Is the spectrum just too complex for reporters?

Posted by: on Feb 22, 2008 | No Comments

Is the spectrum just too complex for reporters? Article in the Nieman Watchdog and flagged in Media Reform.The title is provocative and it’s a good question. I would argue that the spectrum itself isn’t all that complicated – it’s the USE of the spectrum that baffles reporters and advocacy groups. Roger Sween spoke of the “implicitless” of information – and of the radio waves that deliver it. We feel compelled, somehow, to separate the discussion of means from the discussion of content. The techies vs. the nerds…In government, it’s IT in one silo, the public record, data, useful government information in a separate silo. Meanwhile, the radio waves are perceived as one-directional. Only now, the keepers of the word, especially the print press, are straddling what, in my mind, is the most pernicious of the several digital divides.

Self-proclaimed professional agitator Sheldon Mains started a digital deluge today by announcing he’s cancelled his Strib subscription. His rationale struck a chord with E-Democracy readers, virtually all of them recovering Strib readers. As a longtime cancelled Strib subscriber I must admit an occasional pang of regret that I can’t recancel – unless, of course, I resubscribe, in which case I would have to endure that barrage of dunning phone calls when I recancel…..

Mary Treacy