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Last week’s LA Times series highlights the key battle that will determine the future of news 5/13/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Government, LA Times, McChesney, Power.
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Those who currently control news do not want to relinquish their power to citizens and the free market, and are demanding the full force of government to prevent it. That is the clear message from last week’s excellent L.A. Times week-long debate between University of Illinois Professor and Old Media defender Robert McChesney and University of Tennessee Professor and Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds. Those who now have the power to determine the “national conversation” include: 1) The AP network, especially the leading papers in the national centers of money (NY Times) and power (Washington Post); 2) the federal government, through its abilities to deny broadcast licenses and limit Press access to newsmakers; and 3) fans of the status quo, many of whom are uncomfortable with the idea of ordinary citizens influencing public policy without the firm guidance of an enlightened elite. McChesney lets it all slip-out by the 2nd piece in the series with this stunning to-do list for government: “If we lose a battery of core internet policy battles—ranging from net neutrality, telecom and cable ownership and regulation, spectrum allocation, community wi-fi, Internet copyright, and privacy—we may come to regard the digital revolution as a mixed blessing.” Will the government come to the rescue, assuring its own continued control of news and that of its allies? Based on the history of government and Man, I wouldn’t bet against it.

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