What Is the Future of Media in the Digital Age?

How many journalists are out of work? How many newspapers are out of business? Those are a couple of questions to have been considered quite some time in the past. Let’s avoid fretting though.

Now the United States Federal Communications Commission takes up those questions and well over 40 other queries involving the future of media in the digital age. The FCC document describes the commission “as the nation’s expert agency involved in media and communications policies.” So the federal government has begun an examination of media’s future and information needs of American citizens.

Here’s how the agency’s news release on their effort reads:

“This initiative will examine the changes underway in the media marketplace, analyze the full range of future technologies and services that will provide communities with news and information in the digital age, and, as appropriate, make policy recommendations to the FCC, other government entities, and other parties.”

Take a look at the Public Notice and do plan to comment.

FCC Future Media Public Doc

First bit of advice for the FCC, ask one question at a time. Too many questions under one point confuses your audience. Please make it easier for citizens to comment. In my opinion a website is insufficient to accommodate such an enormous undertaking and the current deadline is too soon.

The comment period, with a deadline of March 8th, indicates more bureaucracy and less concern for the decline of informed citizens.

I argue the FCC ignited the decline 30-years ago with the first round of deregulation of traditional media. Still in federal appeals court is the commission’s plan to relax cross ownership of newspapers and television stations.

Despite my cynicism regarding the commission and its potential to really affect change, we all should comment on the questions in the commission’s public notice. We should let the FCC know, in comment either online or by mail, exactly what we desire for the country’s information needs. Take advantage of this opportunity the commission offers.  How to comment is explained at the end of the public notice.

Next Broadcast Newsroom Computing examines the rise of metadata in news gathering.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

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