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Net neutrality activists score landmark victory in fight to govern the internet

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  • FCC says ‘we listened and we learned’, and passes strict broadband rules that represent ‘a red-letter day for internet freedom’
  • How activism won real net neutrality

Dominic Rushe, Guardian US

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1d43d0d2a584265e5c610eea890bf943a2fac34b/0_273_3044_1828/1000.jpgProtesters hold a rally at the FCC headquarters in Washington to support net neutrality. Photograph: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Thursday 26 February 2015 | Internet activists scored a landmark victory on Thursday as the top US telecommunications regulator approved a plan to govern broadband internet like a public utility.

 

Following one of the most intense – and bizarre – lobbying battles in the history of modern Washington politics, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed strict new rules that give the body its greatest power over the cable industry since the internet went mainstream.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler – a former telecom lobbyist turned surprise hero of net neutrality supporters – thanked the 4 million people who submitted comments on the new rules. “Your participation has made this the most open process in FCC history,” he said. “We listened and we learned.”

Net-neutrality-meme-e1398433124309.jpgDominic Rushe is technology editor, east coast for the Guardian US.

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Related:

How activism won real net neutrality, Jay Cassano, Waging Nonviolence 

“This is a classic example of how history gets written,” said Kevin Zeese, an organizer with Popular Resistance.“ Down the road, 50 years from now, people will say that Obama saved the Internet, that he was the president who said what needs to be done and made it happen. But the reality is that Obama was forced to save the Internet by the people.”

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How activism won real net neutrality

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“This is a classic example of how history gets written,” said Kevin Zeese, an organizer with Popular Resistance.“ Down the road, 50 years from now, people will say that Obama saved the Internet, that he was the president who said what needs to be done and made it happen. But the reality is that Obama was forced to save the Internet by the people.”

Jay Cassano, Waging Nonviolence

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14557082400_351d1a47f1_z-615x410.jpgOn July 23, 2014, hundreds of Free Press activists, allies and volunteers rallied for REAL Net Neutrality on President Obama’s motorcade route as he attended a big fundraiser in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. (Free Press/Stacie Isabella Turk)

February 26, 2015 | Today the Federal Communications Commission has adopted strong net neutrality rules that will require all traffic on the Internet to be treated equally. There will be no fast lanes for large corporations and slow lanes for independent voices. In the days and weeks to come a lot of ink will be spilled about the significance of the FCC’s new rules and the legal nuances of where they might fall short. But for the moment, it is worth reflecting on how this victory was won.

This time last year, it looked like all bets were off for net neutrality. A Washington, D.C., district court had just shot down the FCC’s previous net neutrality rules in a lawsuit brought by Verizon. The task then fell to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist and former head lobbyist for both the cable and wireless industries, to draft new rules that would stand up in court. What followed was one of the most sustained and strategic activist campaigns in recent memory.

Jay Cassano is an activist and journalist currently living in Brooklyn. He is a senior writer at Fast Company, where he reports on technology and its social implications.

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Net neutrality activists score landmark victory in fight to govern the internet, Dominic Rushe, Guardian US 

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  • FCC says ‘we listened and we learned’, and passes strict broadband rules that represent ‘a red-letter day for internet freedom’
  • How activism won real net neutrality

The Shame of US Journalism Is the Destruction of Iraq, Not Fake Helicopter Stories

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Here we are, over a decade later, still discussing celebrity fantasies. That isn’t just bad journalism, it’s an affront to all who lost their lives in a brutal and bloody deception. Williams is just sorry about the wrong thing.

Christian Christensen, Moyers & Company

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brianwilliams-1.png(Photo: Screenshot from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams)

February 6, 2015 | The news that NBC’s Brian Williams was not, in fact, on a helicopter in 2003 that came under fire from an Iraqi Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) should come as a surprise to no one. Williams had repeated the lie on several occasions over the course of a decade until a veteran, who was on the actual helicopter that was attacked, had enough of Williams’ war porn and called the TV host out on Facebook. In a quite pathetic effort to cover his tracks, the anchor — who makes in excess of $10 million per year — claimed that his fairy tale was, in fact, “a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension our brave military men and women” who had served in Iraq. Twelve years, it seems, is enough time for Williams to confuse being on a helicopter that came under fire from an RPG with being on a helicopter that did not.

Given that Williams works for NBC, his participation in the construction of a piece of fiction during the US invasion and occupation of Iraq is apt. US network news, together with outlets such as CNN, aggressively cheer-led an invasion predicated on a massive falsehood: the Iraqi possession of WMD. What is jarring, however, is the fact that Williams’ sad attempt to inject himself into the fabric of the violence is getting more ink and airplay than the non-existence of WMD did back in the early-to-mid 2000s: a lie that provided the justification for a military action that has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

Christian Christensen is professor of Journalism at Stockholm University.

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Not So Fast, Net Neutrality...

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No matter the outcome, extensive litigation seems unavoidable. This will wind up in the courts. As Michael Powell said at last week's hearings, "It's not a complete exaggeration to say that in ten years we could still be sitting here."

  • Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpgYou can continue to file your own comments on the net neutrality debate at the FCC website. And the website BattlefortheNet.com <http://BattlefortheNet.com> will show you how to call the FCC and members of Congress.
  • Special Report | A Free and Open Internet: The Latest from the Frontlines

Michael Winship, Moyers & Company / Huffington Post 

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Net-neutrality-meme-e1398433124309.jpg01/27/2015 | Over the last few months, things have been looking good for keeping the Internet open to everyone. A little too good, as far as Congress is concerned, which is why members and the corporate lobbyists who write them hefty checks have launched a last-ditch legislative effort to scuttle net neutrality.

Both President Obama and Federal Communications Commission Chair Tom Wheeler have stopped tiptoeing around net neutrality and seem to finally embrace the idea of using Title II of the Telecommunications Act to reclassify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and regulate them as common carriers, like the phone companies and other public utilities. No preferential treatment to those willing to shell out big corporate bucks for a fast lane.

Michael Winship: Senior writer, Moyers & Company on public TV; Senior writing fellow, Demos; President, Writers Guild of America, East.

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Related:

Special Report | A Free and Open Internet: The Latest from the Frontlines, January 6, 2015, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • To ensure an Internet that's open, fast, secure, and affordable, contact the FCC, call your members of Congress, and support efforts to build a network that works for everyone, and not just the few. 
  • Part 1: Four Pivotal Internet Issues as the Year Turns 2015
  • Part 2: FCC Will Vote On Net Neutrality In February

The Super Bowl Windfall Myth

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Why media fall for sports industry's bogus economic claims

Are mega events in the Twin Cities worth it?

Neil deMause, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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SuperBowlEstimate.pngJan 28, 2015 | With Super Bowl Sunday approaching, expect plenty of media reports on the projected economic windfall for host city Glendale, Arizona. Last year, when the NFL announced that its big game would provide a $600 million boost to the New York/New Jersey economy, that figure promptly became a fixture in news coverage of the event (CNN, 1/24/14; Newsday, 1/22/14; FoxNews.com, 5/21/14).

In one typical article, the New York Daily News (1/20/14) reported that city business owners were scurrying to grab a piece of the Super Bowl pie, quoting a local limo-service owner: “Nothing comes close to this. Everyone in New York City that has to do with transportation, bars, hotels — all will be making money.”

Neil deMause is a contributing writer for FAIR, and runs the stadium news website Field of Schemes.

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Related:

Are mega events in the Twin Cities worth it?, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Economists — at least those not associated with host committees — find that economic impact studies overestimate the benefits of events like the All-Star Game or the Super Bowl. 
  • Part 1: 2014 All-Star Game was a hit, but not up to the hype
  • Part 2: Minneapolis' final bid for Final Four goes 'flawlessly'
  • Are mega events in the Twin Cities worth it?

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How Propaganda Conquers Democracy

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  • In recent decades, the U.S. propaganda system has grown more and more sophisticated in the art of “perception management,” now enlisting not only government PR specialists but careerist journalists and aspiring bloggers to push deceptions on the public.
  • Virginian-Pilot journalists: Corporate management pressure is stifling coverage

Nicolas J S Davies, Consortiumnews.com

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Politics-%20Truth%20vs.%20Propaganda.jpgJanuary 19, 2015 | Do we live in a country where citizens are critically informed on the issues of the day by media that operate independently of the government? Or do our political leaders deliberately plant a false view of events and issues in the mind of the public that complicit media then broadcast and amplify to generate public consent for government policy?

This is a basic test of democracy for the citizens of any country. But the very nature of modern propaganda systems is that they masquerade as independent while functioning as the opposite, so the question is not as straightforward as it seems.

Nicolas J S Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. Davies also wrote the chapter on “Obama At War” for the book, Grading the 44th President: A Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

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Related:

Virginian-Pilot journalists: Corporate management pressure is stifling coverage, Corey Hutchins, Columbia Journalism Review 

  • In the wake of an investigation, as one veteran journalist at the paper put it, “we’re walking around with duct tape over our keyboards.”
  • A Terrorist Massacre The News Barely Covered

Virginian-Pilot journalists: Corporate management pressure is stifling coverage.

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  • In the wake of an investigation, as one veteran journalist at the paper put it, “we’re walking around with duct tape over our keyboards.”
  • A Terrorist Massacre The News Barely Covered

 

Corey Hutchins, Columbia Journalism Review

 

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riseuptimes.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/images.jpg?w=225January 14, 2015 | Things are not as they should be these days at The Virginian-Pilot, the largest newspaper in Virginia. In the fall, the paper produced an important investigation of municipal government, one that has sparked an official inquiry, led to policy changes at a local bank, and prompted the mayor of Virginia Beach to resign his lucrative private-sector job. By any expectation, the paper would have kept dogging the story, probing whether there was more to discover about the overlap between government and business elites in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

Instead, the newsroom has been consumed with warding off pressure from an unexpected source: upper management at its own paper. In the view of several Pilot journalists, that pressure has stifled further enterprise reporting. It has also led to concerns that the paper might even publicly backtrack from its published coverage.

 

Corey Hutchins is CJR's Rocky Mountain correspondent based in Colorado. He has contributed to Slate, the Nation, the Texas Observer, and others. 

 

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A Terrorist Massacre The News Barely Covered, Libby Watson, Media Matters for America

  • The Hebdo shooting certainly deserves our attention. But given the scale of the Baga tragedy, with as many as 2,000 dead and survivors still trapped on an island on Lake Chad, don't these victims' stories deserve to be heard too?
  • Propaganda’s Triumph over Journalism

 

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