FCC's Copps Takes Dark View Of Journalism's Future In USC Speech
April 27, 2011 at 3:59 AM (PT)
FCC Commissioner MICHAEL J, COPPS took his criticism of broadcast news to LOS ANGELES TUESDAY (4/26), telling the WALTER CRONKITE Awards luncheon at the USC ANNENBERG SCHOOL FOR COMMUNICATION that "all is not well in the land of journalism," lamenting the loss of jobs in journalism and blaming the "blistering pace of media consolidation experienced over the past two decades" and the "abdication of public interest responsibilities by successive Federal Communications Commissions" for journalism's woes.
COPPS rejected the idea that the Internet will develop "the model, the mass or the momentum to fill the void that has eviscerated traditional media. And, truth be told, we don’t have the time to wait for something that may never occur." He warned that the Internet is "heading down the road that traditional media trod as regards both private sector consolidation and public sector policy shortfalls. Allowing that to happen would short-circuit perhaps the most dynamic and opportunity-creating communications technology in all of human history."
Repeating his previously-expressed complaint that "opinion-mongering is supplanting news," COPPS insisted, "I am not here advocating to take anybody off the air -- I’m just trying to make room for facts on the air." He advocated again for identification of underwriters of political ads and for the delayed FCC report assessing the media landscape and community information news, and voiced support for public broadcasting, praising PBS' "NEWSHOUR" and NPR's move to open new news bureaus and calling the push to cut federal funding for public broadcasters "utterly unfathomable."