American Elephants

Who Gets to Choose What Information You Get? You, or the Government? by The Elephant's Child

The Federal Communications Commission is holding an “inquiry” on “The Future of Media.”

As the nation’s expert agency involved in media and communications policies, the FCC has begun an examination of the future of media and the information needs of communities in a digital age. The objective of this review is to assess whether all Americans have access to vibrant, diverse sources of news and information that will enable them to enrich their lives, their communities and our democracy.

The Future of Media project will produce a report providing a clear, precise assessment of the current media landscape, analyze policy options and, as appropriate, make policy recommendations to the FCC, other government entities, and other parties.

Apparently the free marketplace of ideas just isn’t good enough.  They want Big Government to pick views with which they happen to agree.  Once, alleged scarcity was the reason for the FCC to impose the “Fairness Doctrine” on radio without running afoul of the First Amendment.  Now, it’s not scarcity but abundance that is the “problem.”

America is at a critical juncture in the history of communications. Information technology is changing our lives in ways that we cannot easily foresee.

The digital age is creating an information and communications renaissance. But it is not serving all Americans and their local communities equally. It is not yet serving democracy fully. How we react, individually and collectively, to this democratic shortfall will affect the quality of our lives and the very nature of our communities.

The layoffs of thousands of journalists have prompted concern from a wide variety of independent analysts and groups that we may end up with fewer “informed communities.”

The failure of many newspapers and layoffs of journalists certainly has the laid-off journalists upset, and the journalism schools aren’t too happy either.  Many people no longer feel the need to subscribe to a daily newspaper.  That fact should prompt some soul-searching among editors, journalists and academics, but that is not the way things work.

Much easier, and more comfortable than self-examination, is to request the hand of government to fix things.  Tell those stupid people what they should read, and eliminate any distressing news.   The free marketplace of ideas is entirely too threatening.

Freedom is, to be sure, frightening.  There is no telling
what values someone will choose to hold.
Decent and well-meaning guardians of values were horrified
by the monstrous principles  of the Declaration of Independence.
It is, of course, out of fear that the guardians preach the inculcation of values,
fear of knowledge and thought.
(Richard Mitchell)

1 Comment so far
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Why did our founding fathers give so much power to the minority?


Comment by Mark Baird

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