The FCC And The Future Of The Media

According to a report on the Wall Street Journal’s online edition, the Federal Communications Commission is launching an investigation into the “Future of the Media.” The FCC has released an 11 page “request for information” as part of initiative. The FCC is concerned that the economic woes that have plagued the industry “could have dire consequences for our democracy and the health of communities, hindering citizens’ ability to hole their leaders and institutions accountable.” The FCC statement, however, also notes that the current environment presents significant opportunity noting that the “digital age is creating an exciting variety of new sources, business models and delivery methods for news and information.” The FCC sets out 42 questions that cover the entire media landscape, print, broadcast, internet, mobile, etc. Question 10 is interesting. It asks “In general, how should FCC policies change to better consider the information needs of communities in the digital era?” Given the traditional limits on the FCC’s jurisdiction – it primarily deals with broadcast TV and radio – you have to wonder if the FCC is considering how to expand its reach. Imagine how the folks who oppose big government will feel about that prospect!