Sep
01
2005

Inclusion vs. Exclusion at PBS

Editor's Note

The issue’s cover story on public broadcasting and CPB points out a fundamental irony: While the right perennially attacks public television and the left traditionally defends it, PBS has over the years done a great deal to placate conservatives while generally giving progressives short shrift. One could observe that this is simply a case of the squeaky wheels getting the grease. But why do the wheels on the right-hand side squeak so much more? In large part, it’s a matter of how conservatives and progressives view media, and the concept of speech itself. In general—though exceptions have always abounded on […]

Sep
01
2005

Strings Attached

Telecom industry’s spin machine casts net over community broadband

Over the past few years, the war over the Digital Divide has spread to a new technological turf: “broadband” Internet access. Broadband allows for much faster and more efficient data transmission than traditional dial-up modems. The catch: The telecommunications companies that offer broadband don’t necessarily offer it to all customers, and for those who can order broadband, it comes with a substantial price increase over dial-up. In response, public and non-profit entities are challenging the telecom industry with homegrown broadband-access schemes offering free or low-cost connections to homes, businesses and institutions. As the United States continues to fall behind other […]

Sep
01
2005

Media to City: Play Ball

Making New York safe from democracy

On June 6, a years-long civic battle over plans to build a combined NFL/Olympic stadium atop publicly owned rail yards on Manhattan’s West Side ended with a thud. After a hard-fought lobbying campaign that saw more than $42 million spent on both sides (Newsday, 6/16/05), New York state assembly speaker Sheldon Silver used his power as a member of the state’s little-known Public Authorities Control Board to veto bonding for the plan, effectively killing it for good. By all accounts, Silver’s decision was a popular one. Numerous polls over the years (New York Times, 2/20/05; Newsday, 1/20/05; AP, 7/21/04) had […]