Center for Media Justice home of the Media Action Grassroots Network

Sometimes its what you don’t say that matters: #SOTU

Undoubtedly there will be many blogs analyzing the State of the Union Address last night.  They’ll focus, in great detail, on everything from the First Lady’s dress, to foreign policy and education reform. Many will have good, sharp and comprehensive analysis—and you should read them.

This isn’t comprehensive, but its instructive just the same.  As I’m having my morning coffee, I thought I’d do a quick recap of what “wasn’t said” by the President last night—as it pertains to the world of media justice and media policy.

Armed with an 11 page PDF of the text of the State of the Union Address, as well as my handy ⌘F (Find) tool, this is what I discovered:

Net Neutrality:  No mention

Open Internet:  No mention

NSA or National Security Administration:  No mention

Broadband:  1 mention[1]

Internet:  1 mention[2]

Privacy:  No mention

Surveillance:  No mention

Race:  No mention (within this usage)

FCC/Federal Communications Commission:  No mention

Innovation:  6 mentions[3]

Economy:  12 mentions[4]

Companies:  11 mentions[5]

 

You do the math.

Even though this isn’t a formal or scientific content analysis, it does suggest some areas of concern—or at least areas worth noting–as we move ahead with a Media Justice Policy Agenda, and our fight for an Open Internet.

As we already know—the Administration’s appointment of the FCC Chairman can be a defining moment in establishing a president’s communications policy. Though the FCC is an independent regulatory agency, there’s also a clear relationship between the agency and their Administration.  Given the fact that Broadband was hardly mentioned–even though the Economy, and Innovation & Companies were–we have our work cut out for us.

As always, I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking about the speech.  If you didn’t catch the #SOTU last night, you can read it here. When you’re done, share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] An incomplete high-speed broadband network that prevents a small business owner in rural America from selling her products all over the world.

[2] Support the same kind of research and innovation that led to the computer chip and the Internet; to new American jobs and new American industries.

[3] After all, innovation is what America has always been about.

Innovation also demands basic research.

Support the same kind of research and innovation that led to the computer chip and the Internet; to new American jobs and new American industries.

Nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy.

We can also spur energy innovation with new incentives.

But there’s no reason why Congress shouldn’t at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation.

[4] An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.

At the end of World War II, when another generation of heroes returned home from combat, they built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known.

Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.

And it plunged our economy into a crisis that put millions out of work, saddled us with more debt, and left innocent, hard-working Americans holding the bag.

No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits.

Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last– an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.

You see, an economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country.

The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy.

A return to the American values of fair play and shared responsibility will help us protect our people and our economy.

The greatest blow to confidence in our economy last year didn’t come from events beyond our control.

With or without this Congress, I will keep taking actions that help the economy grow.

[5]And I’m requiring all companies that drill for gas on public lands to disclose the chemicals they use.

Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail.

We have subsidized oil companies for a century.

I will not go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny you coverage, or charge women differently from men.

With the bipartisan support of this Congress, we are providing new tax credits to companies that hire vets.

Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas.

Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world.

That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies like Master Lock that decide to bring jobs home.

And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here.

It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.

My administration has already lined up more companies that want to help.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

amalia coordinates the media policy initiatives of the Center for Media Justice and the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net). She has over 15 years of experience in community and cultural organizing, with a specific interest in human rights, cultural rights and traditional knowledge. Born in Guatemala, she worked for many years at the Main Street Project–in her hometown of Minneapolis. While there, she co-directed a nationally recognized four-state rural Latino capacity buliding initiative called The Raíces Project. Nationally, amalia is a board member of the Indigenous Women’s Network, and the Latino Public Radio Consortium. amalia earned her B.A. in Urban Studies and History from Macalester College and her J.D. with a focus on Social Justice from Hamline University School of Law – as a result, she has huge student loans, which she likes to complain about.

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