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News from: News on the Media

Saving Red Lion

Posted: 08/04/2008

I was troubled to read over the weekend that the major broadcast television networks have filed briefs at the Supreme Court challenging Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. Federal Communications Commission, one of the seminal cases in the history of US broadcasting and a decision that strikes the correct balance of rights between broadcasters and citizens.

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Every Monday evening for more than a decade in Portage, Indiana, Gordon Bloyer stirred up trouble. The middle-aged, mustachioed Bloyer used his 6:30 p.m. television talk show to lambast elected officials in the city of 35,000 on the shore of Lake Michigan. Not only were Portage politicians powerless to cancel the Gordon Bloyer Show - although at times they tried - they also were, in a sense, subsidizing Bloyer's attacks on them: His show appeared on public access television. "People would get all upset," Bloyer says, sounding satisfied. "So I figured that's good."

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An all-star panel of Internet academics, activists, and entrepreneurs gathered at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York today to launch Internet for Everyone, a campaign calling for a national broadband policy to bridge the "digital divide." The group-the members on hand today included such luminaries as Vint Cerf, Lawrence Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain, and Tim Wu-is urging political action to provide universal, affordable high-speed broadband in the United States.

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Today at the Media Institute, Commissioner Adelstein discussed elements of an agenda to empower families and protect children in the digital age of television. Entitled "Stuck in the Mud: Time to Move on an Agenda to Protect America's Children,"the speech highlighted concrete steps the Commission, Congress and the industry should take to enhance the viewing experience for families and children on TV and also on the Internet and other platforms.

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This Way to Better Media

Posted: 06/12/2008

"This way to better media," read the floor sign directing people through a skyway to the Minneapolis Convention Center. Thousands of people gathered there for the fourth National Conference for Media Reform, hosted by freepress.net. They came from all walks of life and all ages to address a central crisis in our society: our broken media system. I was one of the invited speakers.

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