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Media

In the Grip of the New Monopolists

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 15, 2010 |

How hard would it be to go a week without Google? Or, to up the ante, without Facebook, Amazon, Skype, Twitter, Apple, eBay and Google? It wouldn't be impossible, but for even a moderate Internet user, it would be a real pain. Forgoing Google and Amazon is just inconvenient; forgoing Facebook or Twitter means giving up whole categories of activity. For most of us, avoiding the Internet's dominant firms would be a lot harder than bypassing Starbucks, Wal-Mart or other companies that dominate some corner of what was once called the real world.

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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. 

Steve Jobs, a New Mogul With Old Methods

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 12, 2010 |

The iPhone was beautiful. It was powerful. It was perfect. After demonstrating a few features, Jobs showed that the iPhone could access the Internet, remarkably, through a real browser. Jobs then introduced Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who walked on to the stage wearing an incongruously long orange tie. The two men shook hands warmly at center stage, like two world leaders.

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Ted Turner, the Alexander the Great of Television

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 11, 2010 |

In 1968, a businessman named Ted Turner purchased WJRJ, a small UHF station in Atlanta, Ga., that was still broadcasting in black and white. It didn't take long after that for Turner to develop grandiose ambitions for the conquest of television, a master plan founded on the idea of the cable network. "Television," announced Turner with prophetic zeal, "has led us, in the last 25 years, down the path of destruction. I intend to turn it around before it is too late."

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Steve Ross, Time Warner, and Growth for Growth's Sake

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 10, 2010 |

In a typical photo, Steve Ross wore a tuxedo with a large bow tie as he stood, silver hair shining, with a celebrity or one of his cronies. Ross, the man who built Time Warner Inc., was the first of a new archetype: the media conglomerator.

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Adolph Zukor, the Architect of Hollywood

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 9, 2010 |

Adolph Zukor, the longtime president of Paramount Pictures and the true founding mogul of Hollywood, once said that his greatest fascination was "understanding audiences." Yet his true talent lay elsewhere, in his mastery of industrial structure. It was Zukor who created the model for the integrated film studios that defined early Hollywood and that still form the blueprint for the way the film industry works.

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In Radio Dabanga Raid, Sudan Targets Last Uncensored Media Outlet on the Ground

  • By
  • Rebecca Hamilton,
  • New America Foundation
November 11, 2010 |

At a market stall in southern Sudan, Darfuri trader Omer Saleh, 45, turned up the volume on his small battery-operated radio. Radio Dabanga, he said - the Dutch-based service that transmits Darfur news by local journalists through shortwave frequencies into Sudan - "is the only way I can know what is happening at home."

Half a world away in New York, Ahmat Nour, president of the Darfur People's Association of New York, said he listens to the Radio Dabanga broadcasts every day: "I download the two episodes and listen to them through the Net as soon as I finish work."

'The Washington Post' and the Perils of For-Profit Colleges

  • By
  • Stephen Burd,
  • New America Foundation

As the for-profit higher-education industry fights efforts by the Obama administration and Congress to increase federal oversight of its schools, the industry's lobbyists have a powerful weapon: the world-renowned Washington Post.

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

November 5, 2010
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Especially in recent weeks—when the purpose and tone of the media has been a topic of heated discussion (and rallying)—there has been chatter about the need to reevaluate public media in the U.S. In this vein, there has been a fair amount of reaction in the blogosphere to New America Foundation President Steve Coll’s piece in the The Columbia Journalism Review, which MPI discussed in the last Week in Review. Here are some comments on two responses from MPI collaborators:

Platforms and Public Media

November 3, 2010
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Though we focus on media policy here at the New America Foundation’s Media Policy Initiative (MPI), such policy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It must address the needs of the day. As the FCC explores policies in its “Future of Media” inquiry, understanding the changes in technology and designing the policies to address these changes is crucial to successful media policy.

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