Sep 01 2005

Inclusion vs. Exclusion at PBS

Editor's Note

Editor’s NoteThe 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 […]

Sep 01 2005

Strings Attached

Telecom industry’s spin machine casts net over community broadband

Telecom industry’s spin machine casts net over community broadbandOver 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 […]

Sep 01 2005

Media to City: Play Ball

Making New York safe from democracy

Making New York safe from democracyOn 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; […]