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View Diary: The First Rule of Breaking News (24 comments)

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  •  News Was Only Good, Like Most Things, During the (9+ / 0-)

    50 year New Deal Regulatory Anomaly. That's why you can say it was crappy in the 1890's just like today.

    But it was better when it was heavily regulated.

    The medium of broadcast was new when the New Deal rolled out. Technology limited any geographic area to only a few outlets and so government licensing was required to prevent conflicts. Licenses had to be renewed I think every 3 years, and they required demonstration of programming in the public interest. So broadcasters, wanting to keep government away from lucrative entertainment fare, almost always set up a journalistic news department and maintained what Thom Hartmann describes from his time as a broadcaster then as a "firewall" between the news and sales departments. Otherwise public interest would be much more difficult to prove.

    There were strict ownership limitations, a single owner couldn't own many outlets or for the most part dominate markets.

    I don't know how much regulation applied to print. I think there were outlet ownership limitations there too, maybe at least on owning a combination of print and broadcast. But at minimum, with broadcast eliminating print's ability to deliver breaking news, print shifted focus to in-depth reporting.

    Those regs began to be weakened and repealed with the Reagan era when journalism like the whole country began to go to hell.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 01:24:07 PM PDT

    •  Yes. I totally agree. I'd also add that (2+ / 0-)

      regulation kept us from homogenized news like Clear Channel and Gannett. It especially shows when you look at how many of our media outlets are owned by the same handful of companies.

      Of course, one crucial deregulation happened in the 1960s because broadcasters wanted to hold Presidential debates. The FCC had an equal time rule, prior to the first Nixon-Kennedy debate that required broadcasters to give equal time to all candidates of all political parties. That rule was dropped because broadcasters didn't want to spend the time and the money setting up a debate so large, and they really wanted all the viewership that debates could bring.

      The effect of the loss of that particular regulation is enormous.

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