Tag Archives: The Atlantic

A vast wasteland revisited

Newton Minow was JFK’s Chairman of the FCC.   In a 1961 speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, he famously declared television’s programing was too often, “a procession of game shows, violence, sadism, murder, Western bad men, Western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons.” Television was a, “vast wasteland.”

We tend to agree that this is generally still the case and see the New Media Revolution as an opportunity to leave the wasteland behind and move to more worthwhile pursuits.   What does Minow think?   Check out this fascinating column at TheAtlantic.com to find out.


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In television, emphasis on quality is the contrarian view.

This post from The Atlantic might not be totally on point for this headline, but it speaks to the larger phenomenon:

[…] cable news is wrong to cede the valuable ground of peppery media fact checking to Comedy Central. Jon Stewart and his crack team are exceptional at taking a pol’s or media personality’s latest over-statement, finding an old quote that embarrasses that over-statement, and closing with a kicker. This is more than fact-checking. It’s about finding an amusing and bemused host with his or her finger on the zeitgeist who can play gotcha without seeming petty. That cable news won’t successfully recreate The Daily Show is not a good enough argument against trying

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Cable Television as the Seer Stone of the Media Business

…or, to put it another way, “If you were going to build this system from the ground-up, would it look anything like the way it looks now?”

The Atlantic.com’s Business Channel weighs in with this column about cable companies, broadcast television and revenue.   The conclusion:

But the Web will likely transform this debate for TV as well. Technology appears to be increasingly moving towards a sort of content-agnostic world, where the web will be where we access all forms of media, whether print, radio or TV. So while it’s fine for us to quibble over this latest trend for non-cable TV networks, I suspect it’s just one step in an evolution leading to a new world where all of our media consumption will be very, very different.

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