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  • Sylvia Moore 5:22 pm on February 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , classical music, community radio, education, independent media, KUSF, , radio, San Francisco, UCSF, University of Southern California, USC   

    Reformers Want to Save San Francisco Community Station 

    The following was sent to L.A. Media Reform by Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director of Media Alliance:

    Tell USC local, independent media is too important: don’t crush community
    stations from afar

    Targeting: Dr. C. L. Max Nikias (President, USC) and Ms. Brenda Barnes
    (President, USC Radio)

    Started by: Russell Newman

    The University of Southern California has announced that it will ‘preserve
    classical music in San Francisco’ via the purchase of the rights to
    broadcast there at 90.3 FM and 89.9 FM. USC sees this as a chance to
    connect with alumni and with potential recruits. The deal, however, is a
    travesty.

    For decades, 90.3 has been the home of the award-winning, University of
    San Francisco-operated community station KUSF-FM. As part of a deal
    negotiated behind closed doors between USC, the University of San
    Francisco, and Entercom – one of the largest radio station owners in the
    country – the station was unceremoniously torn from the airwaves earlier
    this week. Volunteers arrived to find the station behind lock and key;
    others report being treated like criminals as they were ushered out in a
    state of surprise. Preserving classical music from afar should not come at
    the expense of the cultural and musical communities that are now losing a
    key hub. As USC students, alumni, faculty and staff, it troubles us deeply
    that our own institution is partially responsible for this outcome.

    Educational stations are one of America’s last widely-available outlets
    for local, critical and challenging content. During a time in which
    independent voices are increasingly scarce on the consolidated FM dial,
    USC’s initiative comes at the cost of hobbling a decades-old community
    institution. Please sign the petition below to express solidarity with
    those of the KUSF community working for the return of their station. It is
    our hope that USC can achieve its goals while preserving a valuable San
    Francisco voice.

    This petition is directed specifically to students, alumni, faculty and
    staff of USC.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/view/tell_usc_local_independent_media_is_too_important_dont_crush_community_stations_from_afar

     
  • Sylvia Moore 12:47 pm on January 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , public airwaves, radio, , Sue Wilson, ,   

    Broadcast Blues’ Sue Wilson Talks About Hate Speech 

    How did so much of American radio and television turn from a marketplace of diverse political ideas into a cesspool of Wall Street propaganda and violent-tinged ranting? In the aftermath of the deadly shootings in Tucson, Arizona, filmmaker Sue Wilson appeared Jan. 12 on Nicole Sandler’s Radio or Not show to talk about how media consolidation destroyed the ability of communities to control local programming and led to the rise of hate speech on the public airwaves. Sue also talks about her plans to start an organized effort to legally challenge the radio licenses of broadcasters who abuse the public trust. Sue’s excellent film, Broadcast Blues, outlines the history and consequences of the deregulation of radio and television. The interview starts at 1:16:55. Click here to listen.

     
  • Sylvia Moore 3:54 pm on January 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Arizona, assassination, , , , Clarence Dupnik, , , , , extremism, , , First Amendment, , , , Gabrielle Giffords, genocide, , , Jared Lee Loughner, , license, , , media monopolies, , , political, political violence, , public broadcasting, , , radio, , Roger Ailes, , Telecommunications Act,   

    How Many More Have to Die Before Big Media Stops Peddling Hate? 

    Last Saturday, when I saw the headlines blaring from Internet that a Democratic congresswoman from Arizona, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, had been nearly assassinated in Tucson, my blood ran cold. My initial shock turned to anger as I read that the suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, allegedly gunned down another 18 people, killing six of them, including a young child. I had been fearing this day ever since President Obama’s inauguration two years ago, when incidences of threats and actual political violence suddenly exploded, amid a noxious stew of violent rightwing rhetoric emanating from our public airwaves.

    For years, I kept hoping that the President and Congress would do something to rein in the corporate media companies who continue to showcase hatemongering radio and TV commentators, and rake in millions of dollars at the expense of reasoned debate and civil public discourse. I wrote letters about my concerns to my congressional representatives. I blogged about it. I wanted our public officials to take this abuse of free speech on our public airwaves much more seriously.

    I wasn’t as worried about President Obama’s safety, because of the fortress-like security apparatus afforded to American commanders-in-chief. No, I had a feeling that the first attempted political assassination of a government official in many years would be on a member of Congress. Now it’s happened. And so many other innocent lives were lost or ruined in the attack.

    None of these extremist broadcast commentators told Loughner, or anybody else, to go and massacre people. But they and the companies who employ them have perpetuated an environment where violent rhetoric is deemed an acceptable form of entertainment, where media personalities steer close to or even commit incitement, and where alternative viewpoints are scarce. Unfortunately, our public leaders – Democrats as well as Republicans – have acquiesced to the wishes of Big Media by allowing deregulation and corporate consolidation. Our government has also gotten rid of equal time rules, and declawed the Federal Communications Commission, which is supposed to oversee broadcast outlets and protect the public interest. On top of that, the United States, unlike other Western countries, lacks a robust public broadcast system that can provide an antidote to corporate media’s worst programming. So we see large portions of the population whose only source of news and information comes from extremist radio figures and lightweight local TV news broadcasts. Add to this large-scale ignorance, a toxic brew of massive income inequality, racism and bigotry, and easy access to guns. It took Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who oversees Tucson, to finally say to the mainstream what many of us in the media reform movement have been screaming about for years:

    “When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government,” he said. “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

    “It’s the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business. People tend to pooh-pooh this business about the vitriol that inflames American public opinion by the people who make a living off of that. That may be free speech but it’s not without consequences.”

    Many are calling on the haters to tamp down the vitriol. Interestingly, Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News, the cable network that is now synonymous with rightwing flamethrowing and propaganda, is asking “both sides” – meaning left and right – to tone it down. Other mainstream media outlets are also continuing to put out this false meme that liberals and conservatives are equally responsible for the venom polluting the public airwaves. Ailes and his ilk know perfectly well that it is conservative leaders, media pundits, TV and radio personalities who are primarily the ones spreading hate speech and violent rhetoric. Liberals just don’t have the kind of money or access to as many broadcast stations as do conservatives. And what liberals have said in public, while provocative, just doesn’t reach the same level of bloodthirstiness that we’ve seen from conservatives.

    But the real point here is that no amount of pleading for calm will stop the behavior. There may be a pause for a while, but I doubt it will last. The media conglomerates are just making too much money from hate speech. That has to change. Unless and until laws with teeth are put back on the books to regulate the media companies, the invective will escalate and more tragedies will happen. What should be done?

    1. Break up the media monopolies: There are only a handful of companies that control almost everything Americans see and hear. That means only a handful of executives (typically white and male) are dictating what kind of information is available to an increasingly diverse public. This also means that a handful of executives are using toxic radio and TV personalities to sow divisions among the citizenry just so they can try to sell us their corporate propaganda. That must end. Allowing Comcast and NBC Universal to merge is taking American media in the wrong direction.
    2. Give the FCC and the public more enforcement power: When President Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act in 1996, the interval between renewing broadcast licenses increased from five to eight years. That should be reversed. (FCC Commissioner Michael Copps wants to reduce the period to four) In addition, broadcasters whose media personalities routinely incite violence and threaten people or groups with bodily harm should have their licenses revoked. In addition, it should be just as easy to file a challenge against a station for hate speech as it is for profane speech. We may have free speech rights, but no one has the right to own or broadcast on a radio or TV station. Broadcasting on our limited public airwaves is a privilege, and broadcasters must be held to certain standards.
    3. The United States must implement an independent, 100%-taxpayer-funded public broadcasting system with TV and radio stations available in every community – urban and rural. PBS and NPR, with their paltry taxpayer subsidies and commercial underwriters, just don’t cut it. We need something on par with the BBC. This new public system must have access to frequencies equally as powerful as the ones available to commercial stations. Public broadcasting systems in other Western countries have a much more expansive array of high-quality produced shows featuring culture, politics, science and documentaries. Citizens in countries with robust public broadcasting systems are exposed to a wider variety of political views and are therefore, more informed than Americans. Toxic speech must be counteracted with more diverse and better speech.
    4. All Americans deserve equal access to fast, affordable and high-quality broadband that is free of corporate manipulation and control.

    Thanks to our First Amendment, Americans probably enjoy the most permissive free speech rights of any modern democracy. But this right is not absolute. Some are abusing the First Amendment by using the public’s airwaves to stir up hatred and division. They are profiting off the public trough and giving out only garbage in return. Extremist radio and TV commentators are not directly responsible for the political violence plaguing America today, but they have contributed to the creation of an environment of nastiness in our public discourse that can influence disturbed individuals like Jared Loughner. If this extremist speech isn’t soon ostracized from public life in the U.S., the lone, crazed gunman will morph into organized mobs hell bent on murdering political opponents and even committing genocide.

     
  • Sylvia Moore 7:07 pm on December 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , local, , , , , , radio   

    Local Radio to Get New Life 

    Amid all the uproar last week about the Federal Communication Commission’s new not-so-net neutrality rules, Congress passed important new legislation that will further democratize the airwaves. The Local Community Radio Act will allow thousands of new low power FM stations to be created across the country for use by non-profits and community groups. Once President Obama signs the legislation, supported by Democrats and Republicans, organizations will be able to broadcast news and information of interest to their specific communities.

    This law will definitely provide communities a much needed alternative to the cookie-cutter programming and shout fests that characterize much of radio today. Communities will be able to tailor programming to their specific needs and cultural tastes, and won’t just be stuck with shows streaming in from big cities like New York. And the law could also prevent the kind of tragedy that occurred in Minot, MN, in 2002.

     
  • Sylvia Moore 6:30 pm on August 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , radio, ,   

    Activists Take Aim at Fox News 

    Calls to drive out Fox News grew louder this week. On Monday, media watchdog groups demanded that the White House Correspondents’ Association boot Fox from the front-row seat the conservative-leaning channel gained in the press briefing room after Helen Thomas’ resignation. A former WHCA president then called the decision to give Fox the seat “a travesty.”

    The demand for Fox’s ouster is in response to parent company News Corp.’s recent donation of $1 million to the Republican Governors Association. Despite this obvious conflict, it doesn’t look like the WHCA is about to budge. Which means my overall impression of the White House press corps as an entity that has sunk into irrelevancy still stands.

    On Wednesday, the civil rights group Color of Change.org launched a nationwide campaign to get local businesses, bars, restaurants, and other public establishments to dump Fox News. Called “Turn Off Fox,” the effort also includes a petition drive. Color of Change outlined some of Fox’s recent forays into yellow journalism in a DailyKos posting:

    Fox News hosts and guests regularly attempt to pit groups of people against one another — white against black, US-born against immigrant, gay against straight and men against women. Some of the network’s most divisive rhetoric is spouted when the topic of race. In July 2009, Fox host Glenn Beck called President Obama a “racist” who has “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture” — a statement with which Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch has since said he agrees. Frequent Fox guest Jesse Lee Peterson has said that most black people lack moral character, and cited “what they did to the dome” after Hurricane Katrina as evidence. Recently, Fox News contributor John Stossel called for the repeal of a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prevents business owners from discriminating based on race. And Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity were the first to air maliciously edited video of Shirley Sherrod’s speech to the Georgia NAACP — video that cost Sherrod her job with the USDA. The recent episode involving Sherrod has helped confirm what we have long known — that Fox is a propaganda machine with no regard for the truth.

    In an interview with Mother Jones, Color of Change founder James Rucker said that targeting Fox’s advertisers wasn’t completely effective, since the network’s ratings remained strong despite losing ad revenue (something I knew wouldn’t work anyway). So Rucker decided to change tactics and take the fight to the public.

    Rucker’s campaign is an admirable endeavor at grassroots agitation, but will this also be effective? Many small business owners lean Republican (although if these mom and pops actually knew how much Republican policies favored corporations over small business, they wouldn’t be). This campaign will need to get customers in the millions to put major pressure on business owners to change the channel or else they’ll take their business elsewhere.

    However, Fox News is really the least of our worries. It’s talk radio and local network news that the bulk of the population is tuning into. There’s a great deal of violent and hate-filled rhetoric on right-wing talk radio, and a lot of dis-information or a lack of information filling local news channels. I’d like to see Rucker and Color of Change next do a campaign to encourage people to contact their legislators to do something about media consolidation. Because when the rest of the airwaves have more opposing viewpoints, Fox’s influence will be greatly diminished.

     
  • Sylvia Moore 11:02 am on August 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bigotry, broadcasting, , dirty words, , , foul language, , , Laura Schlessinger, , , obscenity, , , radio, , , talk radio   

    Why Won’t the FCC Treat Hate Speech the Same As Foul Language? 

    I thought about this question as news spread of conservative talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s racially-charged comments directed at an African-American caller on an Aug. 10 broadcast. Schlessinger, whose show is broadcast in Los Angeles on KFWB News Talk 980AM, argued with the caller over the use of the N-word, after the caller sought the radio host’s advice on what to do about racist remarks made by friends of her Caucasian husband. Schlessinger repeated the N-word 11 times over the course of the exchange, and accused the caller (and black people) of being “hypersensitive.” You can listen to the full audio on the Media Matters web site here.

    Schlessinger has since apologized on her web site and in a subsequent broadcast on her show. But even so, what she said at the end of her rant about hypersensitivity “being bred by black activists” because “it’s all about power,” is just as disturbing and racist. Objecting to the N-word isn’t about hypersensitivity or seeking power. It’s about the fact that black people – and all people – deserve to be respected as human beings, not constantly bullied and insulted by those who abuse 1st Amendment rights on the public’s airwaves.

    The Schlessinger incident is just the latest in a long string of ugly race-baiting, religious bigotry and homophobia that is now distressingly commonplace on talk radio and cable television. Talk radio – Schlessinger’s domain – reaches a far broader audience than cable, with about 50 million listeners versus cable news’ nearly 4 million. Because radio operates on the public airwaves, the Federal Communications Commission has the ability, in most cases, to restrict licenses and levy fines on stations whose broadcasts contain obscenity. But the FCC mainly concerns itself with the kind of obscenity that includes the Seven Dirty Words – not racial, ethnic, religious or homophobic slurs.

    It seems to be far easier to punish a broadcaster for one f-bomb dropped on the air, than it is if the same on-air personality unleashed a tirade of bigoted garbage. The former is relatively harmless. Nobody is likely to be physically harmed by an utterance of the f-word. But slurs directed at certain groups of people, day in and day out, encourage violence and political instability – particularly at a time of great economic stress.

    Some activists want listeners to target the advertisers of these shows that peddle hate speech as entertainment. But that isn’t good enough. Broadcasters will always manage to find new advertisers to replace those lost. And there are those station owners who will push a certain ideological agenda, no matter how much money they lose on advertising.

    Hate speech is more divisive and dangerous than mere dirty words. Broadcasters should be held accountable for what they say when those words harm others. I say it’s time for the FCC to clamp down on hate speech, and start fining and revoking the licenses of broadcast stations that harbor hatemongers.

     
  • Sylvia Moore 5:20 pm on July 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , consolidation, , , , , , , , , merger, , , , ownership, radio,   

    Big Media At It Again: Broadcasters Want FCC to Let Them Own Even More 

    As if the proposed Comcast/NBC Universal merger just wasn’t enough, the nation’s big broadcasters are strapping on the feed bag, ready to engorge themselves with more tasty snacks of the public’s television and radio airwaves. The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing its media ownership rules for the fourth time since 2000, and the National Association of Broadcasters is again asking the commission to ease up on the regulation.

    Specifically, the NAB wants the FCC to eliminate rules restricting cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations, relax radio station ownership rules as well as rules restricting ownership of television stations in certain markets. Media watchdog group, Free Press, immediately petitioned the FCC, criticizing the NAB’s request, and noting that the commission has gone too far already in allowing more media company consolidation. Free Press Policy Counsel Corie Wright:

    “The FCC’s media ownership rules are critical to ensuring that the public’s primary news and information sources do not become consolidated in the hands of a few companies. Moreover, the so-called efficiencies of consolidation have not materialized. Instead, the cost of consolidating has placed a number of companies that might otherwise be profitable in dire straits, resulting in disinvestment in newsgathering and job losses for journalists.

    “We urge the Commission to resist industry pressures to further weaken ownership limits. Companies that have made poor business decisions should not be rewarded with permission to engage in even more media consolidation that would further injure competition and diversity among local media outlets. It is not the Commission’s job to protect industry profit margins. Rather, its role is to promulgate and enforce regulations designed to promote competition, diversity and localism so that the public interest is served.”

    If the FCC lets broadcasters own just about every newspaper, television and radio station in one market, quality journalism will continue to suffer. We’ll have even fewer – if any – news stories about how the City Council is spending taxpayer money, and more gossip about Lindsay Lohan’s legal troubles. After all, to a media company looking after its bottom line, gossip sells – government doesn’t. And there will be fewer alternatives available for the kind of reliable information one needs to make good decisions in a democracy. The Internet has yet to become a sufficient destination for local news. Besides, most people still get their news from television. Instead of informing viewers, broadcasters are spoon-feeding them entertainment disguised as “news,” with the result being too many people who know next to nothing about how their government works. That’s what rampant consolidation has brought us.

    These broadcasters have stuffed themselves enough. Isn’t it time the FCC put them on a diet?

     
  • Sylvia Moore 1:04 pm on May 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: federal communication commission, , , , , , radio, technology,   

    Public Hearing at Stanford This Friday on Media Ownership 

    The Federal Communications Commission on Friday is holding a public hearing at Stanford University on the impact media consolidation and technological innovation has had on journalism. The hearing is part of the FCC’s review of its 2010 media ownership laws. This free event will feature a panel that includes Tim Westergren, Founder of Pandora Music, Eddy W. Hartenstein, Publisher and CEO, Los Angeles Times, Jim Joyce, President, National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, and Vice President, Communications Workers of America and Alan Mutter, Publisher, Reflections of a Newsosaur, and Tiffiniy Ying Cheng, Co-Founder, Participatory Culture Foundation. The public will be able to comment during two comment sections. A schedule is available here.

    The national media reform organization, Free Press, is urging all citizens concerned about too much corporate control over what we see and hear to attend this hearing. Says Josh Stearns, Program Manager for Free Press and SaveTheNews, “Even though President Obama has opposed media consolidation, Big Media has been beating down the door at the FCC. They are pushing the Obama FCC to go even farther than the Bush FCC and dramatically relax media ownership laws, letting absentee Big Media giants control even more local media.”

    Below is footage of the most recent public hearing held in Columbia, South Carolina.

    Although the Web has become a valuable refuge for those of us seeking alternatives to the Mainstream Media, most Americans still get the bulk of their news and information from the broadcast and cable networks and commercial talk radio. Most people still listen to music on commercial radio. And because of media consolidation, many cities, including Los Angeles, have lost newspapers, creating an environment where only one publication dominates. Contrary to what the big media conglomerates argue, letting fewer and fewer of these companies own more and more stations has not created competition, but stifled it, leading to dumbed-down infotainment masquerading as “news” and a lack of diverse voices in our media. As a result, Americans are as ill-served and ill-informed as ever – a situation that is having disastrous consequences for our democracy. With the pending Comcast/NBC Universal merger threatening to make our airwaves even more homogenized, it’s imperative that the public makes its voice heard. So if you can get up to Stanford this Friday and go to this, please do so.

    What: Media Ownership Public Hearing

    When: May 21, 2010, 10AM to 5PM (the public comment section is at 11:45 and 3:30)

    Where: Stanford University, Dinkelspiel Auditorium, 471 Lagunita Drive, Stanford, CA






     
  • Sylvia Moore 2:09 am on October 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: FM, low power, , radio,   

    Low Power FM Legislation Passes Hurdle 

    In a win for media reform activists and the public, the Local Community Radio Act of 2009 is a step closer to becoming law. The legislation would allow the creation of hundreds of new low power FM stations for use by schools, religious and civic organizations, government agencies and community groups. The bill – supported by both Democrats and Republicans – has been voted out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and now goes to the full floor. Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, a co-sponsor of the bill, and Prometheus Radio Project campaign director Cory Fischer-Hoffman talked to Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman about the bill’s importance and how it will help to diversify the public airwaves:

    An enormous media market such as Los Angeles could greatly benefit from a plethora of new low power FM stations broadcasting the kind of local news, public affairs and cultural programming that might not get covered on local television news, commercial radio or in the L.A. Times. The Times and other newspapers across the country have been battered by a poor economy and declining readership, resulting in staff layoffs and shrinking coverage. Commercial broadcasters offer little more than crime stories, celebrity gossip, self-help fluff, shock jocks and shout shows. Community and civic organizations can fill in the void.

    Los Angeles has some local public affairs programming on radio. But these outlets only cover so much. For example, 89.9 KCRW broadcasts Santa Monica City Council meetings every week. With new low power FM stations, every municipality in the Los Angeles area will have the opportunity to broadcast their council meetings live. Now imagine your neighborhood school setting up a student radio station. Your local church, synagogue, temple or mosque broadcasting sermons. The local shelter reporting news about and information for the homeless. Labor news 24/7. A station that plays nothing but Mexican folk music. The possibilities for a more informed and cultured public are endless.

     
  • Sylvia Moore 9:44 pm on October 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , fairness doctrine, , , radio,   

    Movie Review – Broadcast Blues 

    Take a road trip on any stretch of highway across the United States and flip on the AM dial. The airwaves are rife with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham and any other of a number of conservative talk show hosts. Try finding anyone left of center, and well, you’re mostly out of luck. Only 10% of all radio talkers are liberal or progressive, mostly concentrated on the blue coasts. When one in five Americans say their primary source of news is talk radio, the lopsided media landscape in favor of right-wing talk is nothing short of alarming.

    In the new Public Interest Pictures documentary, Broadcast Blues, Emmy-award winning filmmaker Sue Wilson analyzes how television and radio Picture 48became less diverse in the last 30 years and how corporate deregulation of the media is threatening American democracy. Wilson also exposes the consequences of a media environment where one company can own 1,200 radio stations nationwide, and where some large cities have virtually no competition from alternative voices on the dial.

    Wilson serves as Broadcast Blues narrator, and her light-hearted delivery, along with a snappy soundtrack, makes her serious subject matter easy to digest. The film takes a straightforward look into the history of radio and television – from the founding of the Federal Communications Commission and the Fairness Doctrine, to Reagan and Clinton-era deregulation, and the rise of the 24-hour cable news cycle and “infotainment.” The consolidation of the radio and television market into fewer owners, Wilson contends, has led to a distortion of the news where rumor and innuendo is sometimes presented as fact, and ratings, not the public interest, dictate what gets on the air.

    Misinformation can lead to dangerous public policy, as when the parade of TV talking heads failed to challenge the Bush administration’s trumped up charge that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, a ploy to sell the Iraq War. . Other times, a lack of information can be deadly as when a Clear Channel-owned radio station in a North Dakota town failed to transmit emergency information during a chemical spill in 2002. And when large swaths of the public don’t have access to a wide range of information that help them separate truth from flim-flam, political shenanigans can run rampant and elections can quite literally be rigged in favor of the powerful.

    Although political blogs and news publications on the Internet have taken over much of the investigative reporting that were once the bread and butter of the broadcast outlets, the broadcast media still influences much of America’s political discourse. And not necessarily in a good way. Since it’s cheaper to put on a talking head spewing an opinion than it is to hire a reporter to dig through documents in search of the truth, the news itself has devolved into a collection of “he said- she said” faux objectivity. Political discourse has coarsened to the point of irrelevancy. At a time when Americans are being clobbered by the worst recession in 70 years and skyrocketing healthcare costs, and when the planet is being threatened by climate change, it’s now more important than ever for citizens to be informed about what their government is doing. Instead, we get deluged with coverage about Michael Jackson’s death and endless pontificating from questionable sources about whether President Obama was born in the United States.

    Broadcast Blues is an important film that should be seen by every citizen concerned about the quality of the news they are getting, or the lack thereof. As FCC Commissioner Michael Copps says in the film – if poverty, the environment or the economy is your first important issue, then media reform should be your second. The first issues won’t be solved if the media doesn’t properly address them.

     
    • harry cowan 7:39 pm on January 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for your great review

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