Two weeks left to spring break in the CUNY system and everyone’s struggling to maintain their sanity on the tail-end of what has been a grueling year. So a potpourri of sorts this week:
Radio’s Digital Dilemma. 75 copies of the hardcover have been sold through mid-March, which is way more than I had expected by this point. (You or your local library can order direct through Routledge and receive 20% off by using code JRK96 at checkout. Amazon’s Kindle version is similarly "cheaper.") Once 200 copies are sold, a sanely-priced paperback run will commence. Routledge gives 18 months to make this goal, which puts the drop-dead deadline for paperback release in June of 2015.
Last week, Routledge published a five-question interview with me about the book and where it came from. Long story short, the seeds for this project were planted well more than a decade ago, when I first became a refugee from the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
I’ve also written a commentary related to the book for the European Journalism Observatory, a project of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. It emphasizes the primary cautionary tale: when ideology trumps science, bad things happen that have lasting effects on the health of a media system.
Workers Independent News v. FCC. Work continues to confront the FCC about its troublesome ruling on the validity of broadcast journalism. Multiple vectors are in play: the first is Congress, who has the power of the purse over the FCC and who may be able to persuade the agency to walk back their censorship of WIN with some targeted prodding. Members in both the House of Representatives and Senate are intrigued by this case and have agreed to sniff around.
If legislative entreaties fail, then it’s time to lawyer up. I’m in discussions with two folks who specialize in media and labor issues and are preliminarily interested in taking our case; the recommendation at this time is to let the Congressional inquiries play themselves out first, as those could completely obviate the need for a legal battle. That is, if the FCC is willing to listen to reason.