Wednesday, February 27, 2008


On February 28, I will be talking about Viacom and one of its purposes for merging with CBS. I will give a brief synopsis of Clear Channel and its history and then compare how unlike Clear Channel, Viacom is looking to achieve vertical integration. I will give examples of the companies owned by Viacom and how they inorporate music into their business proceedings which in a sense places radio on the internet but mainly on television. By doing so, I hope to show how diverse Viacom is in capturing the attention of its different audiences.

Evolution of Satellite and HD Radio

On Thursday February 28 I will discuss the advancements in radio technology, specifically satellite and high definition radio. We have all heard of XM and Sirius Radio, some of us might even be subscribers to their services. The recent merger of the two companies has brought about controversy and is still under investigation by our government, but consumers are still receiving satellite radio nonetheless. The services they provide is quite appealing with exclusive radio shows/series and over 100 channels no doubt. More recently a new type of broadcasting has been introduced to radio listeners, High Definition Radio more commonly known as HD Radio. Many AM/FM stations are now offering and providing HD Radio service in addition to their normal broadcasting. We are beginning to see stations with 1 frequency carrying 2 and sometimes even 3 channels all with different formats, labeled HD1, HD2, etc. Another newer radio technology implemented by radio station broadcasters is internet streaming audio, known as webcasting. This allows the listener to tune in to their favorite radio station via internet using windows media player and other sources. I will cover how these new technologies work, the benefits of each, and what they mean for you the consumer and listener.

Monday, February 25, 2008

FCC Regulation of the Radio

On February 28th, I will be giving a presentation on the ownership of the airwaves, FCC regulations, and how these regulations influence the public; which relates to Ch. 6-Radio of Media Now. First I will discuss the FCC as a regulatory agency and its definitions of obscene and indecent content. I will also examine the FCC's rules about ownership, touching on concentration of ownership, cross-ownership, and group owners; with a focus on Clear Channel- the leading group owner in the United States. To get a closer look at indecency as a broadcasting issue, we will look at the individual cases of Janet Jackson, Howard Stern, Todd Clem, and George Carlin. Through these cases I will touch on regulation violations and responsible broadcasting, which includes broadcast delay, tighter regulations, and safe harbor hours. For more information on the FCC please visit their website at

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Political Blogging

On Thursday February 21 I will be talking about, blogs on how far the have come in the past decade and the way that politicians use them to get their point of views out to another audience. In the 2004 election Bush and Kerry was the first election to use blogs in their campaign. Their blogs talked about about their campaign scheledule where they would be, and how you could have fundraiser for them. They where their so they could get as much support as they could, and it was a cheaper way for them to get their ideas across to people. Another way that blogs effect politicians, was when Senator Lott made a racist comment people created blogs trying to get fired or to resign from the senate. They also got Dan Rather in trouble when he made the comments about George Bush evaded the draft.

Monday, February 18, 2008

H.R. 1955

On Thursday I will make a presentation 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 will show the class some of the history leading up to the bill and how the bill not only affects us but where we will see change in the communication realm.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Free Market and Public Interest

On February 7 I will be giving a presentation on media law and policy, specifically about how it relates to neoclassical economics. I will examine the 1996 Telecommunications Act and how it redefined public interest as "competition", and then give reasons why deregulation might not be in the public interest with regards to the media industry.
In order to provide context, I will first look at the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was intended to be a pro-competitive act. I will then talk about the idea of market failures and what causes them: market power [AT&T as a natural monopoly], externalities, and common and public goods, and how each type of market failure can happen in the media industry and provide economic reasons for government intervention. I will examine whether the current regulatory scheme under the '96 TCA even resembles the free market to begin with, and finally examine social justifications for placing restrictions upon the free market in this case.

An illustration of how an AT&T monopoly has reformed in spite of the deregulation efforts of the 1996 Telecommunications Act:

Media Law and Policy: Case Study on P2P File Sharing

On February 7, I will be presenting to the class my case study focusing on P2P file sharing technology. First I will look at what exactly constitutes file sharing, and why it is so controversial for many people. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) claims that file sharing is stealing, so we will look at their arguments for that logic, as well as discuss as a class whether or not we believe this to be valid. P2P file sharing relates to this weeks theme in chapter 14 of Media Law and Policy because this relatively new technology is bringing about some very relevant changes in laws and policies which could ultimately affect the way people use the internet.
To fully understand the effect the P2P technology is having we will first look at previous decisions rendered by the Supreme Court such as the Betamax decision of 1984, as well as the more recent Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. We will then look closely at new decisions and policies brought about for the sole purpose of keeping up with P2P technology by examining the case the RIAA brought against Napster in 1999, and also the MGM vs. Grokster case which has been called the most important case for intellectual property of our time.
Finally, we will look at how the RIAA is attempting to stop people from participating in file sharing. College students are considered by the RIAA to be the most avid “pirates” of media so I will focus specifically on the measures they are taking to stop file sharing on University campuses all across America. It is my hope that my presentation will make people aware of the legislation that has arisen to target “media pirates”, especially college students, and in turn more clearly show how laws and policies really do affect the media that we interact with on a daily basis.
The anti-piracy ad I have included was released by the Motion Picture Association of America, however both the MPAA and the RIAA take the same stance, that file sharing is stealing, so I feel it is an appropriate visual aid.