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
Aug 17's session of the Democratic National Convention featured multiple tech industry veterans weighing in to support Joe Biden’s presidential bid, including Republicans, despite the broad skepticism his party has taken toward Silicon Valley since the Obama years. Two notable Biden advocates: Susan Molinari, the former House GOP lawmaker who was a top lobbyist for Google from 2012 to 2018, and Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi and a former chief executive for eBay and Hewlett Packard Enterprise who a decade ago was the Republican nominee for governor in California.
That’s why the next item on the Congressional agenda, and on a prospective Biden administration’s agenda, should be a thorough review of a system in which Internet service providers have no obligation to provide service to the areas most in need. Providing an essential service like high-speed Internet should be a requirement enshrined in law. The big telecom companies don’t see sufficient financial incentive to invest heavily in rural broadband, and no one can make them do it. Congress needs to step up and not rely on the Federal Communications Commission to solve this problem.
A Biden presidency would put the tech industry on stabler ground than it's had with President Trump. Although Biden is unlikely to rein in those Democrats who are itching to regulate the big platforms, he'll almost certainly have other, bigger priorities. Democrats familiar with the Biden campaign's work on tech made these predictions:
President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is reportedly fighting cellphone carriers over the right to send Americans unsolicited texts. The campaign’s lawyers are in active talks with phone companies after a third-party screening tool blocked President Trump texts in early July. The campaign alleges that screening the texts amounts to suppressing political speech, while carriers fear allowing them will result in fines for violating anti-spam rules.
Campaigns across the country are now entering their final push before the general election. If the events of the last few years are any indication, there are many things that can go wrong. Disinformation, social media manipulation, and foreign interference all affected the 2016 elections and will likely continue to threaten elections moving forward. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated voting procedures and led to long lines in some polling places. How should government officials and local leaders confront these challenges?
President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign filed defamation lawsuits against three of the country’s most prominent news outlets: The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN. Then it filed another suit against a somewhat lower-profile news organization: northern Wisconsin’s WJFW-TV, which serves the 134th-largest market in the country.
Top congressional Democrats warned in a cryptic letter that a foreign power was using disinformation to try to interfere in the presidential election and the activities of Congress, and demanded a prompt briefing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to warn every member of Congress. While the letter writers did not specify the threat, officials familiar with a classified addendum attached to it said the Democrats’ concerns touched on intelligence related to a possible Russian-backed attempt to smear the presidential campaign of former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. They contend that the
In comments submitted to the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee as they develop their party platforms for 2020, New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) made recommendations on the following: