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Monday, August 16, 2010

The National Entertainment State

View this Chart of the Six Media Corporations that own US Broadcasting from 2006, the Nation Magazine. Add Google/Verizon and Apple to either side.

Where do Americans get their news and who controls what they consume? Ten years ago, when The Nation first charted a map of the National Entertainment State, four colossal conglomerates spread across the media landscape. Today, that map has significantly changed, because of the rise of new media and a vigorous reform movement, but the old corporate giants still hold most of the cards. Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft are quickly rising, but are not included in this chart because they do not own — not yet, anyway — the major television networks, which remain Americans’ #1 source of news.

Illustration by Peter Ahlberg.
Research: Emily Biuso, Sarah Goldstein.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Is the Internet DOOMED?

Watch the Story on PBS.org

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.



Here is what I know:
In an age of conflict, the internet unites us.
In an age of ignorance, the internet educates everyone.
In an age of fascism, the internet gives one hope.
If we loose the internet, the same way we lost the broadcast media.
If money chooses what you can learn, and what you don't, then this is the end of America.

Google has gone to the DARK SIDE.
Do something.

“What happened to radio, happened to television, and then it happened to cable. If we are not diligent, then it will happen to the Internet [creating] a media plantation for the 21st Century dominated by the same corporate and ideological forces that have controlled the media for the last 50 years.”
Source: Bill Moyers, keynote speech (comparing big media corporations to plantation owners and American media consumers to their slaves) opening 2007 Media Reform Conference, Jan. 12, 2007

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Join Common Cause for Net-Neutrality

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers how to write the rules to protect freedom and openness on the Internet, who should they turn to: consumers like you and me, or profit-hungry telecommunications companies?

Verizon and Google announced this week that they have it all figured out when it comes to net neutrality.* They unveiled a policy framework that would give telecom companies the right to speed up or slow down certain kinds of content, and to block outright applications or content on wireless networks.

That sounds downright scary to me.

Please join me in telling the FCC to say 'thanks, but no thanks' to the Verizon/Google plan.

It shouldn't be up to giant corporations to decide the rules and regulations that govern their behavior.

The FCC should act immediately to protect the long-standing principle of net neutrality so that the Internet can continue to grow, fuel innovation and facilitate communication.

Today the Internet serves as our "town square" -- where we talk to one another, exchange views, find information from many diverse sources of news and opinion, blog, contact candidates, and engage in our democracy. We must make certain that for-profit interests don't destroy the (small-d) democratic culture of the web.

Please tell the FCC to reject the Verizon/Google plan, and act immediately to put strong net neutrality protections in place.

Sincerely,

Bob Edgar
and the rest of the team at Common Cause

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Danger Of Content Mills

Here is an interesting interview from Media Shift on PBS by Mark Galser on "Content Farms" which mine the internet trying to get high search engine rankings and in the process create lots of bad information to sell product. Often produced by low wage workers in places like India, I've seen these proliferate to the point where they are even generated by computer and they are sickening. Professional journalists worry over their loss of wages due to the dilution of mind share, and complain that the information is un-vetted and potentially dangerous. The take away is that for good journalism you must set the agenda not react to the audience, you must be on the ground at the event, an you must be 'local' to your audience, that is, accessible and part of their community.



I especially like Ari Soglin's Patch.com local journalist model, because it has a place for professional journalists as mobile reporters and editors, as well as the occasional freelancer who specializes on events or issues.