With numerous and diverse groups pushing for President-elect Barack Obama to adopt open media principles, many are anxiously awaiting his choice for chair of the Federal Communications Commission, expecting it to signal what kind of media approach the new administration will take.
The media reform group Free Press is highlighting the significance of the selection in a new ad campaign and appeal for public input on what the next chair's top priorities should be.
The group's "Help Wanted" ad reads: "The American people seek a new leader at the Federal Communications Commission to take media and technology policy into the 21st century... Applicant must be willing to hold long and unruly public hearings and enjoy arcane telecom banter. Wardrobe malfunctions, NASCAR wreckage and fleeting expletives are discouraged."
It appears today in the classified sections of The Washington Post, Washington Times, Politico, and The Hill.
Free Press is also asking the public what the next FCC chair's top three priorities should be. The group offers up suggestions for people to choose, such as "protect an open Internet by enforcing Net neutrality" and "break up media conglomerates and return stations to local control."
"We'll be sure to pass along any good resumes," said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press.
Those resumes would likely go to Susan Crawford or Kevin Werbach, who are leading the Obama transition team's review of the FCC. Both are academics who are on the advisory board for Public Knowledge, a nonprofit public interest group that promotes open Internet and media standards.
"Both Susan and Kevin are very well-respected academics who are supporters of open Internet principles across the board," said Free Press policy director Ben Scott.