Originally published: May 10, 2011
Last updated: May 10, 2011 - 10:07pm
Current Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and former-Chairman Newt Minow conversed on the state of the media.
The occasion was the marking of the 50th anniversary of Minow's famous "Vast Wasteland" speech to the National Association of Broadcasters sponsored by George Washington University's Global Media institute. The event would have had a hard time living up to its billing, with Newton billed as one of the Knights of the Kennedy Administration's "Camelot" passing the symbolic torch to a new generation of media knight, Chairman Genachowski. It didn't exactly feel like that, however. Chairman Genachowski did not bite on offers to label today's landscape, other than to say it needed to include more mobile broadband and a new model for supporting the grunt work of journalism. Minow got a lengthy and glowing intro from Genachowski, who said the former chairman's set a standard for excellence that continued to "guide and inspire us at the FCC." Minow said that the two words he wished had been remembered from that speech were 'public interest," not "vast wasteland.' Chairman Genachowski said the speech was as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. He said the speech was celebrated because it was a speech for all time, and primarily about the power of technology and communications to connect and empower people. He said that, reading between the lines, the speech envisioned new services like Twitter and Facebook and mobile phones. the speech was not about one technology, but all technologies, said Chairman Genachowski.
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