The Second Biggest Policy Threat

By Marty Kaplan, Director, The Norman Lear Cente
Mike Copps, the heroic FCC Commissioner, often says, Whatever your number one issue is, make media reform your number two issue.  

I almost agree with him -- because without media reform (which includes Net Neutrality), it's way harder to do anything else you care about.

But another contender for that number two spot is campaign finance reform.  No wonder Larry Lessig turned from his work on the commons to the toxic impact of big money on Congress.  Without fixing that, the public's power to do anything is tragically circumscribed, and that public includes arts and culture workers, audiences and all the other people whose consent is supposed to be the constitutive principle of American government.

We're never going to be able to outspend or out-organize the oligarchs and lobbyists who grease the wheels.  And whatever storytelling gifts the cultural sector possesses, I see little chance of its displacing the narratives of paid media and "earned" media (i.e., Big Media), even in an age of producer-consumers, citizen-journalists and digital abundance.  

So here's to campaign finance reform, and the media reform that's entailed by it.  And here's to Doug for convening this rich, rich conversation.
July 23, 2010 10:12 AM | | Comments (0) |

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