The commission's long-awaited report on the future of media has been teed up for next week's public meeting, though the agenda, according to multiple FCC sources.
The study's working title has been changed from "Future of Media" to "The Technology and Information Needs of Communities," per its original charter, according to a source..
According to a one-sentence clue in its agenda announcement for the June 9 public meeting--which hardly served the information needs of reporters who had been looking out for the report-- the FCC said there will be a "presentation by the working group on the impact of technology on the information needs of communities."
FCC sources on the eighth floor (home to the commissioners) confirmed that was indeed going to be a briefing on the report, though they were not sure why that was not made clearer in the notice. One staffer looking for the report said they had missed it the first time they looked at the agenda.
The commission brought on Beliefnet founder Steve Waldman in October of 2009 to head up a working group reviewing and producing a report on the impact of the technological revolution on those information needs.
Waldman said at a Media Institute luncheon in April that the report would be out "soon" and would include the observation that local TV news "is more important than ever."
He gave no details of the report in that speech, but did say that while it will make recommendations, the bulk of it would essentially be a status report on the media and policy landscapes.
He joked that if the report talks about treating something fairly, that should not be interpreted as a call for reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine. In fact, he said, the report recommends not reintroducing it.
He said the report will draw a distinction between local and national news, the latter he said seems to be more "vibrant."
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Waldman are both scheduled to appear June 10 at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York for a "special event The Impact of Technology on the Information Landscape of Communities," where they will talk about the report as well.
The study was officially launched Feb. 18.
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