Networks Barely Mention FCC Plan to Spend Up to $350 Billion for Broadband Internet

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on April 14, 2010

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Directions

-Read the excerpt below from Julia A. Seymour's March 17th report posted at BusinessandMedia.org.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

Roughly 200 million Americans have broadband internet at home. Millions of others have access to it at work, school, the public library or on smart phones. Only about 5 percent of Americans lack broadband internet access according to The Wall Street Journal.

Yet in the eyes of bureaucrats at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this is an enormous problem to tackle with up to $350 billion taxpayer dollars – so far they have requested roughly $25 billion. On March 16, FCC released a national broadband plan “to bring broadband Internet connections to every home and businesses in the United States,” according to the Washington Post.

That night not one of the network evening shows [ABC, NBC, CBS] mentioned the enormous government proposal – instead all three reported Tiger Woods’ return to golf at the Masters Tournament, ABC and CBS covered Michael Jackson’s posthumous record contract and NBC warned against kids going to Mexico for spring break.

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Taxpayers should…be concerned about the plan because it calls for a “digital goods tax” and expansion of the Universal Service Fund so that the tax is expanded to all types of telecom service in order to subsidize some users, according to American’s for Tax Reform.

Read the complete report at BusinessandMedia.org.

Questions

1.  What types of bias is the excerpt below an example of?

2.  Why do you think all three of the networks (ABC, NBC and CBS) decided that the FCC’s announcement was not newsworthy?


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1.  The excerpt is an example of bias by story selection and omission.

2.  Opinion question. Answers vary.