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

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 http://aspeninstitute.tv. On Tuesday morning, Aug 14, it features a joint appearance by the two leading regulators of the US and Europe, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and EC Commissioner on the Information Society and Media Viviane Reding, and a panel on the future of the newspaper that includes Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. (New York Times), Craig Newmark (craigslist), Dean Singleton (MediaNews Group), Scott Moore (Yahoo!), Caroline Little ( washingtonpost.com), Jake Oliver (The Afro) and moderator Geoff Cowan, dean emeritus of the Annenberg School at USC.

On Monday Arianna Huffington, Michael Eisner, Lynda Resnick and Jon Diamond engaged in a panel on the new media paradigm, as each has moved personally from mainstream media to a building a business using new media tools. Shunning the labels of new and old media, the group generally agreed with Huffington's entreaty to "embrace the hybrid future." Newspapers have done so, out of necessity, quicker than some local broadcast and mainstream music labels did, but today, all media companies are revisiting their business models as media users exercise greater control over the fare they choose to watch. As marketing guru Lynda Resnick (POM Wonderful, Fiji Water, Teleflora) remarked, the digital revolution has mostly benefited the consumer, and the marketer that is honest with its customer base.

The Forum, organized in roundtable sessions on the issues of content (objectionable, harmful, and missing), community values and media policy, and intellectual property in the digital environment, aims to arrive at recommendations in each area going forward. More information is available at http://www.aspeninstitute.org/focas

Other participants include Madeleine Albright, Walter Isaacson, Congressman Howard Berman, Knight Foundation CEO Alberto Ibarguen, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, Marc Nathanson, Michael Eric Dyson, Esther Dyson, Jeff Cole, and Tracy Westen.