the wireless data arena needs competition. The difficulty here is that we're looking at the competition having to be a player like Google. Now I'm all for Google going there but we need ... dare I say it ... a public option.
But not a government option.
What is recommend is something along the lines of a rural electric cooperative. I think the public could be involved by the charter guaranteeing capital but only if the effort collected something like $20 from 10,000,000 residents.
And, like every member owned coop, the board would then be elected by its members.
Would it work?
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Not only would this be unconstitutional, but incorporation is a key in separating liability for one's medium from one's own personal liability. Given the potential for defamation in the media - all media - the simple banning of corporate ownership would a bad idea.
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I do think public hearings on disinformation campaigns are overdue.
My hope is they would show us the difference between what Donald Segretti did (The dirty tricks that got him sent to federal prison) and the really obnoxious political spin generated when manufactured events are brought to the fore (Birthers, the NORAD Base Closing incident) ...
I'm really quite unclear on why Segretti went to jail while these jokers continue to elevate their sick falsehoods into the mainstream.
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This sounds good on the surface but I actually see the issue of local emphasis a two-sided sword. What we're talking about is spot TV and local news. Among the issues observed is pack journalism - which is what you have with the Tiger Wood story. The other side is all too often TV news focuses on the sensational and that usually means crime reporting. That is largely because the pictures are usually available and the coverage provided is pretty simple to piece together.
I was just visiting with a guy who had been a TV weather anchor for 30 years and suggested doing a live streaming channel concentrating on long form interviews and debates with candidates in Georgia. His immediate reaction was that such 'political' coverage was an audience killer.
The real issue is that the broadcast stations, because of their relative scarcity, have the incentive to maximize their audience, which, by definition, means playing to the lowest common denominator in terms of programming.
As an ad-supported format, broadcast TV lives or dies on the size of its audience and the concept of narrow-casting - currently flourishing on the Internet - is to those acculturated in broadcast heresy.
How the FCC might impact that culture is a challenge. I certainly don't have an answer - I'll start a new topic if I can come close - but what I can say is that whatever approach chosen should look closely at the incentives. Why? Because all too often, policies fail because incentives weren't given proper consideration.
Just giving an incentive for local content, though, would do little more than increase the amount of crime reporting, I"m afraid.