption from liability for how they handle third-party content--both taking it down and leaving it up. Tucker Carlson asked Commissioner Carr why the White House and Congress had not done anything about the exemption. Commissioner Carr cited the reports that the President's executive order would be "addressing some of these issues," then went off on social media himself.
Tensions between President Donald Trump and Twitter escalated as he threatened to "strongly regulate" or shut down social media platforms, which he accused of silencing conservative viewpoints. President Trump's threat came the day after Twitter added a fact-check warning to his tweets claiming that mail-in ballots are fraudulent. "Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices," President Trump tweeted the morning of May 27. "We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.
The heavily regulated world of political advertising on broadcast TV stands in stark contrast to the wild west of political advertising online. Broadcast TV is subject to strict rules on recordkeeping and disclosure, as well as limits on who can buy such ads and how much they can be charged. In contrast, social media companies, like print publications, are free to adopt whatever standards they want for paid political messaging. But given the opaque sourcing of online political ads and their potential virality, should we apply broadcast rules to online ads?