FTC Puts Conditions on Nielsen’s Proposed $1.6 Billion Acquisition of Arbitron

Media research company Nielsen has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that its proposed acquisition of Arbitron may substantially lessen competition.

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Eyes that Do Not See

As part of the media violence fast, we are sharing a few reflections for our participants to enhance the meaning during the week.  Don't forget to also take a look at our resources page

Eyes that Do Not See

Scriptural texts are often concerned with people who have eyes, but do not see.   As we take a week to avoid violence in the media, what can that idea mean for us?  When we watch television, it can mean a time of relaxation and fun at the end of the day.  But sometimes we become so desensitized to the violence on-screen, that we don't even realize we're watching it.  How many prime time TV shows involve murders or other crimes -- and these days they are often pretty grizzly!  

Do you have eyes that do not really "see" the violence in a show when you watch it?  Do you think that impact violence you encounter other places in your life?  If you chose to avoid even the TV news this week, how did avoiding fictional violence change the way you viewed real violence on television?  If you avoid all violent media, do you find yourself wanting to read more or less about violence in the written news? 
If your children are avoiding violent video games this week, are they willing to see the world in a new way?

What is it like to find alternate ways to occupy your time for this week?   Will your eyes (and your heart) respond differently after a week away?   

-- UCC's media justice ministry, OC Inc.

Stations Need to Work Harder for Political

With an increasing number of viable alternatives, local broadcasters need to get more aggressive in wooing political advertisers to continue getting their portion of the total spend.

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US phone companies never once challenged NSA data requests

None of the phone companies that handed over communications metadata in bulk to the National Security Agency ever challenged the agency on its data requests.

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Children and the Internet — Good and Bad News

Yesterday, UCC OC Inc. joined two important efforts with children forefront in our minds.  We joined with our colleagues at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights as we spoke out in comments before the Federal Communications Commission in support of the President's ConnectED proposal to increase the Internet capacity of schools and libraries around the country. 

On a different note, we joined with a wide array of consumer, children's and privacy advocates to ask the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect teens from marketing.  Much has been published lately about "big data" and its power in the modern day.  While we are concerned about adults and children, teens are particularly susceptible to marketing from their peer groups, and Facebook recently changed its policy with regard to teens.

On the good news front for kids and privacy, this summer the FTC adopted strengthened rules to protect children's privacy.  Companies should be complying with these rules already.  If you have kids, keep an eye out -- see if the online media your child uses complies with the new rules.  Check out Center for Digital Democracy's Parent's Guide.  Here are a few highlights, download the guide for the full story:

  • Talk with your children about what they do and where they go online, as well as what apps they download on their mobile phones. Make sure that the media they are engaging with is age-appropriate.
  • Explain to them that they need to be very careful about what they post online about themselves.
  • Be wary of websites, mobile apps, and other child-oriented digital media that ask for a lot of personal information that does not seem necessary.
  • Be especially careful about your children’s use of mobile phones. Mobile apps should never ask your child to give permission for collection of her location without first obtaining your permission.
    • Some apps may be “free” to download, but once children begin playing with them, they may be prompted by the app to purchase multiple items in the game (“virtual goods”). This practice can rack up a very high bill without parents knowing.
  • Review the privacy policies of all the websites and digital devices your children use to make sure you are comfortable about the safety, security, and privacy protections provided on them.

Media Violence Fast Reflection – Mindful Consumption

We hope you are having a good media violence fast.  As part of the fast, we are sharing a few reflections for our participants to enhance the meaning during the week.  Don't forget to also take a look at our resources page

The teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh have a profound impact on me for many years.  In one of  his teachings, he talks about mindful consumption.  We not only consume food, we also consume violence through watching violent movies and playing violent video games.  I had always been affected by watching violent films and it would take a long time to shake the images, loud noises, watching people being killed.  So I decided to stop watching them.  It was not hard at all and outside of  going to the latest "Star Trek" films (that is very hard to give up) I've given up watching violence all together and it's a relief for my whole system.  -- Rev. Julia Jarvis, UCC minister

-- UCC's media justice ministry, OC Inc.

Media Violence Fast Reflection

As part of this week's media violence fast, we are sharing a few reflections for our participants to enhance the meaning during the week.  Don't forget to also take a look at our resources page

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." --Philippians 4:8

According to the book of Proverbs, "...as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." According to the health conscious, "You are what you eat." And, according to many motivational speakers, "You only get out of life that which you put into it." No matter who the source is, the message is basically the same. Whatever you surround yourself with and devote your time to essentially speaks volumes as to what you become.

If we are surrounded by hatred, we learn to hate. If we are surrounded by love, we learn to love. We are admonished in scripture to think on things that are pure, lovely, good, excellent and worthy of praise. While stories and games that include violence are not always a problem, it is useful to spend some time away from them so that we can consider more deeply what impact violent media has on us.

Gracious God, renew our hearts and mind that we may focus our time and our thoughts on the more positive, beautiful aspects of life. Teach us the truth, let us model for others the kind of people that we want to be.  Empower us to exemplify your loving kindness, so that we may spread your message of love to all whose paths we cross.

-- UCC's media justice ministry, OC Inc.

Storytelling Ads May Be Journalism’s New Peril

When the guy who ruined the Internet with banner ads tells you that a new kind of advertising might destroy journalism, it tends to get your attention.

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FCC chief: Reagan could be proud of ‘Obamaphone’ program

Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn forcefully defended her agency's phone subsidy program for the poor in a speech.

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Senate panel advances media shield bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed legislation to protect journalists from having to cooperate with government investigations but made sure to limit the safeguard to professional news gatherers.

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