Digital Public Media Networks to Advance Broadband and Enrich Connected Communities
Ellen P. Goodman
Rutgers Law School
University of Pennsylvania; Yale University - Information Society Project
November 6, 2009
The Federal Communications Commission’s broadband workshops and several recent reports have documented national deficits in both the communications infrastructure and the narrative content necessary to involve the entire population in democratic decision making or to foster widespread economic and social flourishing. Information gaps are especially keen in the areas of investigative journalism, effective teaching materials, and content directed to underserved, minority, and poor populations. A number of these reports have called on digital public media – building on, but also transcending, the legacy public broadcasting system – to help correct these deficits. Our research suggests that there are tremendous opportunities to use digital public media to drive broadband adoption and exploit broadband capacity for the public purposes that animate this proceeding.
In theory, and in the best traditions and highest aspirations of American communications policy, these networks can maximize the “social dividend” of broadband technology. The potential is there, and can be realized if public media systems become more diverse, open, networked, innovative, technologically sophisticated, and focused on a service mission to meet public needs where the market will not go. We offer specific proposals in connection with this proceeding to further the efforts that many in the public media community are undertaking to realize this potential.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: broadband policy, public media, media policy, public broadcasting, intellectual property, public subsidies, communications, journalism, noncommercial media, Internet, networks
JEL Classification: K23
Date posted: March 15, 2010