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Sustaining Democracy in a Digital Age

A Blog from New America's Media Policy Initiative

How many cities have access TV? More than you might think.

December 17, 2010

Guest post by Rob McCausland

"Do we need PEG anymore?" asked Ellen Goodman in an FCC Future of Media hearing she co-moderated last April. Panelists Joaquin Alvarado and Nan Rubin responded, in so many words, yes. Another response however could be added from the countless municipalities who use community access cable TV day-in and day-out to present live and repeat coverage of various government meetings to their residents.

Apply for the 2011 Google Policy Fellowship Program with Open Technology Initiative

December 15, 2010

Google is now accepting 2011 Policy Fellowship applications in conjunction with the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative (OTI). Students from all majors and degree programs who are passionate about technology and telecommunications policy issues are encouraged to apply. The selected candidate will work closely with OTI for ten weeks during the summer of 2011. 

Fellowship Focus Areas

Telecom's Future: Lessons from the Ghost of Policy Past

December 9, 2010
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At a Nov. 30 event at Columbia University, “Big Media: Pro and Con,” Journalism School Dean Nicholas Lemann analogized media policy to a football field: Just as the size and shape of the field dictates the way the game is played, so too does media policy dictate the development of American telecommunications. And on the heels of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s announcement last week of a new net neutrality proposal, we see more clearly than ever that government legislation and regulation are crucial to this field. In that vein, Columbia Journalism School Prof. Richard R. John’s book Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications, published in May, makes the case that policy intervention has been commonplace throughout American history with a sweeping survey of the history of electrical communications from the early Republic to the modern day.

Reimagining the Mission of International Broadcasting

December 8, 2010
Photo Credit: Radio Rover (Flickr)

Leading lights in the international broadcasting space will be congregating at New America this afternoon to weigh in on the subject of International Broadcasting and

Media Policy and the Digital Future: In the Shadow of Bigness

December 2, 2010

Each day as we log on to the Internet, use our cell phones for more than just talking, watch television, and connect on social networks, we are part of a small group of giants.

Where's MPI?: Media Policy Initiative Week in Review

November 23, 2010
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Before we all become completely distracted by the Thanksgiving turkey, here is a pre-holiday rundown of MPI’s many activities.

Visualizing the Invisible News

November 17, 2010
Bill Rankin

Data visualization leverages the universal grammar of images. When it succeeds, it delivers its impact concisely with elegant design and transmits complex data with split second-efficiency. Numerous blogs are dedicated to data visualizations, such as Information is Beautiful, Flowing Data, Cool Infographics, and Visualizing Economics. The Twittersphere was buzzing last July with this striking Clay Shirky-inspired “Cognitive Surplus Visualized” representation of hours of TV watched plotted against hours spent to create Wikipedia. Companies like IBM employ researchers and computer scientists at their Visual Communication Lab, whose Many Eyes research experiment encourages the public to “upload data, visualize it, and talk about their discoveries with other people.” 

Enterprising Collaborations Will Unite Diverse Philly Groups in Journalistic Endeavors, Thanks to Awards

November 16, 2010
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As barriers that once defined the field of journalism―between writer and audience, community and editor―continue to morph, one of the great challenges facing the field is how to navigate these new intersections. And while it’s no secret that all kinds of media players―from large, established, mainstream media outlets to much smaller, community-based groups―could use additional funding given the transitional state of the industry, a recent announcement may signal a brighter future for some: A number of previously unheralded media players received Philadelphia Enterprise Reporting Awards to perform some particularly innovative journalism. The awards of $5,000, announced by J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism and funded by the William Penn Foundation, will help get 14 collaborative, public affairs-oriented journalism projects off the ground in the city of brotherly love. 

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