The Clash of Media


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A crash-scene investigation at the crossroads between old media and new.

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  • The Clash of Media

    1. 1. New Media Uprising … and why policy matters Timothy Karr Free Press Feb. 16, 2009
    2. 2. The clash of media VS. Mass Media Social Media
    3. 3. What is “mass media?” <ul><li>Newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>Radio </li></ul><ul><li>Television </li></ul><ul><li>Mass media culture </li></ul><ul><li>One directional </li></ul><ul><li>Gatekeeper controlled </li></ul><ul><li>Centralized </li></ul><ul><li>Coined in the 1920s to describe media targeted at a mass audience. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Why “mass media” matter <ul><li>Shape our understanding of ourselves in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Help us make informed decisions in a democracy. </li></ul><ul><li>Empower us to hold leaders accountable. </li></ul>
    5. 5. What is “social media?” <ul><li>Social Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Cell Phones </li></ul><ul><li>Video Games </li></ul><ul><li>Social media culture </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-directional </li></ul><ul><li>Open and neutral </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Decentralized </li></ul><ul><li>In the 21st Century the “masses” have gained more control over their “media.” </li></ul>
    6. 6. Why “social media” matter more <ul><li>Empower us to hold leaders accountable … </li></ul><ul><li>Shape our understanding of ourselves in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Help us make informed decisions in a democracy. </li></ul>and to lead ourselves.
    7. 7. A shift of cultures <ul><li>In December 2008 alone more than one billion people used the Internet. </li></ul><ul><li>As of February 2009 there are four billion mobile phone connections worldwide. </li></ul><ul><li>This month Facebook counted more than 175 million “active users.” </li></ul><ul><li>This month YouTube/Google expects more than 100 million viewers. </li></ul><ul><li>The rise of “social media” </li></ul><ul><li>Legacy radio, television and newspaper companies are in crisis. </li></ul><ul><li>13 million people got involved with Obama campaign via online social networks. </li></ul><ul><li>The collapse of “mass media” </li></ul>
    8. 8. The shift is generational <ul><li>aged 43 - 61: </li></ul>19 hours <ul><li>aged 26 - 42: </li></ul>15 hours <ul><li>aged 14 - 25: </li></ul><ul><li>In “State of Media 2009” Deloitte counted the average number of hours of television watched per week by Americans: </li></ul>11 hours
    9. 9. The new media uprising <ul><li>Critical juncture. </li></ul><ul><li>Juncture of technology and politics. </li></ul><ul><li>The era of top-down politics is giving way to an era of personal, participatory politics. </li></ul><ul><li>The era of “mass media” is giving way to an era of personal, participatory media. </li></ul>
    10. 10. The new media uprising <ul><li>We no longer passively consume media. </li></ul><ul><li>We actively participate in them. </li></ul><ul><li>Often means creating our content, in whatever form >> What Zittrain calls “generativity” </li></ul>As the power over the media shifts, media policy must change, too . <ul><li>Inform and empower all members of society. </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance democratic values. </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize alternative voices to mainstream media. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Social media” values: </li></ul><ul><li>We are “social media:” </li></ul>
    11. 11. Wait … media policy? <ul><li>Congress </li></ul><ul><li>Since the beginning of the “mass media” era, policies have determined the structure of our media system. </li></ul><ul><li>In the era of “social media” making the right policies is even more critical. </li></ul>… People like you and me . <ul><li>The challenge now is to make policies that benefit new social media makers ... </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Communications Commission </li></ul>
    12. 12. The media policy problem: radio <ul><li>It was cheap and easy to build. </li></ul><ul><li>Once companies began to profit from radio, they pushed for policies to change the way radio would function. </li></ul><ul><li>People like you and me could gain access to it and air messages to one another. </li></ul><ul><li>Government dolled out spectrum so only a few could get access to the airwaves. </li></ul><ul><li>Mid 1930s: NBC and CBS responsible for 97% of prime time broadcasting. </li></ul><ul><li>1996 Telecom Act: Paved way for Clear Channel to own more than 1,200 stations </li></ul><ul><li>In the 1920s radio was considered a common technology. </li></ul>
    13. 13. The media policy problem: TV <ul><li>Using powerful lobbyists, television broadcasters gained overwhelming influence in Washington. </li></ul><ul><li>Since mid-century, broadcasting policy was shaped in closed-door meetings between industry and policymakers. </li></ul><ul><li>Millions of dollars on entertainment and travel, taking FCC regulators on 2,500 all-expense-paid trips. </li></ul><ul><li>Half a billion dollars to lobby government officials from 1998 to 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>The public owned the airwaves, but these special interests decided how this influential media was distributed. </li></ul><ul><li>TV suffered much the same fate. </li></ul>
    14. 14. What happened to “mass media” … <ul><li>Instead of nurturing and extending democracy and free speech, mass media threatened to distort it. </li></ul><ul><li>Between those who held political power (and needed access to mass media). </li></ul><ul><li>And those who controlled the airwaves (and needed access to political power). </li></ul><ul><li>There developed an interdependence </li></ul>
    15. 15. … could happen to “social media” <ul><li>In the history of broadcasting we see “disruptive technologies.” </li></ul><ul><li>This explosion threatens the status quo. </li></ul><ul><li>And those threatened react. </li></ul>Their reaction is to take a culture that has been unlocked by technological change and to re-lock it . <ul><li>Each disruptive technology sparks an explosion of democratic participation. </li></ul><ul><li>Lessig: </li></ul>
    16. 16. 1996 Telecommunications Act They re-lock it using media policy 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act 2006 Advanced Telecommunications and Opportunity Reform Act History was set to repeat itself as powerful interests got behind policies to re-lock “social media” … but they didn’t expect one thing.
    17. 17. <ul><li>850 groups </li></ul><ul><li>1.6 million people </li></ul><ul><li>6,000 bloggers </li></ul><ul><li>MySpace, Facebook and YouTube </li></ul>The public We Used the Internet to Save the Internet.
    18. 18. We took action <ul><li>More than a million of letters to Congress. </li></ul><ul><li>Met our elected reps in district and spoke out publicly. </li></ul><ul><li>Called all 535 Members. </li></ul><ul><li>Blogged about it. </li></ul><ul><li>Told our friends to join the fight for Internet freedom. </li></ul><ul><li>Made protest videos. </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote dozens of letters and op-eds in local press. </li></ul>
    19. 19. And we stopped them … for now
    20. 20. What’s next <ul><li>Close the “Digital Divide.” </li></ul><ul><li>Pass “Net Neutrality” legislation. </li></ul><ul><li>Open the airwaves to Internet choice and alternative media. </li></ul><ul><li>Reform copyright laws. </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen support for public media. </li></ul>
    21. 21. The new media uprising <ul><li>It’s about media makers like you and me taking control of our media through participation in policy making. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>