Waldman, Steven, “Local TV Stations Rally to Oppose Media Transparency,” Columbia Journalism Review, January 26, 2012


Waldman, Steven, Local TV Stations Rally to Oppose Media Transparency, Columbia Journalism Review, January 26, 2012


It has often been observed that those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. For more than forty years the public interest community has been trying to get the broadcast industry to have greater transparency regarding its media archives. For some of the early history, see my May 2000 article published in the Harvard International Journal of Press-Politics: “Local TV News Archives as a Public Good.” Unfortunately, it is simply not in the self-interest of broadcasters to face this type of accountability. And given that the public interest community is politically weak, politically naive, generally blissfully ignorant of history, and often more interested in do-good headlines than actual results, the broadcasters win time and again regardless of how poor are their public policy excuses. It’s a sad story. Hopefully, it won’t be repeated yet again. But I wouldn’t bet on it.


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