In September 2019, in a victory for the principles underlying media democracy, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rebuked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by overturning the agency’s latest attempts to eliminate long-standing limits on local-media ownership.Read More
Digital technology is a growing force in today’s world. Since advocacy groups during the Vietnam War became incensed by televised images of suffering and torture, information and communication technology has changed the way we interact with the world around us.Read More
It’s surprising that the issue of “fake news” took so long to raise its head. Deliberate misinformation and bias have been around for as long as journalism itself – more than 400 years by some accounts.Read More
Private, public, and civil society actors should work together to encourage more sustainable financing of universal access effortsRead More
On 19 September, Veteran BBC journalist John Humphreys hosted his last “Today” radio programme after 32 years. Known for his aggressive interviewing on a morning news programme that for decades has often set the tone and issues for the day’s news in Britain, he used his last programme to criticise current politicians for avoiding scrutiny by the media.Read More
The rise of “fake news” charges and deliberate disinformation have led to an important counter effort: fact-checking. News agencies, civil society organisations, and concerned individuals have taken on the fight for “truth” – assessing political claims and struggling to prevent misinformation guiding our decisions and behaviour.Read More
Google should have known better!
An Associated Press piece in The Guardian newspaper (“YouTube fined $170m for collecting children's personal data”, 4 September 2019) notes a serious violation of children’s right to privacy:Read More
Not everyone is familiar with climate change.
A new survey released by Afrobarometer paints a bleak picture of how agriculture conditions are worsening due to higher temperatures, delayed rainfall, and crop failure. Crucially, among some people, it also identifies little or no knowledge about climate change itself.Read More
Privacy was something that used to be taken for granted.
Ordinarily, the private life of an individual was not open to scrutiny, while public life was the concern of law and order and decency. In communication terms, privacy meant that only the addressee could open letters or telegrams and telephone operators would not listen in to conversations. Unauthorised disclosure could be sanctioned.Read More
An influential book on communications in the 1980s was Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of Mass Communication, by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky. It proposed a “propaganda model” as a way of understanding how the mass media system intersected with the U.S. economy, political system, and mobilising support for the special interests dominating state and corporate activity.Read More