• Making Mistakes

    Sometimes when we follow recipes too closely, too often, we forget the value of making mistakes. Erica and I just finished a great batch of pickled beets. The twelve jars line the edge of our counter, their rich purply-red seeming to almost glow like the last seam of sunset, trailing over the horizon. Seeing theContinue… Read more

  • A few weeks ago Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) uncovered that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin was rushing forward with a secret plan to gut media ownership rules. Since then, Chairman Martin has ignored repeated requests and warnings from senators on both sides of the aisle calling on him to slow down, address the dismal state ofContinue… Read more

  • It was an inspiring sight. Outside Federal Communications Commission headquarters more than a hundred and fifty people were chanting for better media. Inside, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin squirmed every time the room erupted around calls to stop consolidation. It was Halloween at the FCC – and the trick was definitely on them. Read more

  • When news of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s plan to push through sweeping changes in media ownership rules broke on Capitol Hill, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) predicted that there would be “a firestorm of protest,” and promised that he “would be carrying the wood.” He has not had to carry the wood alone, however. A numberContinue… Read more

  • Too often, in the reporting of any big event, the tendency is to equate success with numbers. How many people attended? How many hours did they stay? How many speeches did they give? For the Chicago FCC hearing on media ownership on Sept. 20, such numbers tell a powerful story about the ways in whichContinue… Read more

  • Late last week the Rainbow Push Coalition hosted a sold-out media and telecommunications symposium in Washington DC. The event brought together federal policymakers, media industry leaders, issue activists, academics and consumers to assess the future of American media. With a focus on the areas of broadband deployment, minority ownership, public broadcasting, and the representation ofContinue… Read more

  • In a report released yesterday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that the FCC consistently leaks vital information to corporate lobbyists and Big Media stakeholders, giving them a leg up on sensitive votes and rules. Industry representatives admitted to the GAO that they had been given key confidential information before critical votes. In contrast, theContinue… Read more

  • Pumpkin Harvest

    The farm was quiet at nine-thirty on this Saturday morning in late September. Sun crept in through the open barn doors like the tide coming in. Inside, the air was still cool and moist from the night before. The wood of the barn, just built the season before, was still yellow as though freshly cutContinue… Read more

  • Local and independent broadcasters around Chicago are speaking up as the date of the fifth FCC hearing on media ownership draws near. The Sept. 20 public hearing will be an important chance for local media outlets to raise their voice about the vital role they play in their communities. They are eager to highlight theContinue… Read more

  • Last month, the Media Management Center at Northwestern University published an in-depth study of Chicago’s local TV news experience. While designed to help station managers build their audience, the report offers some important insight on how well the big five TV stations are serving the public. Click here to learn more about the study WithContinue… Read more