FCC taps Waldman to recommend policies promoting “vibrant media”

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FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced an agency-wide initiative examining how the commission should revise its policies to ensure a “vibrant media landscape.” Steven Waldman, a veteran print journalist who founded Beliefnet.com, will lead the study as a senior advisor to the chairman. Genachowski unveiled the initiative as a response to media reform recommendations developed by the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. “A strong consensus has developed that we’re at a pivotal moment in the history of the media and communications, because of game-changing new technologies as well as the economic downturn,” Genachowski said in a news release. The initiative will balance the policy changes required to meet the information needs of communities with First Amendment protections for the press, he said. Beliefnet, the largest Interfaith website covering religion and providing inspiration, is owned by News Corporation. Waldman has resigned from the company and discontinued both his blog and regular online column for the Wall Street Journal.

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