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FCC Ignores Public, Relaxes Media Ownership 244

Posted by kdawson
from the big-is-not-bad-honest-except-for-cable dept.
anthrax writes "Ignoring Congressional and public comments, the FCC voted to relax ownership rules that have prevented broadcasters from owning newspapers in the nation's 20 largest media markets. After holding several public hearings that overwhelmingly opposed the relaxation of the rules, and Congressional hearing where Democrats and Republicans (even Ted 'Tubes' Stevens) voiced opposition to the move, the FCC voted 3 to 2 to relax ownership. On the same day the FCC voted 3 to 2 (by a different split) to cap the size of any cable company at 30% of the nationwide market, a limit Comcast is up against."
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FCC Ignores Public, Relaxes Media Ownership

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @06:41PM (#21745312)
    The brazen disregard show by those 3 commissioners is absolutely shameful. How dare they defy the will of Comcast?
    • after the horses have all been shot because they had contracted rabies.

      With podcasting enabling people (real people, not just statistics on the demographics,) to share media without censorship, via RSS on the client side and servers on the 'caster side.

      Who gives a flying f.., uh, darn, what those grit suckers think. (Hell, ClearChanel's already gone.)

      They are so out of touch with the reality of what's coming down the 'pike that its wryly amusing.
  • by j0nb0y (107699) <jonboy300@yahooCOUGAR.com minus cat> on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @06:42PM (#21745318) Homepage
    Unelected FCC commissioners making decisions that will have a huge impact on the future of communications in this country... I'm sure this is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the Constitution.
    • by boguslinks (1117203) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @06:46PM (#21745386)
      Unelected FCC commissioners making decisions that will have a huge impact on the future of communications in this country... I'm sure this is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the Constitution.

      Considering that the newspaper as we know it is circling the drain, I don't think that any government decision related to newspapers will have "a huge impact on the future of communications in this country."
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @07:08PM (#21745720)
        Older folks still read newspapers and vote in greater numbers than younger folks.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by kartan (906030)

          I don't think that any government decision related to newspapers will have "a huge impact on the future of communications in this country."

          Older folks still read newspapers and vote in greater numbers than younger folks.
          Umm...today's older folks won't be around in the future. That's what makes them older.
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Umm...today's older folks won't be around in the future. That's what makes them older.
            None of us will be around in the future, given a long enough timeline.
        • by homey of my owney (975234) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @10:31PM (#21747514)
          So tell me... Exactly what DID the framers of the constitution have in mind with regard to 20th century media?
        • by Kingrames (858416)
          Not for long.

          *cracks into the Dallas morning News*

          *replaces all instances of November 2nd with November 3rd*
        • Older folks still read newspapers and vote in greater numbers than younger folks.

          No they don't (read newspapers) - they hate today's media. By and large they have moved onlline.

          All the older people I know (my family, plus other people's family) are all online. Even if they don't have a computer they just use the library - wander down to the library sometime and have a look at who is using the systems.

          If old people are still reading newspapers, how come readership is dropping dramatically across the countr
      • by Original Replica (908688) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @07:38PM (#21746048) Journal
        Considering that the newspaper as we know it is circling the drain

        But the companies will still have undue influence of the press. Having a free press isn't just about not having government interference, but also about having a diverse enough job market for journalists that they are not simply serfs in a corporate fiefdom. At least with the 30% ownership law, we will still have three media outlets left in ten years. Of course there is nothing preventing them from having many of the same people on all three Board of Directors.http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/corporate_community.html [ucsc.edu] Face it, whoever controls the "tone" of the media can pick the winner of major elections. That's what all these giant elections funds are about, advertising. Now if big media become even more highly concentrated, then big election funds become secondary to being blessed by those who tell mainstream America what to think.
      • by Spokehedz (599285)
        The newspaper was one of the LAST remaining sources of relatively untainted news.

        TV is entertainment. Not news. Internet is for information, research, and entertainment. Not news.

        Newspapers are for -gasp- news. It's not News-Television. It's not Internewsnet. It's NEWSPAPER.
      • by homer_ca (144738)
        Take a look at Google News and see where do they get most of the stories. That's right, newspaper websites. Most stories are just reprints of the same newswire articles, but you do get a little exclusive reporting from the local papers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eh2o (471262)
        The newspaper industry has historically had one of the highest profit margins of any market, and while some forces have shifted, they are not really in serious danger provided they are willing to adapt. Newspapers have readily taken up internet mediums, and continue to sell dead tree format.

        Interestingly, a 2007 study analyzed over a decade of financial data and concluded that newspaper profits are more closely linked to story quality than circulation. This decision allows big media to rely on circulation
    • by idiotnot (302133)
      There most assuredly won't be an impact. Effects, perhaps, but very minimal ones, as print media is dying.

      That aside, if you actually bothered to read the constitution, the only federal office that was intended to be popularly elected was that of Representative. In many circumstances indirect representative democracy is preferable to elections.

      Imagine for a moment Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens and Cynthia McKinney as elected federal judges with lifetime appointments.....
    • by aeschenkarnos (517917) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @07:06PM (#21745692)
      You say "unelected" as if "elected" were a good thing. I for one prefer my civil servants unelected, constrained by law and custom from privately benefiting in any way from their position, and well paid but not highly so. (Frankly, the people who want to run governments as if they were businesses really should fuck off to run businesses instead.) "Elected" to me means, "loudest-hooting monkey in the crowd of hooting monkeys". He who tells the most lies, promises the most outrageously stupid things, and greases the most palms gets elected. To be in a position of power and *unelected*, one must show at least some competence for some length of time. Unless of course appointed by an elected person, in which case, the same problems as with election apply.

      The last four decades have shown up the 'bug' in democracy, and it is this: there is nothing constraining a politician to tell the truth, the whole truth, while in office or campaigning for office. Given that bug, the whole system is compromised.

      • by garett_spencley (193892) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @07:36PM (#21746010) Journal
        So ... if you write up a resume, throw it around to various companies; phone them to follow up and make sure they got it; have some former co-workers or bosses ready to tell someone a bunch of good things about you and then go to an interview to brag about your skills and end up finally getting the job because a group of individuals sat down and decided that your campaign for the position was the most impressive (or at least the most convincing and impressive series of exaggerations, false promises and downright lies) how is exactly is that different then campaigning to get elected for a government position ?

        The way I see it campaigning for any "regular" job and campaigning for an "elected" government position is pretty much the same thing. The only difference is the number of people voting for you and the number of people you will be working for if you get the position.
        • by Shakrai (717556) *

          The way I see it campaigning for any "regular" job and campaigning for an "elected" government position is pretty much the same thing

          Of course the 24 hour news cycle doesn't really have any impact on my chances of scoring that new job I want.......

          The only difference is the number of people voting for you and the number of people you will be working for if you get the position.

          And the amount of damage you can do as an elected official....

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Smidge204 (605297)
            I'm pretty sure the "damage potential" is related to the job, and independent of the means to getting that job.

            County judges are elected. Last I checked, a county judge couldn't do a fraction of the damage an appointed supreme court judge could. Fire department chiefs are elected, Michael Brown was appointed head of FEMA just before Hurricane Katrina, etc.
            =Smidge=
        • by ivan256 (17499)

          how is exactly is that different then campaigning to get elected for a government position ?


          Presumably the set of decision makers deciding on whether you get the position or not has been strongly limited based on qualifications. Whereas, anybody who's managed to survive for 18 years can vote.
        • The way I see it campaigning for any "regular" job and campaigning for an "elected" government position is pretty much the same thing.

          Apparently, you're conveniently forgetting that the "regular" jobs in question end up being filled by cronies, i.e.: the best resume, doesn't matter a slimy shit.

        • So ... if you write up a resume, throw it around to various companies....how is exactly is that different then campaigning to get elected for a government position ?

          I'm not allowed to know about, and thus attack, the other people interviewing for the same job.

      • Frankly, the people who want to run governments as if they were businesses really should fuck off to run businesses instead.
        So...you would disagree that government is the original busuiness, if not the oldest profession?
        • by Adambomb (118938)
          pretty sure that the "I'll do ya for a chunk of that tiger you killed" professions came first.
          • Wasn't trying to say that government is the oldest profession.
            Rather, it's the oldest business.
            Once government got going, and regulated the tiger killing, members of the oldest profession decided that organizing == power, and the first bordello happened.
            The government, departing the bordello, thought the idea so good, they went ahead and built Congress, and stuff.
            Do you believe that?
      • I would prefer that people who want to run governments as if they were bureaucracies would sod off and run universities instead.
    • The founders wrote into the constitution the supreme court justices, who also aren't elected. Why would the founders be appalled by the office of FCC commissioner?
      • by Original Replica (908688) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @07:52PM (#21746196) Journal
        Why would the founders be appalled by the office of FCC commissioner?

        Because the founders also wrote in, a free press. Having three giant corporations controlling all of mass media isn't free. That's why there were ever restrictions on how many newspapers or radio stations or television channel any one company could own. Whatever size chuck of the media one group controls, it is that same size chunk of the electorate that they can spin towards the candidate of their choosing. Imagine if we only had Fox News, or only had Air America. You can see how that might give one company undue influence. Just look at what happened to the quality of pop music since ClearChannel has be allowed to take over radio stations all over the country. Now apply that to the quality (and pay for play) of all of the news that mainstream America gets.
        • by Bartab (233395) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @08:29PM (#21746528)
          Because the founders also wrote in, a free press. Having three giant corporations controlling all of mass media isn't free.

          Yeah, they would be appalled. Appalled that people turned to gov't instead of opening their own printing press.
          • by steelfood (895457)
            In a way, that's what blogs are (despite the fact that I hate the word). And this has been affirmed by a recent SCOTUS decision. But now the problem becomes that of having too many to choose from. That's why we read slashdot, digg, and perhaps a few prominent blogs, instead of a thousand individual blogs that might range from nobodies to prominent public figures. We use sites that aggregate, categorize, and rate content to distinguish the interesting from the junk.

            But the internet is controlled by a small g
    • by pilgrim23 (716938)
      Mere citizen think they have a better idea how to spend their lives their fortune and their sacred honor when there is a perfectly good pencil pusher around?
      Mind yer betters!
    • by HanzoSpam (713251)
      Unelected FCC commissioners making decisions that will have a huge impact on the future of communications in this country... I'm sure this is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the Constitution.

      Something tells me the founders didn't have an FCC in mind when they drafted the Constitution, either.
  • by corsec67 (627446) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @06:42PM (#21745334) Homepage Journal
    Why does the FCC not do what it is supposed to do, regulating who can use what bands of airwaves, but is quite happy to throw a bunch of unconstitutional fines around for exposing a "forbidden" section of epidermis or saying a "forbidden" word if they don't like the show?
  • If anyone hasn't already noticed, print media is dying. Prime example would be Tribune Co., but you could also look at the New York Times. Circulation is dropping rapidly, and digital presence will soon be as, if not more, important than print editions.

    On a related note, I really missed being able to pick up a copy of the Weekly World News last week while I was traveling. Their crosswords were always great on the plane.
    • by svvampy (576225)
      If print media is dying, maybe netcraft will confirm such.

      In the worst case it's the beginning of the end for newspapers. It is important to remember that the difference between news on dead trees and news on your screen is only a quantum leap. A newspaper is not just about printing stories on paper, there's a whole organisation devoted towards gathering and processing information. Think of it as changing graphics libraries.

      Also, as easy as it is to passively absorb some spiel from a newscaster, I can ab

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sgt_doom (655561)
      Circulation is dropping rapidly, and digital presence will soon be as, if not more, important than print editions.

      Say it ain't so!!!

      I mean, they (moronic newsies, half-witted pundits, talking headjobs, etc., ad nauseum) constantly yap at us that they are giving us the "content" we demand - yet if that were truly and honestly the case, circulation would not - and continue to - drop.

      Obviously, they are feeding us pure crapola (except, perhaps, for those McClatchy newspapers which are about the ONLY n

  • Thank God (Score:5, Funny)

    by Malevolent Tester (1201209) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @06:44PM (#21745368) Journal
    As an Englishman, the one flaw in my inborn sense of cultural superiority has been the lack of Rupert Murdoch owned tabloids in America. Thank you, FCC.
    • Re:Thank God (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FudRucker (866063) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @06:54PM (#21745536)
      the US Government has become more evil than the government we once fought to gain independence from in the first place, is it too late to surrender to the British? sorry about that mess back in 1776...
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        Oh yeah, the British government is so much better. They'd put freakin' surveillance cameras in your breakfast cereal, on every frosted flake, if it were technically possible.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Blue Stone (582566)
        It's a noble sentiment you speak, but the government here in Britain, is as corporate, as corrupt, as oligarchical and as authoritarian as the government in the USA at the moment - if not more so. Seems to be the way of democracies of late. How we can turn things round, fuck knows, but here's hoping we start addressing why things become so autoritatrian and design copper-bottomed protections against such things once we do chuck out the latest bunch of tin-pot dictators and their acolytes.
      • We aren't the ones that have cameras every fortnaught on the roads and every street corner (or whatever quirky unit they might use).

        Just saying. Perhaps evil is not what and where you think it is.

        P.S. Great Britan is not evil either. Just making a point.
    • by zzatz (965857)
      Murdoch has owned the NY Post since 1976. I'd call it a tabloid. I'd call it lots of other things, but I'd need to call in the Marines to help expand my vocabulary.
    • by GaryPatterson (852699) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @08:04PM (#21746316)
      As an Australian, I apologise to you for Rupert Murdoch.

      We're very, very sorry.
      • Rupert Murdoch is Australian? I had no idea. I guess that he proves that for Australia, the saying rings true: Better out than in.
        • by lachlan76 (770870)
          He was originally from Adelaide, but I believe he is an American citizen now.
          • As soon as his nationality became an impediment to his power, he dropped it. He's now as Aussie as sushi, as true-blue as a croissant.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by moosesocks (264553)
      As an American recently moved to the UK, I can easily say that, although the British media is generally much, much better that that of the US, most British newspapers are absolute shite.

      Newspapers in Britain on par with the likes of the New York Post (eg. The Sun and The Daily Mail) are held in high regard, whereas Americans generally accept tabloids as inexpensive entertainment that can be easily purchased via subway station or grocery checkout (which is a completely fair, and accurate assessment).

      On the o
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Weedlekin (836313)
        "Newspapers in Britain on par with the likes of the New York Post (eg. The Sun and The Daily Mail) are held in high regard"

        Neither of those "newspapers" or their readers are held in high regard. "Sun reader" has been used as a synonym for "unthinking mouth-breathing idiot" since the 1970s, and it's main contribution to British culture was introducing "Page Three Girl" as a generic term for a witless bimbo (The Sun used to have a different topless model every day on it's third page, together with a small, pa
  • Bill Moyers piece (Score:4, Informative)

    by chumpboy (680707) <`godfreyfolsom' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @06:48PM (#21745426)
    Bill Moyers just did a piece on this Monday evening:

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/12142007/watch2.html [pbs.org]

    While fascinating, it was also one of the most horrific examples I have recently seen of a runaway Executive Branch. Once again we, as US citizens, need to rely upon our elected officials in Congress. Who knows how well that will turn out......
    • Re:Bill Moyers piece (Score:4, Interesting)

      by nebaz (453974) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @07:51PM (#21746194)
      As much as I have issues with the current Executive Branch, it is an act of Congress that created the FCC, and Congress that ultimately has the responsibility to regulate things. Any laws they create take precident over the FCC. They are more to blame than the executive branch, who is at least consistent in it's views about most things (pro-big-business). Delegating the responsibility of regulating the airwaves to 5 people seems the ultimate in shirking responsibilities, in my opinion. I realize that it is not this congress that created the FCC, but maybe if we had fewer 3 letter agencies, and actually had Congress directly make policy, they would be busy enough to actually have to do work, instead of grandstand about trivial issues. It's a lot harder to bribe 250 people than 3. Nowhere in the constitution does it say anything about any government entity having the ability to delegate its authority to a smaller body.
    • by HanzoSpam (713251)
      Reason [reason.com] wrote a piece on it too, which I think is a lot more apt than anything Moyers had to say about it.
      • by zifferent (656342)
        Are you kidding me? That's the worst bit of blogging/commenting I've seen since the youtube commenting.
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @06:49PM (#21745448) Journal
    Well, it may (probably will) end up being a more propagandized operation, but there are outcomes that most media owners may not have anticipated:

    * the newspaper dies, in favor of locally-owned websites that provide the same info, networked across other regional/local sites to become a loosely-knit news org in its own right (and unlike FreeBSD, the megacorp-owned newspaper really is losing relevance and readership to the web site... now if only these sites could start talking to each other).

    * the independant papers, stations, and etc. pick up credibility among the more clued-in folks out there (and in many areas, already has. Most big towns/cities have one or more free weekly papers that do very well by giving the paper away for free and charging for ads).

    * CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc. start losing eyeballs to more regionally-oriented channels (e.g. NWCN in the Portland-Seattle corridor, where you get news that's local enough to matter directly, but regional and global enough to keep you apprised of stuff you might want or need to know. Yes it's run by Comcast, but it does open more than a couple of doors to competing local interests who want to do similar things).

    * Local indie stations get a larger audience as propaganda-weary listeners decide that they really don't like their news in 'Clear-Channel-beige' anymore. If my little corner of the planet is any indication, it's already begun to happen.

    While these may or may not ever occur, the possibilities are there, and as naive as it may sound, I tend to put at least a little faith in the ability of a contrary and loud-mouthed population such as that found in the US to devise their own alternate solutions to media-megacorp-induced propaganda.

    IMHO, Yellow Journalism has never really went away - it merely diversified. We merely get glimpses and bits of occasional integrity swimming in an ocean of propagandistic crap, with alternating currents of barely-masked opinion clashing against each other on a constant basis.

    In either case, I get more news off the Internet now, and from non-established sources (e.g. not CNN, not Fox, not the NYT)... I suspect that more of my fellow humans do as well - more than any media corp would ever be willing to admit, even to themselves.

    /P

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PhxBlue (562201)

      In either case, I get more news off the Internet now, and from non-established sources (e.g. not CNN, not Fox, not the NYT)... I suspect that more of my fellow humans do as well - more than any media corp would ever be willing to admit, even to themselves.

      Maybe so. But the rest of the masses will be reading print versions of the drek that appears on Fox News -- or alternately, the drek that is Wolf Blitzer and Lou Dobbs on CNN. People who want real news will have to seek out the print version [theonion.com] of "The Da

    • You know, I like watching NWCN, but their site is utter crap. I'm not going to create an account, give you all my detailed info, and my email address to read something off the AP wire, or to read the weather. that is just crap.
    • Why hasn't this already happened then? How will a injection of new network funds and resources, including the benefit of cross-media promotion, hasten the already non-existant rush from core dailies to free-at-the-Starbucks independents? Wishful thinking.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Penguinisto (415985)

        Why hasn't this already happened then? How will a injection of new network funds and resources, including the benefit of cross-media promotion, hasten the already non-existant rush from core dailies to free-at-the-Starbucks independents? Wishful thinking.

        Not sure which one you're referring to, but I'll take a stab and assume that you're talking ab't regional news channels...

        Ironically, when it comes to anything broadcast, the FCC is the biggest obstacle (followed closely by capital funding). Cable channels are OTOH a bit different, at least insofar as it doesn't require the massive amounts of dough for an FCC license, a bit of the spectrum, a metric assload of equipment, etc etc.

        NWCN manages it because it's jointly funded by Comcast. That said, I don

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by anthrax (23655)
      What happens when the FCC allows bandwidth providers like Verizon to start filtering the content that crosses their networks? Where will we turn when the Internet in the US is censored by corporate interests (like Murdoch) instead of allowing the free exchange of ideas? Then where the public go for news and information? The further consolidation of how and where information is gather, disseminated and filtered will have a massive negative impact for all Americans. There is but one law that stands the te
    • by Soporific (595477)
      CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc. start losing eyeballs to more regionally-oriented channels (e.g. NWCN in the Portland-Seattle corridor, where you get news that's local enough to matter directly, but regional and global enough to keep you apprised of stuff you might want or need to know. Yes it's run by Comcast, but it does open more than a couple of doors to competing local interests who want to do similar things).

      I see what you are saying with this but I think Howard Stern proved that theory wrong, at least in radio
    • Could it be that the Web is the new home of the modern day Yellow Journalists?

      Trolls have found the Contrast Equation. "The opposite of sensibility is ...."
      Take your choice of Nonsensical, Insulting, Bioschlock, FanDude, ShriekingChimp, RazorLiner, LinkSeller, or InverseOnion. Those are like "Spray Paint Artists".

      The middle line in between are the mostly sincere writers who may mean well, but whose perspective is skewed enough to require a seriously critical eye while reading.
  • How the hell? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <philip DOT paradis AT palegray DOT net> on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @06:50PM (#21745460) Homepage Journal
    Quoth the article header: " On the same day the FCC voted 3 to 2 (by a different split) to cap the size of any cable company at 30% of the nationwide market, a limit Comcast is up against."

    How the hell does that work, anyhow? Does the ISP start turning down new subscribers ("Sorry folks, we're all full up on business here, please try our competition")?

    I've got to be misunderstanding it somehow. Please help me out here.

    • by Kwirl (877607)
      OK, let's say comcast has 29.9 million subscribers, and they consider attempting to purchase another local cable provider that has a potential reach of .2 million customers. That would put them over the limit, and prevent them from purchasing that provider, leaving them open to bids by giantconglomeratemonopolyprovider #2.
    • How the hell does that work, anyhow? Does the ISP start turning down new subscribers ("Sorry folks, we're all full up on business here, please try our competition")?

      It means they can't move into new neighborhoods, mostly. For instance, Comcast and Verizon have a thing where one of them isn't allowed to sell service in downtown Portland OR. There's lots of areas that Comcast (or Warner, or any cableco) has never been allowed to go and install infrastructure - either because of previous regulations, or because growth has placed customers well out of existing networks.

      Ostensibly it's to allow competition to sneak in (or corporate slugs like Qwest to claim how 'empaup

    • by Thaelon (250687)
      Easy. Comcast spins the numbers such that it doesn't look like they have more than 30%.

      Haven't you ever read How to Lie with Statistics [wikipedia.org]?
    • by aztektum (170569)
      Just a thought, but perhaps it isn't by actual current number of subs but potential to serve?
    • by steelfood (895457)
      This means they cannot expand into new locations and offer service where it isn't already being offered.

      They can eat up 100% of their existing markets (where they offer service) without a problem. But that's the hard limit. Once this happens, they won't have anyone else to become new customers (and if they do, it wouldn't haven been 100%).
  • Ignores Congress? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xeth (614132) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @06:53PM (#21745500) Journal

    If Congress genuinely opposed the maneuver, couldn't they simply pass a law enacting the restrictions they wanted? My understanding is that executive departments need to operate within the law. The legislative decides, the executive abides.

    Now, if the bought and paid for congressmen just wanted to appear populist while not actually doing anything, I suppose simply speaking out against the decision would do fine.
  • This could save print journalism.

    The other parts are interesting, too, but the part that grabbed me is that this permits large radio and television conglomerates to prop up the ailing print newspaper media, which in the US anyway, is in dire need of propping.

    I think it's actually a good thing that they are now allowing the purchases of these companies, which would otherwise go out of business.

    As to the Comcast issue - it's not this particular part of the public being ignored - if anything, I'd like to see t
    • This could save print journalism.

      ...from what?

      AP, UPI, Reuters... they'd all get their dough off of websites if the paper dies, and aside from local articles, they're pretty much all you get in an average paper (some, like the NYT or WashTimes etc. do make a larger effort to get their own writers out in the world, but for the most part, pool reports are pretty much it for anything that isn't specifically local).

      Personally, if you want to save print journalism, what you need is a loose network and open source the thing.

      No, that's not a buzzword. You get a bunch of folks who can string together some decent HTML, coupled with journalism school students (and grads, and amateurs who can write), decent and somewhat neutral writers or whomever, and pass the info around. For once it would be really cool to get news and info about some politician screwing up, but get that news from people who are there with cameras and laptops. Sports scores? No problem - tabulate 'em and pass 'em into the pool if that's what turns you on.

      In short, you make your own pool of volunteers. Pay bounties on verifiable images and stories (e.g. if you get it from more than n sources and it's good info that you can corroborate through independent sources, you pay the best submitter(s) real well). Each reporter has his/her own website, containing news of a standard format that can be shared (into frames or etc), and their own particular site can be arranged however... for your local site, you pick and choose what you want printed that day. Just keep in mind that someone else may do a better job of it than you, and probably will if you suck at it.

      Real rough idea and all, but it sounds like fun... I'll have to bang on a lot of details before anything formal gets spat out :)

      /P

  • And I say that I don't care as a firm representative of the not giving a damn party. As questionable as ownership restrictions were in the Before Internet Time, the availability of infinite platforms from which to speak from has removed any value whatsoever and means the restrictions are nothing more than the gov't inserting it's much too large nose into business that isn't a problem to begin with.
  • Set back... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by yroJJory (559141) <me&jory,org> on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @08:14PM (#21746404) Homepage
    When Bush was "selected" back in November 2000, all of my friends were very depressed, moping around saying "Our country's progress has just been turned back 25 years."

    I guess it's at least 32 years now.

  • Do the people even matter anymore, or is it a government by business and for business?

    Why dont we just have one media outlet, controlled by the government. At least that way we'll know for sure its all bullshit. Why even have the 6 media giants now? Lets just have 1. There is no room for truth and justice in our new America... so lets just end the facade.

    The government exists for business, and the people get screwed. The laws apply to the poor, to protect the rich overlords from being slaughtered for the in
  • The FCC has for a long time not represented the interests of the citizens of the United States. What is needed is to wreck what currently stands and replace it.

    How about selecting from a pool of those with either radio amateur or general radiotelephone licenses. Then narrow it to include only those with info, cs, or engineering degrees. From there do lottery selection for FCC commissioners.

    I suspect what we'd see out the other end is a much fairer system for bandwidth auctions, management, and one tha
  • Seriously, anyone dumb enough to sink cash into a newspaper deserves to lose their money. Newspapers are irrelevant.
  • ... too bad rationality tends to prevail. That is, with mass ownership self interested media seeding is easier, and while we may be told that X (where X is seeded opportunism) is good, the actual personal worth of X cannot be so easily manufactured. If it's a polished turd, it's still a turd. There is a *huge* profit to be made in spamming... but at a huge cost to the perception of the spammer. Soon they are painted as crap spewers... and have the respect deserved of crap spewers. A shame, perhaps, a

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