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Current Topic: Media

Washington Post | Monopoly or Democracy? (Ted on FCC changes)
Topic: Media 8:45 pm EDT, May 30, 2003

] On Monday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is
] expected to adopt dramatic rule changes that will extend
] the market dominance of the five media corporations that
] control most of what Americans read, see and hear. I am a
] major shareholder in the largest of those five
] corporations, yet -- speaking only for myself, and not
] for AOL Time Warner -- I oppose these rules. They will
] stifle debate, inhibit new ideas and shut out smaller
] businesses trying to compete. If these rules had been in
] place in 1970, it would have been virtually impossible
] for me to start Turner Broadcasting or, 10 years later,
] to launch CNN.

] If, on Monday, the FCC decides to go the other way, that
] should not be the end of it. Powerful public groups across
] the political spectrum oppose these new rules and are angry
] about their lack of input in the process. People who can't
] make their voices heard in one arena often find ways to
] make them heard in others. Congress has the power to amend
] the rule changes. Members from both parties oppose the new
] rules. This isn't over.

Washington Post | Monopoly or Democracy? (Ted on FCC changes) News | Baghdad chronicles
Topic: Media 4:53 pm EDT, May 25, 2003

] Iraq's only independent newspaper is run by high school
] and college students out of an alcove in the lobby of
] Baghdad's Al Fanar Hotel. Working with a $5,000 grant
] from the nonprofit peace group Voices in the Wilderness,
] 14 unpaid writers, editors, photographers and publishers
] labored for a month to create the debut issue of
] Al-Muajaha, the Iraqi Witness, which hit the streets a
] week ago. In its pages, budding reporters and essayists
] examine the violent, chaotic but cautiously hopeful world
] being born around them, expressing outrage at the
] Americans even as they revel in their newfound freedom.
] Newspapers have proliferated in postwar Iraq, but most
] are the organs of political parties. Al-Muajaha's staff,
] though, treasure their autonomy. They learned journalism
] during the war, working as translators and fixers for the
] legions of foreign reporters who descended on Iraq. Some
] of them have been interview subjects as well, and they
] studied the way professionals found their angles and
] formulated their questions. Now they're turning these new
] skills back on the Americans, demanding accountability
] from their would-be rulers. News | Baghdad chronicles

William Gibson | Talk at Directors Guild, 05/17/2003
Topic: Media 6:11 am EDT, May 22, 2003

But I need to diverge here into another industry, one that’s already and even more fully feeling the historical impact of the digital: music. Prior to the technology of audio recording, there was relatively little one could do to make serious money with music. Musicians could perform for money, and the printing press had given rise to an industry in sheet music, but great fame, and wealth, tended to be a matter of patronage. The medium of the commercial audio recording changed that, and created industry predicated on an inherent technological monopoly of the means of production. Ordinary citizens could neither make nor manufacture audio recordings. That monopoly has now ended. Some futurists, looking at the individual musician’s role in the realm of the digital, have suggested that we are in fact heading for a new version of the previous situation, one in which patronage (likely corporate, and non-profit) will eventually become a musician’s only potential ticket to relative fame and wealth. The window, then, in which one could become the Beatles, occupy that sort of market position, is seen to have been technologically determined. And technologically finite. The means of production, reproduction and distribution of recorded music, are today entirely digital, and thus are in the hands of whoever might desire them. We get them for free, often without asking for them, as inbuilt peripherals. I bring music up, here, and the impact the digital is having on it, mainly as an example of the unpredictable nature of technologically driven change. It may well be that the digital will eventually negate the underlying business-model of popular musical stardom entirely. If this happens, it will be a change which absolutely no one intended, and few anticipated, and not the result of any one emergent technology, but of a complex interaction between several. You can see the difference if you compare the music industry’s initial outcry against “home taping” with the situation today.

Whatever changes will come for film will be as unpredictable and as ongoing, but issues of intellectual property and piracy may ultimately be the least of them. The music industry’s product is, for want of a better way to put it, a relatively simple, relatively traditional product. Audio recordings just aren’t that technology-heavy. Though there’s one aspect of the digital’s impact on music that’s absolutely central to film: sampling. Sampling music is possible because the end-consumer of the product is now in possession of technologies equal or even superior to the technologies involved in producing that product. Human capital (that is, talent) aside, all the end-consumer-slash-creator lacks today, in comparison to a music-marketing conglomerate, is the funds required to promote product. The business of popular music, today, is now, in some peculiarly new way, entirely about promotion.

William Gibson | Talk at Directors Guild, 05/17/2003

Mercury News | A new brand of journalism is taking root in South Korea
Topic: Media 12:01 am EDT, May 19, 2003

] OhmyNews is transforming the 20th century's
] journalism-as-lecture model, where organizations tell the
] audience what the news is and the audience either buys it
] or doesn't, into something vastly more bottom-up,
] interactive and democratic.
] The influence of OhmyNews is substantial, and expanding.
] It's credited with having helped elect the nation's
] current president, Roh Moo Hyun, who ran as a reformer.
] Roh granted his first post-election interview to the
] publication, snubbing the three major conservative
] newspapers that have dominated the print-journalism scene
] for years.

Dan Gillmore on OhmyNews.

Mercury News | A new brand of journalism is taking root in South Korea

MSNBC's Ashleigh Banfield: Media filtered realities of war 04/24/03
Topic: Media 5:13 am EDT, Apr 27, 2003

] "It was a grand and glorious picture that had a lot of
] people watching," Banfield said, "and a lot of
] advertisers excited about cable TV news. But it wasn't
] journalism, because I'm not sure Americans are hesitant
] to do this again -- to fight another war, because it
] looked to them like a courageous and terrific endeavor."

] "As a journalist, I have been ostracized just from
] going on television and saying, 'Here's what the
] leaders of Hezbollah, a radical Moslem group, are
] telling me about what is needed to bring peace to
] Israel,'" she said. "And, 'Here's what the Lebanese
] are saying.' Like it or lump it, don't shoot the
] messenger, but that's what they do."

MSNBC's Ashleigh Banfield: Media filtered realities of war 04/24/03 | Kamiya vs. O'Reilly
Topic: Media 2:53 pm EDT, Apr 24, 2003

] Instead, we hereby invite O'Reilly to debate Kamiya,
] one-on-one, via e-mail. Let the unedited exchange become
] part of the public record on the Net. Let O'Reilly leave
] the home-turf advantage of his studios. Let's see how he
] fares when he can't simply yank the mike from a guest who
] disagrees with him too articulately.

Salon calls out O'Reilly.. | Kamiya vs. O'Reilly

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