Music

Cultural questions for the next prez

- The FCC has leveled a series of hefty fines against the networks and assorted radio broadcasters in the last few years for content which they have deemed inappropriate. What's your opinion on the effectiveness of these fines and the presumptive problems that they're trying to solve? Are there better ways to address these issues than these fines?

- Another issue that the FCC has been wrestling with is media ownership and how many outlets one company can own in a broadcast market. Chairman Kevin Martin has been pushing for a relaxation of ownership rules arguing that the media landscape has changed so much (especially with the Internet) that these rules must change also. The opposing viewpoint is that this kind of consolidation means that fewer independent voices are available and only a few companies will decide what we see and hear in the media. Which viewpoint do you subscribe to and why?

- Do you believe that the current rating system for movies and labeling system for music releases is adequate? Why or why not? Ideally, how should such uniform standards be decided for every community in this country?

- NEA funding has been a hot button issue for decades now. Do you believe that the NEA serves an important purpose for this country? If so, what should that be? If not, why would you end it?

- The RIAA has pursued a campaign of lawsuits against web users that distribute copyrighted music material on the web. Do you believe this is the right course of action and that it has been effective? Why or why not?

- Do you believe that this is a real or imagined link between violence in media (movies, music, videos) and real violence crime itself? If so, what is the government's role in taking action against this problem?

- Currently, many schools are doing away with music programs to meet their budgetary needs. Should it be a priority to reverse this trend? If so, how would you do so?

- Musicians who sign contracts with record labels almost never receive any health care or benefits as part of their package. Do you believe that government should push the labels to include that as a standard part of artists' contracts? Why or why not?

- What are your thoughts on cultural exchanges with other countries? Do you think it's right to have the State Dept. sponsor American musicians touring overseas? Also, what's to be done about the current difficulty that foreign musicians have in obtaining timely travel visas to tour America?

- The recording industry has been asking Congress and the FCC to implement measures to have radio stations pay royalties for music that they play. Should radio broadcasters pay royalties to recording artists when they play their music on the air?


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