“The Internet is revolutionary because
Tue Oct 17, 2006 21:02

October 17, 2006

“The Internet is revolutionary because it is truly democratic, open to anyone with a computer and connection. We don’t just watch; we participate, collaborate, and create. But this wide-open access could be slipping through our fingers,” says Moyers.

The future of the Internet is up for grabs. Big corporations are lobbying Washington to turn the gateway to the Web into a toll road. Yet the public knows little about what's happening behind closed doors where the future of democracy's newest forum is being decided. If a few mega media giants own the content and control the delivery of radio, television, telephone services and the Internet, they'll make a killing and citizens will pay for it. America's ability to compete in the global marketplace, the unfettered exchange of ideas online, and broadband services that could improve quality of life for millions are at stake. Some say the very future of democracy itself may hang in the balance.

MOYERS ON AMERICA concludes with "The Net at Risk" premiering Wednesday, October 18 at 9PM on PBS (check local listings). Bill Moyers and journalist Rick Karr report on the wannabe "lords of the Internet" and examine how promises by the big tel-co companies of a super high-speed Internet in return for deregulation and tax breaks have gone unfulfilled while the public has paid the price. After the documentary, Moyers leads a discussion on media reform to explore the real-world impact of deregulation on communities and citizen participation in democracy.

And, after the broadcast, the debate continues live online at www.pbs.org/moyers, where Mike McCurry, co-chairman of Hands off the Internet, a coalition of telecommunication-related businesses, and Ben Scott, policy director of the nonpartisan public interest organization Free Press and representative of SaveTheInternet.com, which advocates in favor of net neutrality, will respond to the program, each other, and to viewers' comments.

Watch an excerpt from MOYERS ON AMERICA: THE NET AT RISK

Join the MOYERS ON AMERICA Citizens Class!

Are you an informed and engaged citizen? You can connect, reflect, and respond to the hotly-debated topics in MOYERS ON AMERICA by joining the MOYERS ON AMERICA Citizens Class. This national dialogue takes a hard look at some of today's most pressing issues and asks: What do you think?

The MOYERS ON AMERICA Citizens Class hosts an extensive, interactive curriculum designed to spark public discourse. The workshop offers multi-media discussion and reference material summarizing the key aspects of differing perspectives; posing questions for reflection, consideration and response; and stimulating a deep and thoughtful dialogue about the issues raised in the series.

Libraries across the country are gathering members to discuss the series. Is your library one of them? If not, encourage them to take part in the Citizens Class. Check http://www.pbs.org/moyers/citizensclass.html for more information.

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The Net at Risk

The future of the Internet is up for grabs. Last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) effectively eliminated net neutrality rules, which ensured that every content creator on the Internet-from big-time media concerns to backroom bloggers-had equal opportunity to make their voice heard. Now, large and powerful corporations are lobbying Washington to turn the World Wide Web into what critics call a "toll road," threatening the equitability that has come to define global democracy's newest forum. Yet the public knows little about what's happening behind closed doors on Capitol Hill.

Main Page - Friday, 10/20/06

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