As News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch tries to minimize the phone-hacking scandal that has led to several arrests and snared British officials and police in a web of unethical and possibly criminal behavior, U.S. public interest groups and some members of Congress are seizing the opportunity to call attention to the dangers of too much media in too few powerful hands. And a “broadband underclass” is developing in America as some populations soar with the fastest broadband connections available and others plod along with slow or no connections at all.
The FCC released its 450-page assessment on the future of media. Unfortunately, many the report’s recommendations around localism, media consolidation and transparency are contradictory to its analysis. And Sonic’s new 1 Gbps fiber broadband connection with two phone lines for $70 is sure to shake up the broadband market in Sonoma County.
A new initiative to spotlight women and girls as leaders across the world plans to promote 50 documentaries over a 3-year-span, showcasing women and girls fighting for social justice and equal rights. And the OpenCourt project hopes to make the wheels of justice more accessible to the public.
Rep. Maxine Waters made it clear to Comcast and NBC that the proposed merger of the two companies should not simply be rubber-stamped. And online newspaper San Francisco Public Press is about to launch its first print edition with the help of more than 50 journalists and other nonprofit groups.
The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on “The Future of Journalism.” And a new study from the Future of Music Coalition examines playlist data from across the country to determine if FCC efforts to diversify music on the radio have made an impact.
Journalists covering the Republican National Convention were held at gunpoint during pre-emptive “security” raids, swept up in mass arrests with protesters, detained for several hours to several days, had their equipment confiscated, and were roughed up by police. Now journalists and citizens of St. Paul are demanding all charges be dropped.
In a House hearing about privacy and the Internet, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) indicated that Congress could take action to strengthen privacy protections. And a study disproves the notion that TV news audiences prefer superficial tabloid coverage to well-written quality journalism.