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Digital Media

The Master Switch

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 2, 2010

According to Columbia professor and policy advocate Tim Wu, the great information empires of the 20th century have followed a clear and distinctive pattern: after the chaos that follows a major technological innovation, a corporate power intervenes and centralizes control of the new medium--the master switch. Wu chronicles the turning points of the century' s information landscape: those decisive moments when a medium opens or closes, from the development of radio to the Internet revolution, where centralizing control could have devastating consequences.

Privacy vs. Profits

  • By
  • Robert Wright,
  • New America Foundation
October 20, 2010 |

The threat to privacy posed by digital technology is about to take a turn for the worse. At least, that’s what we’re hearing about HTML 5, the latest version of the computer language that is used to create Web pages. In principle, HTML 5 will allow sites you visit to know your physical location and will make it easier for them to keep track of your browsing and shopping history.

Mark Thompson on the Public Media in a Digital Age

  • By Mark Thompson, Director General, BBC
October 5, 2010


A few months ago I had a chance to visit the studios where one of the BBC's most popular dramas is made.

Love interest, family feuds, social commentary -- it's got nearly all of the features you'd expect to find in a soap opera made here or in the UK. Indeed it's based on "The Archers," the BBC's famous domestic radio drama which charts life in and around the fictional English town of Ambridge.

Yet this drama takes place not in Worcestershire but in Afghanistan.

Media policy and the online community news start-up

October 1, 2010

I attended the Block-by-Block Community News Summit in Chicago on Sept. 24, an event sponsored by the Reynolds Journalism Institute, where I spoke to hyper-local and community news start-up founders about policy issues they are facing in journalism's digital age. Below is a summary of the issues, followed by the founders' comments. 

Loud and Clear: The Information Flow Around the Shooting at UT

September 30, 2010
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Austin, TX — Forty-eight hours after reports hit the wire of a shooting on the University of Texas at Austin campus, the scurried and anxious rhythm of that day has slowed back down to a steady pulse. Just as quickly as the news swept through Austin and the nation, the news cycle snapped back to its regularly scheduled programming. Yet, despite returning to campus and feeling more informed about what had happened, many questions remain.

Community News Start-Ups 2010: Where do we go from here?

September 23, 2010
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It’s a good thing for community news start-ups that the web is not dead.

Indeed, for the more than 100 online community news founders, innovators and researchers expected at the RJI Reynolds Block by Block Community News Summit in Chicago on Friday, the web is the future.

Public Media in a Digital Age

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - 4:00pm

After an introduction by Josh Silver, President and CEO of Free Press, featured speaker Mark Thompson commented on the state of public media to a full house eager to get his perspective as Director General of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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

September 17, 2010
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Version 1 of the Media Policy Initiative’s latest information community case study, The Research Triangle, North Carolina: A region oflocallyowned media outlets and entrepreneurs on the verge, was posted to the website on Sept. 16. Fiona Morgan has reported on the “information health” of the Triangle area, i.e. Durham, Wake, Orange, and Chatham counties, according to The Knight Commission Report on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

  • By
  • Daniel Amzallag,
  • Amalia Deloney,
  • New America Foundation
September 2, 2010

Historically, a robust media ecosystem in Minneapolis-St. Paul has supported residents’ demand for large and diverse quantities of information on both political and quality-of-life issues. Today, the demand for quality journalism in the Twin Cities remains high, but many local media outlets struggle to deliver it sustainably. The digital age has presented significant challenges to a media landscape centered around a print format; however it also presents new opportunities.

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

August 27, 2010
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This is a weekly segment on MPI’s blog to document the published activities of our fellows, affiliates, collaborators, et al. over the past week.

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