I can very much recommend Clay’s latest piece: FCC, Weblogs and Inequality to anyone who’s even vaguely interested in either FCC regulation of the airwaves or the nature of inequalities in webloggia. I’m afraid I’m going to spoil the ending for you, because I think it’s particularly pertinent to some of the recent discussions we’ve been having:
The one incoherent view is the belief that a free and diverse media will naturally tend towards equality. The development of weblogs in their first five years demonstrates that is not always true, and gives us reason to suspect it may never be true. Equality can only be guaranteed by limiting either diversity or freedom. The best thing that could come from the lesson of weblog popularity would be an abandoning of the idea that there will ever be an unconstrained but egalitarian media utopia, a realization ideally followed by a more pragmatic discussion between the “diverse and free” and “diverse and equal” camps.
My only issue with the piece is that the concept of equality is reduced to equality of audience/readership/influence and only briefly alludes to equality of opportunity.