Contemporary Media Issues



Opening Remarks: (Spoken from the perspective of McChesney)

As the president and co-founder of Free Press, a national and non-partisan organization that puts forth effort to reform the media and allow it to become democratized, I am here to state that the largest concern facing the new media landscape is who controls what we see and how we can take the power back.

We need to remember that all of our main-stream media is sanctioned by the government and large corporations. Most of our information is either concealed or twisted in order to best serve profit margins for the large oligopoly that is now in charge of running and deciding what the American Public views and takes in on a regular basis.

We need to make sure that the government does not have a hand in ‘deregulatinfg’ new media and make sure that we can continue to strive forward with independent digital information.

Critique: (Spoken from my personal perspective)

No matter what we do and where we head in a digital and new media landscape, there will always be those who want to control what we hear and say in order to benefit a greater source. We supposedly live in the ‘land of the free’, however, many of our choices and the way that our society adopts technological determinism comes solely from what we are accustomed to hearing.   It takes effort in order to make our way into more alternative and most-likely true media. Citizen journalists who want to broadcast their findings or opinions on blogs are only appealing to those that are technologically savvy, those that know where to look, and understand SEO. This whole argument becomes pointless at one point or another because it turns itself into wishful thinking. Wishing that the American Public, most of whom have access to the Internet via mobile or stationary source, will miraculously become educated and learn to visit outside the lines in order to obtain news and information.
The only possible way that this could potentially work is through some sort of media high-jack on a nationally broadcast public television station. Somehow get the word out about against these regulated news sources on the news source itself. Although improbably, this may be the only way to reach out, otherwise those who are seeking and broadcasting specific and non-bias material may be stuck in the long tail forever.


Opening Remarks: (Spoken from the perspective of Auletta)

I have been writing the column “The Annals of Communication” for The New Yorker for almost 20 years now. I understand that media is moving forward in the way of Interactivity; success is now measured on how far one’s message can move forward on an Information Superhighway. We need to understand that businesses are changing and like Mr. McChesney stated, we mustn’t let them take a hold on what information we are allowed to view and send forward to other viewers and listeners. Google’s motto is ‘Don’t Be Evil’, we must make sure that mega companies like Google stick to these slogans and don’t abuse the power they have harnessed.


Opening Remarks: (Spoken from the perspective of Solove)

Most of you know that my primary focus in this new media world is the importance of privacy and how to address various issues regarding piracy, personal information, p2p sharing, data mining, identity theft, and other elements that fall into the realm. In my book, Understanding Privacy I wanted to make clear that there are multiple forms of privacy and that each one needs to be addressed in a different manner. In a world where everyone’s information is currently online in some form or another, our greatest concern is how we portray ourselves and making sure we know where our protection lies. We must be educated and understand that for every bit of information that we lay forth on the Internet there are hundreds of individuals who could benefit from stealing it. We need to start by understanding the fundamentals and basic principles of privacy protection and move forward in understanding the deeper and more complex ways that our rights can be violated; that I feel is our primary concern.


Opening Remarks: (Spoken from the perspective of Zittrain)

I, like Mr. Solove, understand that we and the Internet are becoming one in the same, a certain ‘ubiquitousness’  is developing and we are so comforted by the ease that we are losing our grasp on where the Internet is going. I also agree with Mr. McChesney, that we as a society need to take information into our own hands and work in a creative and collaborative way in keeping free flowing information deregulated online in order for us to move forward with the truth; truth that we know comes from reliable sources not intended to create profit. I believe that our largest concern is relative to the way the Internet is headed as I write in my book The Future of The Internet and How to Stop it. We need to regain control of something that we have essentially let slip out of our hands in into the hands of a select group of individuals who have the skills to manipulate both hard pieces of technology and the information lying within them and not allow their skills to continue to grow stronger without our input.

Critique: (Spoken from my perspective)

Again, here is an issue solely revolving around the education of the American public. We, like Solove is remarking in his publications are becoming so closely connected with our gadgets, and they are making communication so much easier for us to participate in that we automatically assume that they are ‘good’. The conspiracy theorists that spoke about how computers would be the end of modern society 30 years ago are slowly making more and more sense to those who are becoming awakened to the ignorance many American and World Wide technology consumers are self-inducing. Many believe that there is too much pressure put on young children to understand technology, and that the ubiquity of man and machine is starting too early. I can absolutely understand where these critics are coming from, however, the best way to solve a problem is from within. Understanding technology is different that depending on it. As older consumers, one’s that have been introduced to gizmos and gadgets later on in life, they can draw a line between what is in fact appropriate usage, and what is going overboard. In order to facilitate this line with those who are born into technology we must implement classes within the public education system that is supplying laptops and tech-ed programs to young kids that also allow these children to understand the potential dangers that misuse of said technology can cause. This way, those who are born to rely can learn to prevent future tragedies such as unlawful privacy obstruction and abuse of power.


Mobile Television will make tremendous leaps over the next few years.
By researching the history of Mobile Television, I learned that Eastern cultures were the first to make great strides in the development of mobile television.

India, and Korea are the heavy hitters in this new era. This may have to do with the fact that the Television spectrum in these countries still functions on Analog airwaves, and the population of both countries, namely India is so impressively large.

Long gone are the days of sitting in a parking lot watching a football game on a small television outside of the stadium with friends due to the change in spectrums. In 2009, when all television broadcasts went from Analog to digital, these instances changed rapidly.

In the current United States implementation, FLO is transmitted by a network of high-power broadcast transmitters operating at effective radiated powers as high as 50 kilowatts. This allows for a coverage area of a transmitter to be as large as 30 to 40 kilometres (19 to 25 mi). (IEEE Transactions On Broadcasting, Vol. 53, No. 1, March 2007)

FLO TV, which was engineered by Japan and Korea was picked up by QUALCOM and seems to be the most ‘true to real’ television option that Americans have now offering the option of live or recorded shows from 14 basic channels including ESPN which seems to be the companies strong point in advertising to males on the go who have had their ‘spines removed’ by their girlfriends.

The problem as I discussed in our presentation is the price tag that QUALCOM has attached to the FLO TV.

Not many people would like to spend 200 bucks on a system and another couple hundred on the subscription fee for 14 channels. Seriously, how often are we going to be able to watch television on a device that we are going to have to carry around, seperate from our mobile phones if we’re on the go?

Enter the mobile phone revolution. The truth is, no one wants to carry another piece of equipment when we can watch television on what we carry around anyway. Verizon V cast allows users to download television and movies to the phone, but live television is a few years away at the moment.

This will happen as more and more institutions are allowing broadcast space to open up for a future of live streaming television.

The fact of the matter is, with HULU becoming a pay as you watch service, is it possible for these mobile television investments to survive?
With costs of electronics dropping considering the technology used, mobile television may save tv as we know it and revolutionize it for future generations.

Lets all jump on board.

The iPad.

I’ve been severely confused regarding the hype surrounding this thing. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard “you would take one if it was given to you” from those who defend the device under my brutal attacks.

The answer is, of course I would take one. It’s relatively cool, the design is sleek, it’s interesting, and most likely fun to play with.

This is, however, the first time I have something negative to say about the ‘hip’ advertising direction Apple has taken. It seems as though Apple can now create something with little to any benefit to the user and use its marketing and image to sell it.

This is something I could always see coming, but never thought it would happen.
For example, everything that Apple has hyped to release in the past has actually been amazing.
The iphone, ipod, ipod touch: all are fascinating products with great usability  and functions that benefit the user.

What exactly does the iPad do that an ipod touch does not? Honestly, the ipod touch seems to be more diverse than the iPad and easier to handle, manipulate and carry around.

Sure, the iPad is able to recieve a 3G signal to access mobile wireless networks on the go, but just like it’s older brother the iphone, AT&T is the giant behind fueling the fire. Therefore, if a buyer who desires the 3G capabilities of the iPad is a Verizon wireless subscriber and has Time Warner Cable for their home Internet use, they now have to register with AT&T to use their iPad on the go, when they could buy a small HP webbook from Verizon with essentially the same features and MORE for less money and less hassle!

I love Apple, I’ve been a customer for over 12 years, but when a company who prides itself on being cool by not acknowledging that is infact cool starts playing off of its image to sell ridiculous products, the brand in the eyes of many can become more of a joke than anything.

The Generation of Generativism.

It seems that Zittrain’s fears of a non generative future may be the direction that the Internet is heading.

What can we do about this?

Major companies such as Time Warner, and DIRECTV are going to swallow smaller companies whole who can offer a more non-lethal and intrusive approach to these “walled gardens” that Zittrain describes. Realistically, in this day in age, there is absolutely no way that we can stop the frightening evolution of these  “tethered, sterile appliances”  without removing these devices from our lives.
Zittrain’s paranoia is both well thought out and well documented and I agree with most everything he has to say, however I do believe that as long as the FCC is instituted there will be some sort of censorship or over powering nature looming in the background.

But as we move forward with technology become more and more ubiquitous, we see a necessity for more generative technology.

In my opinion however, the more generative the technology the more clunk it becomes. Sure, more generativity leads to a happier, more well rounded and pleased customer, maybe operating with a false sense of freedom, however imagine downloading every app to an iPhone, there is no way the tecnology could run properly full time.

In order for generativity to work flawlessly and for these non generative devices, ran by giant corporations who are just waiting to crush and spy on us to fail, technology must catch up. We also need to do something as a cyber community. Unfortunately the more these non generative appliances enter our lives the more comfortable society becomes with them and the less motivated we become to do something about it.

Unfortunately, I believe that we will be awakened when something terrible happens, when we actually see our rights being taken away and our privacy being threatened.

The Magic??

It seems as though in 2003 the magic was the only way to manipulate the masses. the Magic was truly not knowing what the hell was going on until the results were in on various marketing and advertising endeavors Pretty much, the magic was a nice word for probability. The magic is something that conventional journalists and media analysts, similar to Mc.Cheseny and company stick to and use as some sort of childish mantra. They need to realize that traditional media is dying, and it’s not because of the people’s disinterest, it’s because of the way the advertising and marketing aspects involved within these traditional medias are operating!

In an age where McCheseny is crying about the state of traditional media and its demise, Google is hiring 159 employees a month and blasting their profits from 3.2 to 16.6 billion dollars in 4 years! 4 years! with more employees! No wonder Google is recieving 1 million job applications a year, there seems to be a possibility of receiving a job and actually make a difference.

My best friend Brandon works in Chicago for a major corporation that sells ad space for different articles published in the Chicago Tribune. The advertisements sold are in direct correlation with the contents of the article at hand. TARGET AUDIENCE!!!!! From what I’ve heard based on repeat customers and accounts for Brandon’s business this seems to be working extremely effectively, something that Google does extremely well.

Another element of Google’s practices that impressed me was their involvment with testing, as well as  eficieny vs. experience.

The bottom line is that Google is not affriad to do things differently and it is paying off. People like McChesney need to realize that it’s not too late to break it all down to build it back up.

It says a lot  when it’s working for Google and  their revenue is that of all 5 major networks combined.

target audience. fair price,efficiency vs experience, facts, testing, logic. Lets take these to the next level with traditional media.


Unlike McChesney, I’m not a journalist, nor do I have a passion for journalism. Growing up, I gathered by news from cable news networks like CNN, and as I became more involved in politics, I bounced back and forth between rival broadcast and cable news networks like MSNBC and FOX, in order to ‘know my enemy’, per say.

At the same time, I also grew up not trusting the media and my news sources, in turn, deriving what I deamed was believable from various sources.

McChesney stated something that struck a nerve with me in Chapter 16 and I discussed it a bit on the boards:

He says that one appeal of new communication technologies is that it can solve social problems, but in his opinion it cannot, and “only humans acting consciously, can address and resolve problems like poverty, environmental degradation, racism, sexism and militarism.

This is where I think McChesney falls short. His seemingly negative attitude towards the future, (most likely based on all of his points on the demise of print journalism that he constantly touches on in various ways), seems to cloud his message.

If McChesney chose to recognize the Internet as more than just a fragile means for businesses to pillage, he could realize that we are becoming ubiquitously connected with these ‘new communication technologies’. These are the technologies that 84 percent of Americans are turning to for information. The world itself is changing, we as human beings are changing. By taking action through these technologies we are in turn resolving problems.

Ofcourse I understand that we aren’t doing this in a hands on, beat catch fashion, instead we’re doing it in an adaptive way, a way that will not only define journalism and activism, but will define us as information consumers.


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