50 years later: Is the Web an even vaster wasteland than TV?

Monday, May 9 marks the 50th anniversary of the speech by then-Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow in which he described television as “a vast wasteland.”  The recent issue of The Atlantic carries an interview with Minow, who ironically confesses he didn’t foresee the importance of the Internet, though his description of television in the 1960s is eerily prescient:

You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials -- many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you'll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it.

Read Minow's full article in The Atlantic: A Vaster Wasteland.

About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.

Featured

  • Government Innovation Awards
    Government Innovation Awards - https://governmentinnovationawards.com

    Congratulations to the 2020 Rising Stars

    These early-career leaders already are having an outsized impact on government IT.

  • Cybersecurity
    cybersecurity (Rawpixel/Shutterstock.com)

    CMMC clears key regulatory hurdle

    The White House approved an interim rule to mandate defense contractors prove they adhere to existing cybersecurity standards from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Stay Connected