Wednesday, March 31, 2010
In order to counter alternative media, an adviser to the Federal Communications Commission has suggested using your tax money — or rather money the government borrows from bankers and then expects your children to pay off — to create “public media” that will serve as a “filter” and a “megaphone” for a network of government-funded journalists competing with other, non-government-backed reporters, according to Matt Cover, writing for CNSNews.
|FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has addressed the National Broadband Plan in FDR-esque overtones.|
Rutgers University law professor Ellen Goodman, who is a “distinguished” visiting scholar with the FCC’s Future of Media Project, submitted the proposal in a draft of the government takeover plan targeted at the internet called the National Broadband Plan.
The feds are pushing their internet takeover plan under left cover, specifically touchy-feely platitudes about the disabled, and providing “free” internet as a form of democratic egalitarianism (nothing is “free,” especially when it is offered by government). FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has addressed the issue in FDR-esque overtones, stating that broadband internet “is our generation’s major infrastructure challenge… It’s like roads, canals, railroads and telephones for previous generations. It’s like electricity in its transformative power.”
Commissar Goodman said the government needs to provide the “narrative content necessary to involve the entire population in democratic decision making or to foster widespread economic and social flourishing.” She said there are “information gaps” in the investigative journalism arena, especially in regard to “underserved, minority, and poor populations.” Goodman wants to “transcend” the “legacy public broadcasting system” in order to “correct these deficits.”
She said the federal plan to take over the internet is the key to correcting the nation’s civic “deficits” and called for a digital public media network to connect government-funded journalists together.
Goodman said “public media” (government run and controlled media) is necessary because while information is “abundant” today, “wisdom and knowledge remain hard won.” In other words, she believes the corporate media and especially the alternative media are not doing enough to disseminate government propaganda.
“Public media contributions are especially needed in the areas of enterprise journalism (particularly at the local level), educational content, and content that illuminates issues of particular relevance to minority and underserved audiences,” she added.
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Goodman’s “underserved” audiences, of course, will be determined by the government and based on how they vote and to what degree they support the ruling elite. Don’t expect Libertarians and other critics of government to be allowed to participate (most would find such participation abhorrent, so moot point).
Goodman’s network of government “investigative journalists” (an oxymoron if ever there was one) would connect on the internet and “operationalize” the new public (government) “non-commercial” media.
New public media are needed, Goodman argues, to foster “virtual and real spaces” for “intelligent discourse” (managed by the federal government) free from the “commercial pressures” of independent, non-government media — in other words, the government needs to create a monopoly because it cannot compete with commercial and alternative media now predominate on the internet.
Alternative and commercial media, she explains, engage in “ever more outrageous flares” (academic-speak for talk radio and news and information websites outside the orbit of the corporate media).
Goodman has suggested a takeover of public television in order to realize her comrades-in-arms vision. But it does not stop there. She also believes the government must take over commercial television. “The Plan also threw out the idea of using noncommercial TV spectrum auction revenues (to be generated by voluntary consolidation of stations) to fund public media,” she writes. “I supported this kind of approach in my comments and think there may really be something to it. But it’s an issue that will take a long time to work though, that will involve the whole TV band, including commercial TV stations, and that will require Congressional action.” (Emphasis added.)
The government is desperate to counter the free flow of information especially on the internet and steer the populace back on the government propaganda track. It will exploit “underserved audiences” in order to do this. People are currently abandoning the corporate media in huge numbers (and in the process abandoning government propaganda).
Finally, reading Goodman’s comments about government-supported journalists I am reminded of the “People’s Correspondents” in the former Soviet Union. They were amateur “proletarian” journalists (from formerly “underserved audiences”) who filed reports from the frontlines about the march toward communism beginning in the early years of the Soviet Union. Under Stalin, there were more than 3 million worker and agriculture correspondents. They were instructed on appropriate themes by the communist party and Soviet newspaper editors and journalists.
This article was posted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 9:47 am