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Charlie Firestone
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Charlie Firestone has been Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program since 1989. For three years he was also the Institute’s Executive Vice President for Policy Programs and International Activities. Previously, Firestone was Director of the Communications Law Program and Adjunct Professor at the UCLA Law School, 1977-90. He was also the first President of the Los Angeles Board of Telecommunications Commissioners. Firestone’s legal career includes positions as an appellate attorney at the Federal Communications Commission, as director of litigation for a Washington DC public interest law firm, and as a communications attorney in Los Angeles. He has argued several communications law cases before the United States Supreme Court and other federal appellate courts. Firestone is a GLOCOM Fellow (Japan) and was a Visiting Professor at the Duke University Terry Sanford Institute in 2003. He holds degrees from Amherst College and Duke University Law School.

Entries by Charlie Firestone

Anonymous vs. ISIS: Netpolitik After the Paris Attacks

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2015 | 2:45 PM

There have been many government and citizen reactions to the horrors of the Paris attacks of November 13, 2015. France is effectively declaring war on ISIS, legislatures debate their nation's role in response, and many people around the globe show solidarity with the French people by personal acts such as...

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Top 5 Goals for Open Government in 2014

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 6:46 PM

Open government offers a society a number of attractive benefits. Transparency begets accountability. The provision of information enhances the ability of governments to provide valuable public goods and services. Its data, furthermore, can be analyzed and used by third parties in innovative ways, resulting in other socially beneficial products. The...

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Rolling Out Obamacare: Would Businesses Get It Right?

(1) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 5:55 PM

One of the advantages of the new information and communications technologies (ICT) as applied to government is to make it work faster, better, cheaper -- like in business. So when we look at the web mess of the Obamacare rollout, we wonder, how did this happen? If it were a...

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Egypt: The King's Speech Where Everyone Is King

(9) Comments | Posted February 12, 2011 | 10:12 AM

The King's Speech is an excellent Oscar-nominated film about British King George VI's struggle to overcome his speech impediment through the new medium of his day, the radio.

Early in the movie his father points out that in the 1920s, with the advent of the wireless, the role of...

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The Pixelization of Journalism

(1) Comments | Posted April 29, 2010 | 3:41 PM

The journalism industry is in turmoil. The digital revolution has hit content providers of all kinds, changing their business models and in some cases altering the nature of the underlying content itself. Music has seen this most starkly. But print content, most particularly newspapers, have also faced significant disruption....

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The Responsibilities of Citizenship: A Bundle of Literacies

(8) Comments | Posted October 13, 2008 | 11:47 PM

There are many issues confronting American democracy that can make us uneasy about its health in future years. These include the undue influence of campaign contributions on legislation, the drawing of legislative districts to produce safe districts for representatives, questionable practices in State voting processes, lack of serious media coverage...

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Thompson's Candidacy Highlights Need to Allow Exemptions from Equal Opportunities Rule

(8) Comments | Posted October 9, 2007 | 1:56 AM

With the candidacy of Fred Thompson comes an issue of communications policy that arises with every generation of candidates. What to do about the reruns of television programs in which a candidate appears as an actor? The most famous episode was Ronald Reagan's appearance in Bedtime for Bonzo, which triggered...

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Memo from the Aspen Institute Forum on Communications and Society: Using New Media Tools

(2) Comments | Posted August 14, 2007 | 11:45 AM

The Aspen Institute Forum on Communications and Society, a "policy festival" of 70 CEO level leaders from business, government and the non-profit sector on issues of "Media and Values" is being streamed live at On Tuesday morning, Aug 14, it features a joint appearance by the two leading...

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