FEPP Archives - Issues - Media Policy:
Media Literacy & Media Democracy
Paper To The National Research Council: Identifying What Is Harmful
or Inappropriate for Minors
(March 5, 2001) - Have adverse effects from pornography
been scientifically identified? Or is the issue essentially one of morality
and socialization of youth? This White Paper, submitted to the National
Research Council's Committee on "Tools and Strategies for Protecting
Kids from Pornography and Their Applicability to Other Inappropriate Internet
Content," points out that there are non-censorial approaches to concerns
about kids' access to pornography - such as media literacy and comprehensive
sexuality education. On May 2, 2002, the NRC released a 402-page report
that largely agreed with FEPP's White Paper. Click
here for a summary.
In Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, and The Innocence
(2001, 2d edition 2007) - From Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter, Internet
filters to the v-chip, censorship is often based on the assumption that
children and adolescents must be protected from "indecent" information
- whether in art, in literature, or on a Web site. In Not In Front
of the Children, FEPP Director Marjorie Heins explores the fascinating
history of indecency laws and other censorship aimed at youth. Not
in Front of the Children won the 2002 American Library Association's
Eli M. Oboler Award for the best published work in the area of intellectual
Ask American Academy of Pediatrics to Reconsider Misstatements About Media
(2001-02) - FEPP and a group of media scholars asked the
American Academy of Pediatrics to reconsider its November 2001 Policy
Statement on Media Violence because of its "many misstatements about
social-science research on media effects." The AAP responded, but
refused to allow its letter to be published.
Submitted to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration
(NTIA): Internet Protection Measures and Safety Policies
(August 26, 2002) - FEPP's White Paper to the NTIA, outlining
the serious educational problems that are inherent in Internet filtering
technology, and suggesting more effective ways of addressing concerns
about minors' access to the wide variety of content on the World Wide
Web. The agency's report, released in August 2003, recognized the limits
of filtering technology as a response to concerns about minors' Web surfing,
but it also read like a sales pitch for filter manufacturers. See Government
Report a Sales Pitch for Internet Filters.
Censorship and Media Democracy: A Report on the ACME Summit
(November 2002) - Stephanie Elizondo Griest reports on
a major meeting of media democracy and media literacy activists in October
2002, and on the ways that consolidation in the media industry threatens
Strange Case of Sarah Jones
(January 24, 2003; updated February 20, 2003) - Where does
the federal government get the power to ban a feminist rap poem?
Revolution" is Not "Indecent" After All
(February 20, 2003) - Under pressure from a lawsuit
by the feminist rapper Sarah Jones, the FCC changed its mind and ruled
Jones's powerful rap poem is not indecent after all.
Than Seven Dirty Words
(August 4, 2003) - The FCC's threat to revoke broadcast
licenses because of vulgar radio content focuses on a truly gross call-in
show describing such bizarre sexual practices as "the Rusty Trombone,"
but the broader issue is the unconstitutionality of the agency's vague
Media Democracy Movement Goes to Madison
(November 14, 2003) - A report from the front lines on
the November 2003 media reform conference, the movement behind it, and
the need to end corporate domination of public discourse.
Democracy and the First Amendment
(November 14, 2003) - Why government regulation to break
up media conglomerates advances democracy and the First Amendment.
is the Fuss About Janet Jackson's Breast?
(February 3, 2004) - How do mini-culture wars get started,
when there are so many more pressing issues on the public-policy agenda?
and Corporate Censorship
(May 21, 2004) - What's the real problem with the Walt
Disney Company's refusal to distribute Michael Moore's film, Fahrenheit
to the Federal Communications Commission in the Matter of Digital Audio
(June 16, 2004) - The Brennan Center Free Expression Policy
Project joined with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in comments to
the FCC opposing the the record industry's request for a mandated technology
protection measure that would prevent home copying of digital radio broadcasts.
Such home copying is specifically protected by federal law and is also
probably "fair use" under our copyright system.
Free Expression Issues
(September 10, 2004) - How the copyright system, media
regulation, and government funding affect free speech.
to the FCC on Broadcast Localism
(November 1, 2004) - The Brennan Center for
Justice, the Consumer Federation of America, and 30 other organizations
urged the agency responsible for regulating the public airwaves to repair
the lack of localism and diversity in commercial broadcasting by providing
more opportunities for independent community-oriented nonprofit media.