House Panel Votes to Protect Broadcasters’ Interests, Ignores Public Interest

Ethical Markets SRI/ESG News

News of the movement for June 7, 2012



Media Policy at the FCC

House Republicans Vote to Protect Broadcasters’ Interests, Ignore the Public Interest

So determined are Republican members of Congress to kowtow to the broadcast industry that members of a House Appropriations subcommittee voted to strip the FCC of its ability to post online information that is already supposed to be public about who is paying for campaign ads.

Lisa Rosenberg, Sunlight Foundation

House Panel Moves to Nullify FCC’s Political Ad Disclosure Rules

A House appropriations subcommittee slipped language into a federal budget bill that would strip the FCC of its ability to disclose political-ad spending by TV stations online. The FCC adopted the new online disclosure requirements for broadcasters April 27 in an effort to shed more light on political spending.

Doug Halonen, The Wrap

House Approps Bill Would Bar FCC’s Political Ad Rule

A House Appropriations subcommittee approved legislation that includes a provision that would bar the FCC from implementing a rule requiring broadcasters to post online how much political candidates pay for television ads.

Juliana Gruenwald, National Journal

FCC Disclosure Rule Knocked Down by House Panel

Voting along party lines, a House panel rejected a new FCC rule that would shed some light on political advertisements by candidates and others — including secretive outside groups.

Adam Wollner,

White House Seeks New Term for Clyburn

The White House has nominated FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn to a second term, this time a full five years.

John Eggerton, Multichannel News

FCC Proposing to Sunset Dual-Carriage Viewability Rule

Cable operators will no longer be required to provide both analog and digital versions of must-carry TV station signals as of December 2012 if FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski gets his way. Genachowski considers low-cost converter boxes a sufficient vehicle for allowing analog customers to continue to view TV station signals.

John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable


Future of the Internet

Community Broadband Legislation Alert: South Carolina

Yesterday the South Carolina Senate voted in a second reading of H 3508, a bill that has been debated in the State Legislature since it was introduced in January 2011. The bill would revoke local authority to pick up the slack where the private industry has failed. If this bill passes, South Carolina will entrust its future to AT&T, which has admitted it has no solution for rural broadband. The bill has been pushed by AT&T and ALEC.

Community Broadband Networks

A Call for More Clarity on Net Access in Europe

In Europe, the debate over unrestricted Internet access — so-called Net Neutrality — has shifted to a core question: How much should the European Union intervene when mobile Internet service providers restrict Web access?

Phil Harvey, New York Times

Companies Try to Create Room on Radio Spectrum

Cellphone carriers like AT&T and Verizon say they are worried about running out of the radio spectrum that carries wireless calls and data, and they want the government to give them more chunks of it. But a number of companies are developing technology that could change the whole spectrum game by using radio frequencies more efficiently.

Brian X. Chen, New York Times

Broadcasters Air Complaints About Royalty Deal

House lawmakers got an earful about the policy implications of radio’s migration from its transistor days to an era in which Internet and satellite services are accessed from virtually anywhere.

Eliza Krigman, Politico


Journalism and Beyond

New Orleans and the Future of News

Last week’s announcement that the New Orleans Times-Picayune would be slashing its staff and cutting its print run to just three days a week has sparked a new round of debates about the future of news. But one piece has been missing in this discussion: the role of media policy.

Josh Stearns, Columbia Journalism Review

Tribune Pushes to Exit Bankruptcy into Depressed Market

Tribune Co. begins its last big court fight today, one of two steps remaining before the publisher exits bankruptcy into a newspaper market where values have dropped by half.

Steven Church, Bloomberg News

Ethiopian Government Steps Up Control of News and Information

Ethiopia’s only ISP, state-owned Ethio-Telecom, has just installed a system for blocking access to the Tor network, which lets users browse anonymously and access blocked websites. At the same time, the state-owned printing presses are demanding the right to censor the newspapers they print. Reporters Without Borders is very worried by these attempts to reinforce government control of news and information.

Reporters Without Borders