Friday, May 18, 2012

The Police, the iPhone and Your Right to Record

World Press Freedom Day came and went earlier this month. While it’s important to take a day to recognize our right to speak and share information, threats to our First Amendment freedoms happen all the time, everywhere.

It’s a threat that will become very real on the streets of Chicago this weekend, as a new breed of journalists and onlookers attempt to cover the protests surrounding the NATO summit.

Just ask Carlos Miller. The photojournalist has been arrested three times. His “crime?” Photographing the police. Most recently, in January, Miller was filming the eviction of Occupy Wall Street activists from a park in downtown Miami.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Super PACs Tell Lies, but the Media Spread Them

If you think presidential politics have gotten ugly, just wait.

With wealthy corporations and individuals spending billions of dollars to influence your vote, the real dirt is about to hit your TV screen like mud on a linen bed sheet.

According to the New York Times, which got its hands on a conservative proposal from a shadowy Super PAC, wealthy Republican strategists are working overtime on a billionaire-fueled campaign to flood the airwaves with race-laced attacks against President Obama:
The plan, which is awaiting approval, calls for running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons made him a highly charged figure in the 2008 campaign.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Who's Afraid of Rupert Murdoch?

The answer: the Federal Communications Commission and Congress.

While the media mogul was called before Parliament and hammered by regulators in the United Kingdom, few in the halls of U.S. power are willing to call News Corp. to account for the “culture of corruption” that has spread through its media empire.

Late Wednesday, Sen. Frank Lautenberg asked FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski whether U.K. findings of News Corp.’s “rampant law breaking” meant the FCC would revoke any of the 27 broadcast licenses granted to Murdoch’s company in the U.S.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

How Will the Murdoch Implosion Be Felt in the U.S.?

A scathing report in Britain that Rupert Murdoch and other News Corp. executives engaged in a cover-up of "rampant law breaking" may have ramifications for the media mogul in the United States.

How far-reaching those consequences are depends on U.S. politicians' willingness to face down one of the most powerful media figures of our generation.

But chinks in Murdoch's armor have deepened since last week, when a U.K. government investigation found that News Corp. executives hacked private phone messages, bribed government officials and then sought to conceal this wrongdoing, in part by giving misleading testimony to British law enforcement and Parliament.