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Mass Media and the New Media Technologies

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Mass Media and the New Media Technologies

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  1. Mass Media and the New Media Technologies Devereux, Ch. 3

  2. New Media and New Media Technologies • New media • Evolved in the last 15 years • Deliver content to audiences • Examples: digital TV, satellite radio, online newspapers/books, podcasts, blogs. . . . • New media technologies • “have a direct bearing on the generation, location and consumption of” content • Examples: computers, cell phones, ipods, internet

  3. Producers • Badikian’s “Big Five” • 1983: heads of 50 top media corporations could fit in a hotel ballroom • 2003: 5 men own the top media corporations and could fit in a phone booth • All have internet associations • Individual producers • Bloggers (and their feedback) may present an alternative to mainstream ideas

  4. Content • From linear (textual, visual, aural) to non-linear (“hop around”) • Users can select content and choose links which are related • Users can choose topics (perhaps ONLY politics, or sports or celebrity gossip) • Narrow-casting

  5. Audience • Research suggests the audience use is more about entertainment, less about information and views on critical issues

  6. Critical Issues • There is a lessening of public knowledge and a shrinking of the public sphere because of selectivity • Major corporations control news and information on the internet • Privacy is threatened • Net neutrality

  7. Net Neutrality (continued) • Some producers want to privilege certain information: “The essential outcome of this would be total dominance of the internet by those who can afford to pay the most to have ‘their’ packages out there” • There is a possibility of a multi-tier internet • Producers with $ control content • Consumers with $ have privileged access • Marginal voices would not be heard and democratic debate would be diminished

  8. Ways of Accessing the Internet • Dial-up • Telephone: a “telecommunications service”/“common carrier” • Equal access • Marketplace • Regulated • No discrimination with respect to • Information content • Products • Services

  9. Accessing the Internet • Cable broadband • A telecommunications service? • Regulated as a common carrier • Or, an information service? • Not regulated

  10. The Supreme Court Decides • National Cable & Telecommunications Association v. Brand X Internet Services (2005) • Chevron analysis: deference is given to agency construction of statutes • If the statute is within the agency’s jurisdiction • Is ambiguous • The agency construction of the statute is “reasonable,” even if it is not the interpretation a federal court thinks is the better or best one

  11. The FCC Interpretation • Cable is an information service, not a telecommunications service • The “public interest” standard does not apply • It would be inadvisable to consider it otherwise “given the ‘fast moving, competitive market’”

  12. Proposed Regulations: Dec. 2010 • The FCC has proposed regulations for net neutrality (“semi-neutrality”) • Internet service providers are banned from “any ‘unreasonable discrimination’ of Web sites or application by fixed-line broadband providers”--computers

  13. Proposed . . . • Wireless providers may use “paid prioritization.” • Faster transmission of data (for $$) • Ability to block various apps and services, but not “basic Web sites or any apps that compete with their own voice and video products”

  14. More Concentration of Ownership for Cellphone Service • “AT&T to Buy T-Mobile” • Requires approval by Dept. of Justice and the FCC • Serious reduction of competition • Would reduce the number of major cellular companies in the U.S. to three (a ‘horizontal’ merger) • AT&T • Verizon • Sprint Nextel

  15. What is Really Happening • Charge for delivery model • Pay to speak • Pay to view

  16. Charge for Delivery Model • The push for a two-tier system by phone and cable companies • Fast lane • For a fee, web sites can bump up their data to a fast lane • E.g. Amazon, eBay, Google • Slow lane • No limit to what they can charge • Slow lane could be made really slow

  17. Pay to Speak • AOL has announced a plan “to charge high-volume senders of e-mail fees for guaranteed premium delivery of messages” • Those who do not pay (charities, small businesses, . . . will be disadvantaged) • Public interest groups are fighting this move

  18. Pay to View: Publishers • Publishers are studying a plan for internet fees • Hearst, New York Times, Time, Inc. • Some publishers of financial news already charge for online content • Wall Street Journal • Financial Times • New York Times (as of Mar. 28, 2011) • Associated Press • Police use of AP articles linked to websites • Attempt to force these sites to share ad revenues

  19. Pay to View: Cable • Time-Warner is testing a subscriber only model • E.g. only HBO subscribers can download HBO programs • AT&T, Comcast, DirecTV, and Verizon are studying the subscriber only

  20. Some Problems • Fragmented audience • Entertaining themselves • No opportunity for dialogue about important issues

  21. Some Consequences • Corporate/Big Money control • Public interest voices can’t afford • Two classes of internet consumers • All consumers pay more for internet services • Citizens spent on average 32.79 a month for home internet connections (a 56.4% increase since 2000) • Services are packaged to include features that customers don’t want and don’t use, but there is rarely a choice

  22. Censorship and New Media Technologies • Filter web content at the national level • Arrest and prosecute cyber-dissidents • Monitor cyber-cafes • Require registration of web sites • Use web-filtering software

  23. Possible Effects of Dependence on New Media Technologies • “Addicted to Technology” • “Growing up Digital” • “Cell phones and Brains” • “End of Forgetting” • “Classroom of the Future”