If you take a trip to the FCC’s future of media website, one of the first thing you will read is:
That’s why FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski decided to launch a major new agency-wide project to make sure that citizens and communities end up with vibrant, diverse sources of news and information – information that enables them to enrich their lives, their communities and their democracy. These have always been key goals for the FCC and America’s communications policy. But we must make sure those historic goals are met in this new, digital era.
By the way, in a digital era, when we talk about “news and information,” we’re not only referring to journalism. It’s also about making sure consumers get the information they need from government and other sources about schools, crime, public health, natural disasters or other issues that affect them dearly.
Nice words till you have an understanding of what they mean. The Emphasis of the project is the “needs of the communities” which is just another way of saying “localism.” Take a look at the questions they are asking:
1. What are the information needs of citizens and communities? Do citizens and communities have all the information they want and need? How has the situation changed during the past few years? In what ways has the situation improved? Gotten worse? Consider these categories:
· media platforms (e.g., broadcast, cable, satellite, print, Internet, mobile, gaming);
· media formats (e.g., video, audio, print, email, short message formats);
· geographic focus (e.g., international, national, state, regional, local, neighborhood, personal);
· media affiliation (e.g., independent, affiliated with an advocacy organization or movement, academic, governmental);
· organization type (e.g., commercial media, non-profits, public broadcasting, cultural/educational institutions);
· types of journalism (e.g., breaking news, investigative, analysis, commentary, beat reporting, objective reporting, advocacy, specialized, general interest, citizen generated, collaborative); and
· topics (e.g., politics, crime, schools, health, disasters, national news, foreign news, children’s programming).
2. How have the changes in the media landscape affected the delivery of critical information in times of natural disasters, extreme weather, or public health emergencies? From where do people get their information in such situations? What, if anything, should the Commission do to ensure that communities receive such often life-saving information widely and quickly?
3. How do young people receive educational and informational media content? How do they consider and process the news and information provided to them? How should these patterns affect government policy toward the future of the media?
4. Are media consumption patterns different in minority communities? How would those differences affect business models for various media platforms? What are the implications for the availability of news and information in minority communities? How should such business models and their implications affect government policy?
5. What roles should libraries and schools play in supporting community information flow? How can communities best make use of citizens’ talents and interests in the creation, analysis, curating, and sharing of information?
6. What are the best examples of Federal, state and local governments using new media to provide information to the public in a transparent, easy-to-use manner? When has this public information been provided directly to consumers and when has it been used as the basis for lower-cost reporting? In what formats should such data be provided? Should the laws on government provision of information to the public be changed?
7. How can we measure the importance of the availability of local news and information for community health and consumers’ needs? Are there ways of measuring the vibrancy of local news and information flow and correlating such metrics to positive community outcomes, such as school quality, voter turnout, other forms of civic participation, improved public health, effective emergency responses, crime, reduced political corruption, or the development of social capital in general? How can efforts to “map” information sources be most effective?
8. Compared to earlier decades, are Americans more or less likely to seek and find more specialized media (i.e., that focused on a specific topic, appealing to a specific demographic group, or promoting a similar ideology or world view)? What are the positive and negative consequences of such patterns?
9. How have the changes in the availability of different types of news and information consumption affected different demographic groups? Are benefits or problems concentrated by income, age, geography, educational level, race, gender, religion, or other factors?
10. In general, how should FCC policies change to better consider the information needs of communities in the digital era?
11. How should other governmental entities consider the information needs of communities in the digital era? Are there changes in tax law, copyright law, non-profit law, noncommercial or commercial broadcasting laws or policies or other policies that should be considered?
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“Localism” is just the progressive way to cut off debate, by changing the interpretation of the phrase “Radio and television stations are required to serve the interests of their local community as a condition of keeping their broadcast licenses.” This move toward localism will make it extremely expensive for radio stations to run nationally syndicated talk shows, such as Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
As Erick Erickson described localism on Red State:
“Congress will restrict how many stations a company can own in a market. They’ll also require advisory boards for each station and make it easier to address consumer complaints against stations.” Although the left has backed away from the Fairness Doctrine because it is ineffective, they are gathering support for an attack on conservative talk radio.
The President has surrounded himself with “Localism” advocates. The head of the Obama transition team was John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress.
In 2007, the Center for American Progress issued a report, The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio. This report complained that there was too much conservative talk on the radio because of “the absence of localism in American radio markets” and urged the FCC to “[e]nsure greater local accountability over radio licensing. (Source)
In 2008 the FCC proposed these new rules:
Every radio and television station would be required to create:
[P]ermanent advisory boards comprised of local officials and other community leaders, to periodically advise them of local needs and issues, and seek comment on the matter. …
To ensure that these discussions include representatives of all community elements, these boards would be made up of leaders of various segments of the community, including underserved groups.
The “community advisory board as permanent complaint department” model may well be based upon the 1995 revisions of the Community Reinvestment Act, as described by Howard Husock in City Journal:
[T]the new CRA regulations also instructed bank examiners to take into account how well banks responded to complaints. … [F]or advocacy groups that were in the complaint business, the Clinton administration regulations offered a formal invitation. …
By intervening-even just threatening to intervene-in the CRA review process, left-wing nonprofit groups have been able to gain control over eye-popping pools of bank capital, which they in turn parcel out to individual low-income mortgage seekers. A radical group called ACORN Housing has a $760 million commitment from the Bank of New York…[emphasis in original].
Understand that even allowing conservatives to be radio talk show guests may provoke a FCC licensing complaint.
Brace yourselves, because this new FCC initiative “investigating” the future of news media is all about controlling the news media and censoring the Conservative voice. Localism, is just another name for Censorship.