Common Sense Bestows Genachowski With Minow Award


FCC chairman Julius Genachowski Thursday night accepted an award from
Common Sense Media -- he is a former board member of the group -- with
many nods to the award's namesake, former Democratic FCC chairman Newton
Genachowski, though, did not use it as a platform for
staking out any new ground on the issue of content control and kids.
speech came the day after comments were due to the FCC on that subject
as part of the commission's review of its immplementation of the
Children's Television Act and how and whether it should be updated for
the digital age.
According to a copy of his speech, Genachowski
used the time to praise Minow, who famously called TV a "vast
wasteland," but who, Genachowski pointed out, also helped usher in the
satellite age, UHF TV, and public broadcasting, including helping to
fund Sesame Street as head of the Carnegie Corp.
Minow has actually parted ways with the FCC
somewhat on the issue of content control. He was one of three former
chairmen, including Mark Fowler and the late Jim Quello, who last fall
were highly
critical of the FCC's fleeting profanity enforcement regime
, though
they had some sympathy for the underlying content concerns.
did say that the Internet and new technologies expose kids to new
risks, but echoed his emphasis on "harnessing technology to improve the
lives of kids, empower families, advance digital citizenship, and honor
the First Amendment."
Common Sense provides reviews and other
guidance to parents on the appropriateness of various media for
children, and also includes in its charter an emphasis on parental over
governmental control. But both Genachowski and Common
Sense founder Jim Steyer
have said the government has a role to
play as well.