Use the topics below to help sort through the content on Benton's Web site.

List the topics by: Alphabetically | Popularity | Subtopics

Accessibility for the Disabled

To allow Americans with disabilities to experience the benefits of broadband, hardware, software, services and digital content must be accessible and assistive technologies must be affordable.

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A look at how companies try to reach potential customers.


      • Interactive

      • Product Placement

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What's on the agenda for policymakers.


      • Report on past event

      • Upcoming event

      • Upcoming policy issue

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Free, over-the-air television and radio; community-based, low-power FM radio stations; public radio and television; and the obligations of licensees to serve the public interest. A key principle of federal communications law is that in exchange for free use of the public airwaves broadcasters agree to take actions to benefit the public. These principles are enshrined in the Radio Act of 1927 and the Communications Act of 1934 in the mandate that "broadcasting serve the public interest, convenience and necessity."


      • Broadcast Radio

      • Broadcast TV

      • Interactivity

      • Low Power Radio

      • Mobile DTV

      • Multicasting

      • Public Broadcasting

      • Public Interest Obligations

      • Retransmission consent

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Pay-TV services delivered by companies like Comcast and Time Warner. "Must-carry" refers to requirments that cable operators provide the signals of local TV broadcasters over their systems.


      • 70/70

      • A La Carte

      • Must-carry

      • PEG

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Children and Media

Exposure to educational television has been shown to have positive effects on the social, intellectual, and educational development of children. Is it possible to find truly educational content on broadcast television? Articles below deal with 1) television broadcasters' obligation to provide educational programming for children, 2) efforts to shield children from indecenct programming, 3) advertising aimed at children and 4) children and violence.

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Community Media

A look at facilitative tools for discussion and engagement of the citizenry with an emphasis on outlets that are independent of the market-driven commercial and mainstream media outlets.

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Court case

Developments in telecommunications policy being made in the legal system.

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Cyberwarfare and Cybersecurity

The use of computers and the Internet in conducting warfare in cyberspace.

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Digital Content

Information that is published or distributed in a digital form, including text, data, sound recordings, photographs and images, motion pictures, and software.


      • Search Neutrality

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Digital Divide

The gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology, and those with very limited or no access at all.

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The Federal Communications Commission has considered four aspects of diversity: 1) Viewpoint diversity ensures that the public has access to a wide range of diverse and antagonistic opinions and interpretations provided by opportunities for varied groups, entities and individuals to participate in the different phases of the broadcast industry; 2) Outlet diversity is the control of media outlets by a variety of independent owners; 3) Source diversity ensures that the public has access to information and programming from multiple content providers; and 4) Program diversity refers to a variety of programming formats and content.


      • Gender

      • Low-income

      • Seniors

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Education technology

Facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources

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Elections and Media

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.


      • Election 2008

      • Election 2012

      • Election 2014

      • Election 2016

      • Election 2017

      • Election 2018

      • Election 2020

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Emergency Communications

The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Huricane Katrina and other man-made and natural disasters often reveal flaws in emergency communications systems. Here we attempt to chart the effects of disasters on our telecommunications and media communications systems -- and efforts by policymakers to stregthen these systems.

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Energy and Climate

The impact of telecommunication on energy and climate policy.

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FCC Reform

Congress is investigating Federal Communications Commission regulatory procedures to determine if they are being conducted in a fair, open, efficient, and transparent manner. Follow the debate here.

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Government & Communications

Attempts by governmental bodies to improve or impede communications with or between the citizenry.


      • Censorship

      • Civic Engagement

      • Gov performance

      • Lobbying

      • Open government

      • Surveillance

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Health and Media

Communications technology-enabled solutions that can play an important role in the transformation of healthcare. Media coverage of health issues. And the impact of various media on health.


      • Health Information Technology

         • Electronic Health Records

         • Telehealth

      • Impact of various media on health

      • Media Coverage of Health Issues

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Indecency Regulation

It is a violation of federal law to broadcast indecent or profane programming during certain hours. Material is indecent if, in context, it depicts or describes sexual or excretory organs or activities in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium. In each case, the FCC must determine whether the material describes or depicts sexual or excretory organs or activities and, if so, whether the material is “patently offensive.”

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Coverage of how Internet service is deployed, used and regulated.


      • Adoption

      • Competition

      • Municipal Networks

      • Network management

      • Online privacy

         • National Privacy Plan

      • Regulatory classification

      • Universal Broadband

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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.

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The people who work in the communications industries.

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In exchange for obtaining a valuable license to operate a broadcast station using the public airwaves, each radio and television licensee is required by law to operate its station in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.” This means that it must air programming that is responsive to the needs and problems of its local community of license. In addition, how other media facilitate community discussions.

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Media Ownership

Who owns, controls, or influences media outlets.


      • Private equity

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Profiles of the people who make or influence communications policy.

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From time to time, Headlines highlights quotes from communications policymakers and observers. Below is a collection of those quotes beginning in September 2006. (Feel free to use these at cocktail and dinner parties.)

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Reports that employ attempts to inform communications policymaking in a systematically and scientific manner.


      • TPRC

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Communications facilitated by equipment that orbits around the earth.


      • Internet

      • Radio

      • TV

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Electromagnetic frequencies used for wireless communications


      • Auctions

      • Secondary market

      • Sharing

      • Unlicensed

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Stories from Abroad

Since 2010, the Benton Foundation and the New America Foundation have partnered to highlight telecommunications debates from countries outside the U.S.

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Communication at a distance, especially the electronic transmission of signals via the telephone


      • PSTN-to-IP transition

      • Telco TV

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Ten Years Ago

Benton's Communications-related headlines has been keeping subscribers up-to-date on the developments in communications policy for over ten years. Occasionally, we look back ten years to see what we were covering "back in the day."

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The intersection of Telecommunications and Transportation.

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Universal Service


      • ConnectED/E-rate

      • Lifeline

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Violence Regulation

Concerned about an increase in violence on television, the Federal Communications Commission is urging lawmakers to consider regulations that would restrict violent programs to late evening, when most children would not be watching.

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What News Was

The Project for Excellence in Journalism is offering a weekly glimpse at what the news media are covering.

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Wireless Telecommunications

Communication at a distance, especially the electronic transmission of signals via cell phones


      • Network management

      • Texting

      • TV via cell phone

      • Wireless Internet

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