U.S. Media’s ‘Connection’ to Honduras Coup

Foreign Policy In Focus analyst Conn Hallinan (8/6/09) has yet another debunking of “the story most U.S. readers are getting about the coup” in Honduras, being “that Zelaya–an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez–was deposed because he tried to change the constitution to keep himself in power.” Calling this dominant media narrative “a massive distortion of the facts,” Hallinan patiently explains that “all Zelaya was trying to do is to put a non-binding referendum on the ballot calling for a constitutional convention”–which, Hallinan notes, was “a move that trade unions, indigenous groups and social activist organizations had long been lobbying […]


‘Net in Your Pocket’ Yields to AT&T’s ‘Digital Impasse’

Admitting “the temptation to join the growing legions of iPhone admirers is strong,” independent reporter Megan Tady (In These Times, 7/2/09) is discussing “what’s stopping me from signing up.” Her own personal decision is based on the fact that “purchasing an iPhone means I have to become an AT&T subscriber. The company has an exclusive deal with Apple to provide wireless service to iPhoners”–which means, among other things, that Tady would be “backed into a corner. If I don’t like AT&T, or it’s not available in my area, I’m facing a digital impasse: no service, no phone”: This is unfortunate, […]


On AT&T’s ‘Arbitrary Intervention in the Open Internet’

Keeping up with corporate attempts to abuse new media technology, the activists at Free Press (6/18/09) have a new campaign pointing out exactly what’s wrong with the fact that “AT&T is allowing Major League Baseball to stream video live to the iPhone on the carrier’s 3G network, but is prohibiting other companies like SlingPlayer Mobile from doing the same”: Last month, AT&T admitted to restricting the SlingPlayer Mobile iPhone application from streaming live on its 3G network, claiming the service would cause congestion. But now, the New York Times reports that Major League Baseball’s live stream “will play regardless of […]


New Medium, Old Story: Telecom Greed

Senator John Kerry’s post to the blog (6/16/09) looks at the fact that “nine of the most popular 10 phones are locked in a deal with one of these big wireless carriers,” and how this corporatization limits the new medium: Here’s the issue I think we need to wrestle with: Wireless service providers are largely deciding what phone you can use. We don’t see that happening in similar markets. Your broadband provider doesn’t decide what kind of computer you can connect to at the end of your DSL or cable wire. And 40 years ago, the FCC ruled in […]


Tell the FCC to Keep Public Access Accessible

Today’s Democracy Now! (3/9/09) features Amy Goodman reporting that “a House Appropriations subcommittee has… asked the FCC to look into the allegations” of media activists across the country: Community media groups are accusing the telecom giant AT&T of discriminating against local public access channels across the nation, and the deadline for public comment is midnight tonight. The dispute centers around how AT&T delivers public television stations to customers. Instead of putting the stations on individual channels, AT&T has bundled community stations onto a generic channel that can only be navigated through a complex and lengthy process. Public television advocates say […]