Panel: Regulation of Media Ownership in the Technological Age

Saturday, March 20, 10:00 a.m.
Vorenberg Classroom, Langdell North

The recent changes to the FCC's media ownership rules are a topic of ongoing and heated debate. This panel discussion is intended to explore the rule changes and, more importantly, the larger questions surrounding media ownership and control. What are the arguments and rationales on each side of this debate? Beyond the percentages and specifics, what are the larger forces that influence this debate?

Moderator

Professor Jerry Kang is a Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School during 2003-2004 where he teaches courses in communications policy, Asian-American jurisprudence, and civil procedure.

Panelists

Dr. Ben Compaine was most recently Research Consultant for the Program on Internet and Telecoms Convergence at MIT. From 1994 to 1997 he was the Bell Atlantic Professor of Telecommunications at Temple University. From 1986 to 1994 he was President and Chief Executive of Nova Systems, Inc., a software firm. He is the author, co-author or editor of ten books. His best known book, Who Owns the Media? was published as an all-new third edition in 2000. Other books include The Digital Divide: Facing a Crisis or Creating a Myth? (2001) and The Information Resources Policy Handbook (1999). His articles have appeared in trade, popular, and scholarly journals. A graduate of Dickinson College, he received his M.B.A from Harvard University and Ph.D. from Temple University. He has been a consultant and invited speaker at conferences and seminars in the U.S., Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, and Canada. On media industry structure issues, he believes that much of the debate is misinformed and ignores massive changes in the information industry, the global economy, and social dynamics. Compaine has never worked for or been paid by a major media company.

Dr. Mark Cooper is Director of Research at the Consumer Federation of America where he has responsibility for analysis and advocacy in the areas of telecommunications, media, digital rights, economic and energy policy. Dr. Cooper holds a Ph.D. from Yale University and is a former Yale University and Fulbright Fellow. He is the author of Media Ownership and Democracy in the Digital Information Age (pdf).

Cheryl A. Leanza is the Deputy Director of Media Access Project-- a non-profit, public interest law firm which promotes the public's First Amendment right to hear and be heard on the electronic media of today and tomorrow. In August 2003, MAP filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in an effort to abolish the FCC's new media ownership rules on behalf of its client, the Philadelphia-based Prometheus Radio Project. Ms. Leanza has played an active rold int his litigation, and participated in oral arguments held in February 2004. Ms. Leanza joined MAP after working on common carrier issues for more than two years at the Federal Communications Commission. While at the Commission she worked towards the implementation of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Ms. Leanza is currently.

David Oxenford is a partner in Shaw Pittman's communications group. His practice focuses on broadcast issues, representing broadcast stations, financial institutions, consulting firms, program providers, and others involved in the broadcast industry. He currently concentrates on transactional and regulatory matters, including counseling clients on issues relating to the Internet. In the past, he was active in complex multiparty comparative litigation before the FCC. Mr. Oxenford represents a number of state broadcast associations, and is a frequent speaker before state and national broadcasting association meetings and continuing legal education seminars. Mr. Oxenford earned his J.D. from Emory University Law School and his B.A. from the College of William and Mary.

Adam Clayton Powell III is a leading broadcast reporter, executive, author, and thoughtful analyst of new media technology. He is currently a Visiting Professor at USC Annenberg's School of Journalism where he teaches courses in broadcast journalism and new technology. Powell is the co-author of "Lethargy `96: How the Media Covered a Listless Campaign," and he has also contributed to: "NextMedia Reader: New Technology and the American Newsroom," "The Internet for Broadcasters, Demystifying Media Technology" and "Death by Cheeseburger: High School Journalism in the 1990s and Beyond." Mr. Powell has served as general manager of Howard University’s WHUT-TV and as Vice President/Technology and Programs for the Freedom Forum. In his 15 years at the Freedom Forum, Mr. Powell developed and supervised new media conferences and seminars and training programs on Internet- and computer-based media and information technology for journalists, educators, policy makers, and researchers. He created the weekly "Newseum Radio" public radio magazine program and a 24 hour Internet audio service. He also led a series of programs focusing on media in Africa. Mr. Powell has also been a reporter and producer at WCBS-TV in New York and spent several years with CBS News as a manager of radio and television news for the network, covering events ranging from manned space flights and elections to urban unrest and the Iran hostage crisis.

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