Secretary Clinton and the Information War

This article was written by CCLP Faculty Fellow Philip Seib. In testimony to Congress last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged the existence of an ongoing "information war" that the United States is losing. In addition to saying that "Al Jazeera is winning," Clinton pointed to the major investments in international broadcasting being made by China and Russia. The Chinese effort is of particular importance. As Secretary Clinton said, "We are in a competition for influence with China; let's put aside the moral, humanitarian, do-good side of what we believe in, and let's just talk straight realpolitik."…

NPR chief Vivian Schiller: Don’t take the work of news gatherers for granted

At this time of tremendous upheaval in American news media, its leaders should not focus on transformation at the expense of fortifying and expanding concrete, on-the-ground reporting. That was the message offered Thursday by NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller as she delivered the James L. Loper Lecture in Public Service Broadcasting at USC Annenberg. "For well over a decade, at gatherings like this, news people have obsessed about transformational technologies, vanishing business models and new paradigms of mass communication," Schiller told an audience of students, faculty members and leaders of influential Los Angeles-area media who gathered at USC Town…

PBS: End of the Old Boys Network?

Los Angeles station KCET's announcement on Friday that it is canceling all PBS programs is a dramatic, all-stakes-on-the-table gamble. KCET is gambling that, without hefty payments to PBS and substituting a new lineup of independent and international programs for the PBS network feed, it will be a smaller but sustainable public service broadcaster. For its part, PBS is gambling that KCET cannot possibly go through with its plan and will have no alternative but to pay the substantial dues required to keep PBS programs on the station….