Wednesday, April 28, 2004

The Right Place for That Group

Thanks to blogger and news producer Peggy Phillip for pointing me to this story, from the National Association of Broadcasters' convention just concluded in Las Vegas. The author asks a series of questions, none of which have appetising answers:
By equating the “public interest” to “broadcasting,” Fritts appeared to saying that the continued generosity of the American people, in times of disaster and otherwise, somehow hinges on keeping competing information-delivery systems out of the broadcasters’ henhouses. The NAB chairman did not offer his opinion on the role played by highly restrictive radio playlists, insipid reporting and the hiring of helmet-hair nitwits to read the news, in driving consumers to cable, satellite and Internet services. Or, why consumers willingly pay a monthly subscription fee for something they’ve been getting for free for decades.

In the name of “public interest,” Fritts asked the FCC to keep the XM and Sirius satellite-radio services out of the business of delivering local weather and traffic reports to subscribers; force cable providers to carry all of the digital streams offered by local TV stations, even if those streams are sold to telemarketers and data-stream services, and not used for HDTV or community-interest content, as intended; and maintain a local broadcaster’s lock on local coverage, even if it is garbage (“leading-edge localism is how broadcasting will keep our advantage over the flashy and the fleeting …”).
Go. It's a short read.

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