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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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June 4, 2008 7:00 PM

Blogging from the Media Reform Conference

Posted by Ryan Blethen

I will be blogging Thursday through Saturday at the National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis. There are a lot of big and interesting names on the speakers list including Bill Moyers, and Federal Communications Commission members Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps.

Stay tuned for more from Minneapolis. For more information about the conference go to the Free Press Web site.

Comments (0) | Category: Broadband , Free Speech , Media consolidation , Net neutrality , The press |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 29, 2008 11:39 AM

Salesman General

Posted by Ryan Blethen

The lack of media scrutiny around the Pentagon's campaign using retired military generals to sell the Iraq war to American public is a shame. The New York Times broke the story last month. Yet there has been nary a word from broadcasters. Of course the cable news networks are mum because they let these generals prattle on about the upside of Iraq and how things really were not that bad for detainees at Guantanamo.

The Seattle Times has a Democracy Papers editorial today, which can be found here, about Congress wanting the Government Accountability Office to investigate the Pentagon's propaganda machine, which spit out these generals, who like good soldiers, said what they were told to say. The New York Times story also revealed that many of these retired generals work for companies with war contracts.

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Comments (0) | Category: The press |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 28, 2008 4:32 PM

Consolidation, unasked questions, TV news & the First Amendment

Posted by Ryan Blethen

"Media consolidation was done with so much debt it has allowed bankers and Wall Street into the tent, resulting in too much of the profits being required to pay off debt. Public ownership of media has not been good for media quality or for the ability of media owners to manage for the future."

Those are not the words of some raving media reformer that might pop up on this blog from time to time. That is a quote from David Rubin, the outgoing dean of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Rubin, who has been dean for 18 years, pointed out the obvious in an interview with the Jack Myers Business Report.

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Comments (0) | Category: Free Speech , Media consolidation , The press |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 23, 2008 5:08 PM

McCain supports telecom amnesty

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Wanted to post an update to an earlier post about Republican presidential candidate John McCain's position on granting amnesty to telecommunication companies.

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Comments (0) | Category: Broadband |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 23, 2008 9:20 AM

Content filtering felony

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Ryan Singel of Wired has been turning out some interesting reports from the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference. On the magazine's Threat Level blog he writes that Internet Service Providers scouring their networks for copyright infringements might be committing felonies.

He quotes a University of Colorado law professor who was on a panel about ISP content filtering. The professor, Paul Ohm, said Comcast's blocking of peer-to-peer applications and Charter Communications idea of using a system to see the URLs visited by its customers could violate the Wiretap Act, which bans eavesdropping.

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Comments (0) | Category: Broadband , Net neutrality |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 22, 2008 4:50 PM

Consolidation investigation

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. has asked the Government Accountability Office to study media consolidation. The GAO should take up Dorgan's request. A number consumer groups have studied the effects of media consolidation. All the studies have shown that communities are hurt when consolidation shrinks the number of independent voices. It would be hard to imagine the GAO finding any differently.

Dorgan was joined in his request by Sens. Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin and Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont. The senators want the GAO to examine several issues such as:

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Comments (0) | Category: Media consolidation , The press |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 21, 2008 4:26 PM

Presidential hopefuls, the Internet, and amnesty

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Some important issues facing the United States have received scant attention in the presidential primaries. Missing has been any meaningful discussion about presidential and federal powers. The Bush administration has done a fine job extending its reach in ways other presidents have not, either because Congress stopped them or they had the good sense to respect for the citizenry.

I want to know what presidential hopefuls Barack Obama, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton think about the current administrations use of warrantless spying, FISA, and extraordinary rendition. Where are the candidates on amnesty for the telecommunications companies that helped the administration's domestic spying? Not exactly topics being discussed by the pundits or posed to the candidates by the press.

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Comments (0) | Category: Net neutrality , The press |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 21, 2008 3:02 PM

A funny take on the WSJ's new ME

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Portfolio's Jack Flack reads between the lines of the News Corporation press release announcing Robert Thomson's appointment to Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal. The piece is well worth the read.

Comments (0) | Category: The press |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

More from this blog

Recent entries

Jul 14, 08 - 01:45 PM
FISA edit

Jul 14, 08 - 10:13 AM
Foxpaper

Jul 9, 08 - 01:41 PM
Senate passes FISA act

Jun 26, 08 - 02:24 PM
Broadband's reach, or lack there of

Jun 26, 08 - 12:52 PM
Say no to immunity

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