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Putting the Public Back into the Public Interest

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 3:00pm
The broadcast media is unique because the airwaves belong to the people; radio and TV stations are licensed by the FCC only if they "serve the public interest."  What does that really mean, and how do We the People ensure broadcasters and their regulators hold up their end of the bargain?
 

Tuning into Community Cable: The Hopes and Heartache of Public Access Television

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 4:00pm

Public access cable operations provide important opportunities for voices rarely heard on mainstream media. These operations were often begun with the same high hopes that many of us now invest in the Internet or social media. Underserved communities fought for the right to get on cable, and they won the right to require cable companies to provide public access channels as part of the public interest payment for using the public streets and alleys to get to cable consumers.

Corporate FM Documentary Screening

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 5:00pm

In 1996, commercial radio underwent a quiet revolution. Local station owners everywhere sold their stations as fast as they could to conglomerate groups. Massive consolidation was occurring in the wake of the “Telecom Act.” In the process corporate owners gutted their staffs. The best DJs have always had a way of connecting to their communities, of listening and then reflecting back community concerns.

Reclaiming the Airwaves: The Largest Expansion of Community Radio, Coming This Fall

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 4:00pm

As the result of a decade-long struggle with both commercial and public radio, Congress and the FCC have finally cleared the way for a major expansion of Low-Power FM. In October 2013 community groups in cities and towns across the country will have the rare opportunity to apply for a low power FM radio station license.  A wide-range of organizations (including right-wing forces that already dominate the nation's airwaves) are in the midst of massive outreach campaigns to encourage the public to apply for these stations.

Disappearing off the Dial: The Future of Low Power TV

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 4:00pm

Low Power Television (LPTV) was created in 1982 with the intention of providing small communities with local television service.  Public interest advocates argued that LPTV would open the door to those who are often locked out of opportunities to have a TV license, and it might deliver programming tailored to the specific needs of often over-looked communities. Unfortunately, many LPTV operators have gone off air and many more are having a difficult time attracting an audience. One reason is that cable is not required to carry LPTV stations.

The Story of WPFW and A Crisis in Grassroots Media

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 4:00pm

4:00 - 5:00 pm: The Story of WPFW and Pacifica Radio in Washington, D.C.

Captive Audience

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 6:00pm

Join the New America Foundation's Media Policy Initiative to mark the release of Susan Crawford's Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age. In the book, Crawford uses the 2011 merger between Comcast and NBCU as a framework to explore how deregulatory changes in policy have created a communications crisis in America. From smartphones and television programming to the cost of high-speed Internet access, Captive Audience illustrates how a handful of companies control our information destiny.

Media Ownership and the Public Interest

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 2:00pm

The media talk a lot about America’s changing demographics — just look at the most recent election. But, the industry itself is one of the least diverse in the U.S.
 
Want some numbers to start the conversation? Women own less than 7 percent of broadcast licenses and minorities hold less than 3 percent.
 

Dark Money, Media and the 2012 Campaign

Friday, November 16, 2012 - 9:30am

The first presidential campaign since the 2010 Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision resulted in the most expensive election season ever. Anonymous and unaccountable donors poured in unprecedented amounts of money. While new media, newspapers and radio collected some of this money, the lion’s share ended up in the bank accounts of television broadcast companies. For months the public was bombarded with a tsunami of ads from political campaigns, Super PACs and other shadowy groups—ads that in many cases were only loosely connected to the truth. 

Media Transparency

Friday, April 20, 2012 - 12:15pm

 Co-Sponsored by New America's Wireless Future Project & Media Policy Initiative

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