A half century following Newton Minow’s famous speech to America’s young television industry, has the vast wasteland only gotten vaster? Watch a discussion on the changed landscape of television and dramatic shifts in the broader media ecosystem, and identify lessons learned that may help to offer insight into the next 50 years of media and public discourse.
Fifty years ago this week, newly appointed FCC Chairman Newton N. Minow delivered one of the most electrifying speeches ever given by a bureaucrat of the U.S. government. Everyone remembers the two words that entered the cultural lexicon afterward: “vast wasteland.” But few remember why Minow’s sermonette caused such a sensation at the time. Even fewer can recall the sweeping promises the FCC chairman made in that speech or that he failed to deliver on any of them.