Sep
20
2009

Localism: Corporate Media's Ultimate Bogeyman

On his Media Citizen blog, Free Press' Timothy Karr (9/17/09) has compiled some astounding Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs quotes propounding a "fear that's laced with paranoia, stoked by misinformation and prejudice and fed to millions of people via powerful media"–namely that "the most anti-American notion of the lot is the idea that we need to reform the media itself": While Beck and his ilk want to portray diversity and localism as a dangerous conspiracy to censor, the fact remains that these ideas have been staples of communications policy since the beginning. The central mandate of the Federal […]

Aug
24
2009

Telecoms' 'Fake Grassroots' Push Net Misinformation

Diligent media reformers Free Press (8/19/09) have announced a nifty new "online interactive tool to expose phony grassroots groups hired by big phone and cable companies to advance their political agenda." They're talking about "'astroturf' organizations–many of which also work for the health insurance, energy and tobacco industries"– that "are mobilizing to spread misinformation about Network Neutrality and Internet policies." The group's graphic presentation "tracks the huge amounts of money that phone and cable companies spend on lobbyists and campaign contributions" and reveals the contradictory and dishonest claims about Net Neutrality and other issues from top industry executives; and it […]

Jul
16
2009

Telecoms Rally Against 'Transformative' Internet Bill

Free Press campaign coordinator Misty Perez has sent out (7/15/09) a call to action in light of the astonishing figure that "in the first three months of 2009, the phone and cable industries spent at least $20 million to hire more than 400 lobbyists" in an effort to "push for policies that fatten phone and cable profits while leaving us with an Internet that is too expensive and too slow." Why their sense of urgency?: Right now, the FCC is crafting a national broadband plan that could fix our national broadband problem. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps called this plan "the […]

Jul
06
2009

'Net in Your Pocket' Yields to AT&T's 'Digital Impasse'

Admitting "the temptation to join the growing legions of iPhone admirers is strong," independent reporter Megan Tady (In These Times, 7/2/09) is discussing "what's stopping me from signing up." Her own personal decision is based on the fact that "purchasing an iPhone means I have to become an AT&T subscriber. The company has an exclusive deal with Apple to provide wireless service to iPhoners"–which means, among other things, that Tady would be "backed into a corner. If I don't like AT&T, or it's not available in my area, I'm facing a digital impasse: no service, no phone": This is unfortunate, […]

Mar
09
2009

Tell the FCC to Keep Public Access Accessible

Today's Democracy Now! (3/9/09) features Amy Goodman reporting that "a House Appropriations subcommittee has… asked the FCC to look into the allegations" of media activists across the country: Community media groups are accusing the telecom giant AT&T of discriminating against local public access channels across the nation, and the deadline for public comment is midnight tonight. The dispute centers around how AT&T delivers public television stations to customers. Instead of putting the stations on individual channels, AT&T has bundled community stations onto a generic channel that can only be navigated through a complex and lengthy process. Public television advocates say […]