By Alison Hamm, Media Consortium blogger
Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) met with industry groups Wednesday evening to discuss their much anticipated tripartisan climate legislation. Based on leaks from the meeting, it sounds like the climate bill will be incredibly industry friendly, which may mean that the bill does little to help the environment.
A syncing feeling
According to reports from sources in the meeting room, the bill calls for greenhouse gas curbs across multiple economic sectors, with a 2020 target of reducing emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels and an 80 percent reduction by 2050. Power plant emissions would be regulated in 2012, other major industrial sources will be phased in during 2016. (more…)
By Alison Hamm, Media Consortium Blogger
Just when the Democrats need to be tougher than ever on financial reform, Senate Banking Committee Chair Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), seems to have given up completely and put the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) at risk.
Last fall, Dodd called the Federal Reserve’s regulatory efforts an “abysmal failure.” And yet, on March 1, he proposed housing a consumer protection agency within the Fed instead of establishing the CFPA as its own independent entity. This drastic change in strategy has left many Democrats shaking their heads. WTF, Senator Dodd?
A change in focus
As Andy Kroll reports for Mother Jones:
“Dodd appears to have switched his focus from out-reforming the White House to out-compromising just about everyone. As the Senate banking committee prepares to release a draft of a comprehensive reform bill as early as this week, Dodd has repeatedly conceded to his Republican counterparts on key issues, almost guaranteeing that the Senate’s measure will be far more lenient on the banking industry than the legislation the House passed in December… Dodd’s willingness to appease Republicans like Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the main GOP negotiating partner, and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the banking committee’s ranking member, has disappointed Dodd’s fellow Democrats and reform advocates who urge a tougher crackdown.” (more…)
The Big Thaw is a “box set” with three volumes that can be used separately. Click here to download a volume of this report, or use the below index to read excerpts from each volume.
Welcome to The Big Thaw
An introduction to The Big Thaw from Media Consortium project director Tracy Van Slyke.
Vol. 1: Dissonance & Opportunity (includes Executive Summary)
This volume summarizes journalism’s old paradigm and outlines a strategic framework for independent media to build a shared vision for the future.
Charting a New Future: An Executive Summary
Journalists and independent media makers have always been society’s most valuable truthtellers. As the old system shuts down, how can media organizations use this crisis as an opportunity rather than a meltdown? (more…)
“We’re watching hundred of billions of [bailout] dollars being spent unaccountably to support supposedly our ‘American way.’ I think at some point we have to ask whether or not the ‘American way’ includes journalism.” – John Battelle
Do Americans view journalism as a public good that is critical to our country’s intellectual infrastructure and American exceptionalism? Do they believe that the strength of our democracy depends on a diverse and free press? (more…)
Successful business models hinge their ability to measure value. “A well-measured medium is a more valuable medium” according to Nielsen Media Research’s website.
As more reliable and commonly accepted metrics emerge to measure content performance, the more that organizations can estimate the value they create. And, others can estimate how much they would be willing to pay for it. Money will flow to where there is value in the chain. Marketing analytics are based on this sort of reliable measurement, and deals are done based on it. As metrics become better, publishers may be able to use new incentives for writers and producers. Also, a publisher could potentially convince aggregators to pay based on content’s performance. Aggregators could sign up freely or cheaply and pay if content spreads past a targeted threshold. If the price is low enough, and the aggregator can accurately measure the performance, it would be in their interest to share earnings in exchange for reliable content. (more…)
While media organizations are trying many different revenue models, the models that succeed in the long run will find a place in a new value chain of journalism. A “value chain” is a chain of activities, in which each activity adds value to a product or service. The financial success of any business model depends on the ability of an organization to capture value they create. (See graphics below. The value chain is also featured in our Big Thaw slide show.)
Journalism’s old value chain was delineated with clear roles and exchanges of value. The new value chain reflects more roles. One organization often plays multiple roles. In the old model, advertising also had clearly defined roles. It mostly concentrated on publishing and broadcasting. In the new model, advertising is spread across more players. (more…)
The rise of free content will inevitably continue. However, some content could become more expensive as well. Stewart Brand, a futurist who created Whole Earth Catalog, WELL and Global Business Network, famously started a meme in 1984, “Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive.”
Brand explained, “Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy, and recombine—too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go away. It leads to endless wrenching debate about price, copyright, ‘intellectual property,’ the moral rightness of casual distribution, because each round of new devices makes the tension worse, not better.” (more…)
The next phase of filtering will center on the evolution of the “Semantic Web,” which Ashish Soni, who directs the Information Technology Program at the University of Southern California, describes as an interactivity evolution a step beyond aggregation that aims to makes information more meaningful and useful. According to an article co-authored by Tim Berners-Lee, who is credited with founding the web, the semantic evolution “lets users engage in the sort of serendipitous reuse and discovery of related information that’s been a hallmark of viral web uptake.”
“Meta tagging” as we know it today is just the beginning. The Semantic Web builds upon any metadata (e.g. hyperlinks, location, time, movement or categories) to infer greater meaning from information. (more…)
“The problem of how media has evolved is that it has isolated people,” says Amy Gahran of the Poynter Institute. “Your role was passive and to take it in. That damaged society in some ways.” David Weinberger points to the early history of writing when reading became internalized. “Some people say that’s the origin of modern consciousness. The voice we heard externally, reading to us, we now hear internally.” (more…)
John Battelle of Federated Media predicted that mobility would become a presumptive aspect of everything on the web by the end of 2009. Mobile phones and netbooks are just the beginning. Companies are building photography, video and audio recording into more than just phones and laptops. Apple’s iPod nano added video recording for the first time in September 2009. (more…)