Thursday Links

Looking up from working on the book just long enough to point to a few links:

  • In case you need yet another issue to inform your voting decision in the fall, I’ll quickly point out that whoever gets elected in November will have the opportunity to make appointments to the Federal Communications Commission. Media policy has been a relatively minor focus of the election (which is understandable given the state of the economy). But under George W. Bush’s appointments, Michael Powell and Kevin Martin, we have seen attempts to allow radical media consolidation, which would have seriously reduced the diversity of voices in the mainstream media, and more recently, the decision to allow the Sirius-XM merger to take place, which would essentially create a satellite radio monopoly. Rob Pegoraro of the Washington Post explains why this merger is a really bad idea.
  • Pat Aufderheide profiles the new season of programming on the PBS series P.O.V. for In These Times. As she points out, P.O.V.’s schedule illustrates the vital need for vibrant public media. Her article also provides some useful background on the history of public broadcasting in the United States. I’ve already had the chance to watch Traces of the Trade and Election Day, and both films are well worth checking out.
  • Speaking of PBS, their MediaShift blog has an interview with Charles Lewis about the state of investigative journalism in the era of media convergence. While Lewis recognizes a number of the problems, the focus of the interview is on his attempts to remedy these problems, including his plans to launch the Investigative Journalism Workshop at American University where he is a professor.
  • Finally, New York Magazine has a story on the role of the web in fostering new forms of microcelebrity. Many of the usual suspects are profiled.

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