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
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s election promise to connect the entire country to cutting-edge broadband speeds by 2025 has been dubbed “ludicrously unrealistic” after the parliament’s spending watchdog warned that rural internet users risk being left behind by the slow pace of progress. The comments from Meg Hillier, chair of the public accounts committee, followed a National Audit Office report that said the 2025 target was “challenging” and warned that those rural areas risk being further left behind.
Rep Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) and KTOE DJ Al Travis Thielfoldt face further questions about the nature of their working relationship as documents raise questions over whether Rep Hagedorn’s campaign paid Thielfoldt for radio interviews. The Free Press recently obtained a series of invoices written by Thielfoldt in his work as a paid advertising consultant to the campaign covering Sept 2019 and the first five months of 2020. In those monthly invoices, Thielfoldt lists dates of interviews he or others conducted with Rep Hagedorn on KTOE as well as interview blocks of time.
Denver Issue 2H would opt the city out of a 2005 state law restricting governments from using tax dollars to build broadband networks. The move would allow the city to enter into the high-speed internet business, should city officials want to go in that direction.
Apparently, the Trump administration is pressuring Republican Senators to ratchet up scrutiny of social media companies it sees as biased against conservatives in the run-up to the Nov 2020 election. In recent weeks, the White House has pressed Senate Republican leaders on key committees to hold public hearings on the law that protects Facebook, Twitter and other internet companies from lawsuits over how they treat user posts. And action is following.
The Federal Communications Commission could look very different next year, even if President Donald Trump is reelected. If President Trump wins a second term, industry observers believe the agency will push ahead with the administration's desire to reform a prized legal shield for content moderation on online platforms and remain focused on expanding rural broadband policies.
If Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden gets elected, policy experts expect him to choose a new Federal Communications Commission. The term of the current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai does not end until Jan 2023, but FCC chairmen typically exit the commission before a new president takes office.
The report begins with an overview of each candidate’s general philosophy on technology, innovation, and trade policy, and then compares the candidates’ policy positions across 10 specific issue areas:
- Innovation and Research and Development (R&D)
- Internet and Digital Economy
- Broadband and Telecommunications
- Education and Skills
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Life Sciences and Biotechnology
- Clean Energy Innovation
The candidates’ positions on broadband:
One might be excused for thinking that by now, more than 200 years after the first disputed presidential election, our forebears or ourselves would have stepped up to the issue and put in place the mechanics necessary to allow a democratic nation to hold a democratic election.
Facebook has said it will take aggressive and exceptional measures to “restrict the circulation of content” on its platform if Nov’s presidential election descends into chaos or violent civic unrest. Nick Clegg, the company’s head of global affairs, said it had drawn up plans for how to handle a range of outcomes, including widespread civic unrest or “the political dilemmas” of having in-person votes counted more rapidly than mail-in ballots, which will play a larger role in this election due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The tech world will be holding its breath to see whether President Donald Trump can pull out a victory.