Urging that activists focus on a commercial communications strategy may sound strange coming from someone who has devoted much of his adult life to public interest media policy. But it’s important to be strategic at this critical moment of media transition. A powerful and ubiquitous system delivering personalized and interactive content is emerging. Soon most of us will be connected to an “always-on” media system of communications — via the principal “platforms” of PCs, cell phones and increasingly digital TV sets.It’s this new system we should be concerned about, as it will have the capability to influence the attitudes and behaviors of the majority of Americans. As Wall Street and the major media companies recognize, the distinctions between broadcast and cable TV channels and the Internet are beginning to disappear. The commercial media industry, fueled by the hundreds of billions spent each year by advertisers and marketers and also backed by Wall Street, is helping create what will be our new media reality.They understand the power and the potential profits from this country’s (and much of the world’s) “converged” media system. They have strategically invested in this new system to help ensure they can play a leading role in the evolution of broadband (and reap the many billions in profits).
Read Digital Media Marketplace: The Next Frontier for Media Reform from Alternet’s Jeff Chester. Also from Chester, The Dark Side of Interactive Marketing with commentary from ZDNet.