Are HD radio stations serving the public interest?
HD radio has the potential to reinvigorate radio through the creation of anywhere from three to five times the number of stations than are currently possible in a local market with analog technologies. However, HD radio’s rollout has also raised a number of questions. The FCC has essentially handed over this additional spectrum to incumbent broadcasters without thinking seriously about the long-term implications of this transition, how it related to media ownership in local markets and its bearing on the Commission’s public interest obligations. FMC proposes a HD radio playlist analysis project during which a researcher would examine HD radio programming, and determine whether programming is increasing diversity, or addressing local issues or community interests. The completed research would be published and submitted to the FCC, along with any appropriate policy recommendations that would be determined based on the results.
Measuring Ethnic Media’s Online Capacity
The desired study would be an assessment of the online capacity of ethnic media in the United States. The study should include a quantitative poll as well as a qualitative assessment of the barriers that exist in getting them online, as well as, what they need in order to cross the “digital divide.” The results of this study will allow New America Media to formulate and implement strategies for assisting ethnic media news outlets, particularly newspapers, in establishing a robust web presence, expeditiously and economically.
The Impact of Public Advocacy Reforms on the Spectrum Auction Process
In the spring and summer of 2007, the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) pressed the FCC for significant changes to the process auctioning spectrum licenses for the returned analog broadcast spectrum. The purpose of these reforms was to (a) introduce new entrants into the wireless world -- particularly women and minorities, and (b) prevent incumbents from colluding to distribute licenses at artificially low prices. Many of the reforms of the public interest groups were adopted. The desired research would examine (a) whether these reforms achieved their goals; and (b) what further reforms are necessary?
Understanding the Costs and Benefits of ‘A la Carte’ Cable
The desired study would be a comparative analysis of approaches to bundling and unbundling video products (e.g., traditional TV channels, pay-per-view), in order to evaluate the benefits and costs to consumers of each approach. This study would be instrumental in advancing a contentious and largely data-free debate about the consequences of debundling programming—a debate that divides not only industry but public-interest advocacy groups