Copps’ 3-pronged approach to democratizing our media

FCC member Michael J. Copps, from his article in The Nation (April 7, 2008).


1) reinvigorate the license renewal process – return to requiring three-year renewals for broadcasters, adding “enforceable guidelines to encourage coverage of real local news, culture, and civic affairs.

2) revisit media ownership – revisit “bad old rules” that enabled media consolidation and helped “dismantle public-interest obligations” of traditional media.

“And, finally, let’s…

3) ensure that “the Internet remains free of the network consolidation and content control that wreaked such havoc on more traditional media.”

This last point seems to take into account ISPs (net neutrality), dominant Internet players like google, the media industry that stakes copyright claims on the web (film, tv, music, gaming, publishing, journalism), closed hardware or “appliancized” technologies ( Zittrain’s term), and complicit FCC regulators. A continuing issue involves spectrum allocation as access to the web becomes more dependent on wireless access from mobile technologies. And the specter of adserving may claim more and more user-generated spaces online. Other issues ensuring #3 involve access and media education.


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