Communications-related Headlines

Gary Handman (
Mon, 14 Aug 2000 12:13:36 -0700 (PDT)


>Issue: Online Journalism
>A handful of new Web sites offer users television-style news reports in
>digestible bits that can be put together into personalized newscasts.
>Viewers will click on video reports they want to see, when they want to see
>them. Computerized news services will learn users' viewing habits and offer
>them news bits tailored to their tastes. Advertisers will aim at viewers
>based on their supposed news preferences. The sites include,
>Yahoo, and for financial news. "If you want to watch
>good news, you'll watch good news; if you like to watch crime news, you'll
>watch crime news," said Jonathan Klein, who was executive vice president of
>CBS News from 1995 to 1998 and is now an investor in FeedRoom. "It's putting
>the clicker in the viewer's hand and saying, 'You decide.'" It remains to be
>seen if this style of newscast can replace the traditional TV newscast
>offered by the networks and local TV stations. "The business model might do
>a very good job of supporting narrow content for things like sports or
>business or health," said John V. Pavlik, executive director of Columbia
>University's Center for New Media. "But I'm not so confident that the
>business model will support public affairs journalism. Who, exactly, is
>going to be the sponsor for that type of news?"
>[SOURCE: New York Times (C14), AUTHOR: Jim Rutenberg]
>Issue: Media
>In four years, the average person by then will spend more than 10 hours a
>day and $792 a year to stay informed and entertained, according to a
>recently released report, The 2000 Veronis Suhler Communications Industry
>Forecast. "Communications spending, from advertisers and end users, is
>growing faster than any other industry in the U.S. economy," says James
>Rutherfurd, executive vice president of merchant bank Veronis Suhler. Among
>the study's predictions for 2004: the Internet will be in 67 million homes,
>a 66 percent increase over 1999; newspaper revenue will see a 33 percent
>increase in revenue; and cable will be the No. 1 business in the
>communications industry.
>[SOURCE: USAToday (2B), AUTHOR: David Lieberman]

>Issue: Digital TV
>"Everything will be different," Reed E. Hundt said in 1996 when, as chairman
>of the Federal Communications Commission, he was about to approve the rules
>that set the transition from analog to digital television in motion. "The
>change is so extreme that many people have not grasped it." But four years
>later -- two years after digital TV sets started being sold -- few Americans
>realize the transition is taking place or buying DTVs. How long will the
>broadcasters be willing to spend money transmitting digital signals if there
>are no viewers? How long will the government allow television stations to
>tie up two channels -- one analog, the other digital -- at a cost of many
>billions of dollars? The government is eager to auction off the analog
>channels, and is already counting the auction proceeds -- billions of
>dollars -- in future budget projections. There appears to be a growing
>consensus that the present transition plan is not working. Congress appears
>uninterested in intervening and the Federal Communications Commission's
>processes are to drawn out for quick action. 230,000 DTVs have been sold and
>they currently list for $2,500 (compared to $6,000 when introduced). 260
>million TV sets will have to be replaces or reconfigured by convertor boxes
>to complete the transition.
>[SOURCE: New York Times (C1), AUTHOR: Joel Brinkley]

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley 94720-6000

"Everything wants to become television" (James Ulmer -- Teletheory)