Reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news; conducting any news organization as a business; with a special emphasis on electronic journalism and the transformation of journalism in the Digital Age.
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
I have a bad case of news blues. Journalism is fast becoming a vast wasteland. Newsrooms across the land are hollowed out, or in many cases shuttered.
William Barr’s nomination as President Doanld Trump’s attorney general is in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which conducted a confirmation hearing Jan 15. Below are some key communications policy takeaways:
Don’t believe your eyes and ears. Believe only me. That has been President Trump’s message to the public for the past two years, pounded in without a break: The press is the enemy. The news is fake. President Donald Trump has done his best to prepare the ground for a moment like Aug 21. In a divided, disbelieving nation, will this really turn out to be the epic moment it looks like? Or will Trump’s intense, years-long campaign to undermine the media — and truth itself — pay off now, in the clutch?
I trust that the people of this country have not so lost their love of truth that they would allow their leaders to vilify our brothers and sisters who seek out and report on the truth so that we can aptly practice our democracy. Who can argue with the importance of a free press to our nation, our democracy, our liberty? And who would try to turn the people against our own tool for holding government accountable? That is the work of tyrants – and tyrants are the true enemy of the people.
[Commentary] Is it time to recognize that Facebook, and ‘Big Tech’ at large, may be a bug in our democracy? In Part 1, I examined how the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica story illustrates the harmful effects of “Surveillance Capitalism.” The erosion of our privacy is contributing to the declining health of our democratic discourse. Moreover though, Facebook has facilitated the proliferation of hate speech, fake news, and international electoral interference.
January 20, 2018 marks the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Last week, we documented the Federal Communications Commission’s policy priorities of the past year. This week, we look at President Trump’s war with the press. One of the greatest concerns going into the Trump Presidency was how his Administration would interact with the press. Just eight days into the Trump administration, we published The First Casualty is the Truth: Trump's Running War With the Media, which described the first combative week of the President Trump-press relationship.
I rise today to talk about the truth, and its relationship to democracy. For without truth, and a principled fidelity to truth and to shared facts, our democracy will not last. 2017 was a year which saw the truth – objective, empirical, evidence-based truth -- more battered and abused than any other in the history of our country, at the hands of the most powerful figure in our government. It was a year which saw the White House enshrine “alternative facts” into the American lexicon, as justification for what used to be known simply as good old-fashioned falsehoods.
[Commentary] For over four decades, the Federal Communications Commission has restricted the ability of broadcast media outlets to also own newspapers, and vice versa, in the same market, under what is known as the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule. This rule was established in 1975 with the stated purpose of preserving and promoting a diversity of viewpoints. Arguably, it made sense at the time. But with the internet now dominating the news landscape, the rule is no longer needed, and may actually be undermining the diversity of viewpoints it was intended to foster.
[Commentary] As the son of a broadcast pioneer who got his license from the Department of Commerce in 1923 and as a former broadcaster myself, I read with great sadness “FCC to Lift Limits on Media Deals.” Although Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai justifies his proposal by saying it will lead to more news gathering locally and more news for consumers, my experience tells me it will be the opposite. First, viewers and listeners don’t need more news, they need better news.