This past Thursday I presented a case study to the class on a recently passed terrorism bill. The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act, also known as H.R. 1955, was passed in 2007 to protect the United States from terrorism that is from within the States. Some social groups see the bill as one that violates the First Amendment. The Act uses broad terms that allow it to encompass nearly all social groups that could be considered to be extreme. I presented this history leading up to the bill and how the bill not only affects us but where we may see changes in the media law and policy in the future because of this act.
I was really surprised that no one in the class had heard of H.R. 1955. The only people who had heard of it were Dr. Campbell and myself. I pretty much rounded out the last few minutes of class which didn't leave much time for discussion. I would have been interested to find out what other student’s thoughts on the act were and whether it was in violation of the First Amendment. However, through doing my research I was struck by how the policy decision made by the government, but not directed at mass media could have an effect both on the mass media industry and on media consumers. It was interesting how the other case studies present on the same day also dealt with a variety of issues related to personal of freedom such as privacy and debates over public interest. I think we often don’t realize how media new technologies not only offer individuals benefits but can also have social consequences. In response to the question “Who controls or monitors the media?” I would have to say that it is not only the government but the consumers or public because we can choose have a say in the laws that are passed. However, most of the time we are not aware of what is going on how some laws can impact our choices and the media environment around us.