Oct. 1 2009
Robert M. Hutchins chairman of the commission points out in the forward of the report that he is concerned with what we call in class "the marketplace of ideas."
The civilized society is a working system of ideas. It lives and changes by the consumption of ideas. Therefore it must make sure that as many as possible of the ideas with it's members have are available for its examination. (Hutchins, p vii)
This coincides with the Libertarian Theory that everyone's voices should be heard and the truth will rise. However, just like we discussed in class not everyone's voices were being heard. Furthermore, the voices that were being heard needed to be examined at that time in the 20th century.
We briefly discussed in class that Internet helps the marketplace of ideas because it allows peoples voices be heard and allows people to hear others voices more freely. There is no such thing as mass media anymore. (Gade, class notes) If there is no such thing as mass media anymore than the first problem stated by the commission is obsolete. It states: First, the importance of the press to the people has greatly increased with the development of the press and an instrument of mass communication. At the same time the development of the press as an instrument of mass communication has greatly decreased the portion of people who can express their opinions and ideas through press.
The Internet has greatly increased the portion of people who can express their opinions and ideas; again contradicting the first problem expressed by the commission. The media organizations or "press" have lost control of the flow and creation of information due to the Internet. (Gade, class notes)
The second problem stated by the commission has also been outdated because of the Internet. The second problem states: the few who are able to use the machinery of the press as an instrument of mass communication have not provided a service adequate to the needs of society. Everyone is able to use the machinery because most everyone has a computer or access to a computer and the Internet.
The second part of the second problem however are still can be taken into consideration. Just because people have access to the "machinery" or Internet does not mean that they are providing a service adequate to the needs of society.
Finally the third problem that the commission states: those who direct the machinery of the press have engaged from time to time in practices which the society condemns and which, if continued, it will inevitably undertake to regulate or control.
I think regulation would be hard to undertake in this day in age. In any of the areas that the commission suggest regulating: motion pictures, radio, newspapers, books and magazines. Anyone could publish any of those mediums on the Internet.
But then again this report was released in 1947 and as we have discussed in class on numerous occasions the news values and problems are of a product of the historical times they lived.