Nov 9, 2010

Former CPB Board chair suggests how to save funding

Cheryl Halpern, who headed the CPB Board from 2005 to 2007, writes about what she sees as "A last chance to save CPB" in Monday's (Nov. 8) Congress Blog from The Hill, coming at a time of increasing calls to zero out funding for public broadcasting. "The question that Congress needs to address is not whether the national providers of public programming should be shut down," she writes. "It’s how to reform the legislation that created these institutions, given the changing media landscape."

She said Congress should consider amending the authorizing legislation so public broadcasters are "expected to adhere strictly to measurable and definable standards of accuracy and transparency." She feels that legislators need to "delineate what public broadcasters can and cannot do with regard to the ever evolving and expanding digital and online media universe."

Halpern also found herself troubled recently after a visit to a public broadcasting channel's website. She writes that the corporate logo of a sponsor, an international watchmaker, was "prominently displayed" there.

"I clicked on that logo and was brought to the watchmaker’s official marketing site," she writes. "This corporation therefore is realizing public acknowledgment for its sponsoring public broadcasting and at the same time is receiving both the accompanying tax-deduction as well as a corporate commercial link courtesy of its gift to the public station. This isn’t right."

In October 2005, when Halpern took the helm on the CPB Board, Current described her as "an attorney, real estate developer and longtime GOP donor." She replaced the controversial Kenneth Tomlinson.

NTIA report says broadband usage increased sevenfold between '01 and '09

A study released Monday (Nov. 8) of 54,000 American households shows that between 2001 and 2009, broadband Internet use rose sevenfold, from 9 percent to 64 percent. But "Exploring the Digital Nation: Home Broadband Internet Adoption in the United States" also reveals that significant gaps persist along racial, ethnic, and geographic lines, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Also, nearly a quarter of households did not use the Internet at home, with most of those respondents citing lack of need or interest. The report is here in PDF format. It was compiled by the NTIA and the Department of Commerce's Economics and Statistics Administration.

Mashable tracks social media's possible impact on Nov. 2 races

Here's an interesting roundup on of how various social media sites may have figured into the midterm election results. For instance: Facebook, the world’s largest social network with some 500 million user accounts, reported that in 98 tight races for House seats, 74 percent of candidates with the most Facebook fans won. Looking at 19 Senate races, 81 percent of those with more fans won. The widely read Mashable follows news in social and digital media, technology and web culture.