FCC probes the future of media


The FCC is casting a wide net in search of input into determining the news and information needs of America going forward, the media’s role in providing it and if appropriate, FCC and other government policies that can help make it possible. The roles of radio, television, newspaper and the internet will be prominent topics of discussion.

“We are at a critical juncture in the evolution of American media,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “Rapid technological change in the media marketplace has created opportunities for tremendous innovation. It has also caused financial turmoil for traditional media, calling into question whether these media outlets will continue to play their historic role in providing local communities with essential news and civic information. With this crucial initiative, the FCC commits to fully understanding the fundamental changes underway in the media marketplace and examining what impact such changes may have for Commission policies, while vigorously protecting the First Amendment.”

An FCC release stated, “Initial topics under consideration include: the state of TV, radio, newspaper, and Internet news and information services; the effectiveness and nature of public interest obligations in a digital era; the role of public media and private sector foundations; and many others. The initiative will not include any effort to control the editorial content of any type of media.”

The FCC is accepting public comment through its normal website portals, but has also set up a special area specifically for this initiative at www.FCC.gov/FutureofMedia.

Steven Waldman, the former internet entrepreneur who is now an advisor to Genachowski, is heading up the effort.