Open Media = Better Democracy

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Rutgers March 2011 Lecture

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Open Media = Better Democracy

  1. 1. OPEN MEDIA = BETTER DEMOCRACY Timothy Karr Free Press SavetheInternet.com Twitter: @TimKarr
  2. 2. 1. VISION: It’s the Internet, Stupid 2. CRITICAL JUNCTURE: Open vs Closed 3. WHAT’S NEXT: Advocacy
  3. 3. THE VISION: Communications technologies are central to almost every major political issue facing our democracy. <ul><li>healthcare </li></ul><ul><li>voter rights and participation </li></ul><ul><li>election finance reform </li></ul><ul><li>unemployment </li></ul>It’s the Internet, Stupid
  4. 4. THE VISION: It’s the Internet, Stupid But communications technologies are undergoing a seismic shift. <ul><li>newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>music & movies </li></ul>All these media are converging online. <ul><li>television & radio </li></ul><ul><li>telephones </li></ul>
  5. 5. THE VISION: It’s the Internet, Stupid Profound Democracy It’s a a seismic shift that is having a Effect on our
  6. 6. THE VISION: It’s the Internet, Stupid This transformation is being powered by a tool that gives users more control over information than at any other time in history.
  7. 7. THE VISION: It’s the Internet, Stupid Pew, 2010: “ Just 42% of Americans say they consider the television set to be a necessity… In 2009, this figure was 52%. In 2006, it was 64%.” “ Seven-in-ten adult internet users (69%) have used the internet to watch or download video.”  &
  8. 8. THE VISION: It’s the Mobile Internet, Stupid Pew, 2010: 40% of adult Americans use their mobile phones to access the internet, or send email or instant messages (up from the 32% who did this in 2009).  Cell phone ownership is higher among African-Americans and Latinos than among whites (87% vs. 80%).  &
  9. 9. THE VISION: It’s the Internet, Stupid The emergence of this open channel presents an immense challenge to traditional media. And it presents an immense opportunity to make democracy work better for everyone.
  10. 10. THE VISION: It’s the Internet, Stupid Open media = Better democracy
  11. 11. THE VISION: It’s the Internet, Stupid Protecting open media is an issue that should transcend politics to include anyone who seeks to build a healthier democracy … but …
  12. 12. THE VISION: It’s the Internet, Stupid The debate over the Internet should not fall along an axis of Left vs Right Open vs Closed But of
  13. 13. 3. WHAT’S NEXT: Advocacy 1. VISION: It’s the Internet, Stupid 2. CRITICAL JUNCTURE: Open v Closed
  14. 14. CRITICAL JUNCTURE: A juncture of technology & politics Where mainstream media are replaced by participatory content
  15. 15. CRITICAL JUNCTURE: participatory politics A juncture of technology & politics Where top-down leadership is replaced by
  16. 16. CRITICAL JUNCTURE: A collision of opposing cultures Mass Media Social Media VS
  17. 17. CRITICAL JUNCTURE: A collision of opposing cultures Mass Media Newspapers Radio Television Motion Pictures Social Media Facebook & Twitter Smart Phones Video Games Blogs VS
  18. 18. CRITICAL JUNCTURE: A collision of opposing cultures Mass Media One-directional Gatekeeper Centralized Closed Social Media Multi-directional Neutral Decentralized Open Culture Culture VS
  19. 19. CRITICAL JUNCTURE: Social Media <ul><li>inform & empower all </li></ul><ul><li>enhance democratic participation </li></ul><ul><li>amplify alternative voices </li></ul><ul><li>spread free speech </li></ul>Values
  20. 20. CRITICAL JUNCTURE: Policies we make to protect the Internet will determine whether the future of our media is open or closed ; whether the future of our democracy is healthy or weak. Since the beginning of the mass media era, policies have determined the structure of the media system. In the era of social media , making the right policies is even more critical.
  21. 21. 2. CRITICAL JUNCTURE: Open vs Closed 1. VISION: It’s the Internet, Stupid 3. WHAT’S NEXT: The Advocacy role
  22. 22. WHAT’S NEXT: To help ensure that everyone can play an active role in our democracy, our nation must build an Internet guided by these principles: <ul><li>Access </li></ul><ul><li>Openness </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Choice </li></ul>Organize Around Principles
  23. 23. WHAT’S NEXT: Organize Around Principles
  24. 24. WHAT’S NEXT: Organize Around Principles
  25. 25. WHAT’S NEXT: Organize Around Principles
  26. 26. WHAT’S NEXT: Organize Around Principles
  27. 27. WHAT’S NEXT: … win legal protections for an open and neutral Internet. … make Internet access affordable to everyone. … foster innovation on the Web’s level playing field. … gain more choices for users by opening the airwaves. … extend this new digital power to every American. We will Turn Principles into Goals
  28. 28. WHAT’S NEXT: A battle report on Openness President Obama publicly called for Net Neutrality protections on at least seven occasions, saying, “I take a back seat to no one in my commitment to Net Neutrality.”
  29. 29. WHAT’S NEXT: A battle report on Openness more than two million Americans have petitioned Washington to demand that our leaders protect the open Internet from blocking and discrimination by corporations.
  30. 30. WHAT’S NEXT: A battle report on Openness Late last year, a Democratic FCC passed an order that put in place weak rules to protect Net Neutrality. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski crafted a compromise that no one seems happy with.
  31. 31. WHAT’S NEXT: A battle report on Openness But new Republican leadership in the House has decided that the FCC action, weak though it may be, &quot; went too far.&quot; House Speaker John Boehner pledged to use the full powers at his disposal &quot;to fight [this] government takeover of the Internet.&quot; A vote in the House is planned for later this week.
  32. 32. WHAT’S NEXT: A battle report on Openness We’re Stuck… for Now The Senate is more likely to support the FCC rule leaving Congress in a political stalemate. Meanwhile, major ISPs are exploring new ways to limit your access to all things online.
  33. 33. WHAT’S NEXT: How important is an open Internet to the ways that you communicate every day? How would losing control over your ability to connect with anyone affect you? Is this issue important enough for you to join the open Internet movement?
  34. 34. OPEN MEDIA = BETTER DEMOCRACY Timothy Karr Free Press SavetheInternet.com Twitter: @TimKarr

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