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Newton Minnow

Fifty Years Ago Today: Newton Minnow’s Vast Wasteland Speech

I’m cooking something else up that’s more involved than this post, but as it’s competing for my time with various end-of-the-semester duties, I wanted to at least note this important anniversary. Fifty years ago today, on May 9, 1961, Newton Minnow, speaking to the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Washington, D.C., gave his first public address as President John F. Kennedy’s FCC Chairman. It was a doozy.  Famously declaring that television was a “vast wasteland,” Minnow attempted to lay out an alternative vision of television in the public interest.  This latter, positive goal was Minnow’s intended focus. But his Read more