Net Neutrality, A Musical Interpretation

Friday, August 13, 2010


This week saw yet another sally in the battle over net neutrality. Verizon and Google jointly proposed that wired access to the internet remain open and as is, while mobile access ... well, it's complicated. And so we offer this musical allegory to help put the players in context.

Comments [10]

Pam from St Louis

I listened intently to this story, hoping that, any minute, someone would identify which recording of Peter and the Wolf this was...I'm still convinced it was the one I grew up listening to on reel-to-reel.

Would the producers be so kind as to share that information?

Thank you.

Oct. 20 2010 10:47 PM
Barbara Tuset from Northern Virginia

Brilliant! I grew up with music, dance, orchestral themes and specifically Peter and the Wolf. I love the creative mind that can make a leap from one medium to another and tie them together. The resulting experience is richer for those who can experience them together.

Aug. 20 2010 07:47 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

I like Mr./Ms. Glass' comment. Suppose that's why Washington Journal on C-SPAN is so appealing, as opposed to, say, NPR's intensely screened Talk of the Nation. Besides the audience participation, each issue gets 45 minutes.

Mr. Armstrong should stop griping and download both the MP3 of the show and read his transcript. Frankly, many of us have already learned of and come to our own conclusions about net neutrality...and about Google.

Since we all already have the basics and the point of the piece was to take advantage of the topicality of events related to a subject frequently covered on OTM, the music was a pleasant way to expose the program's editorial bias.

Aug. 17 2010 04:50 PM
Lola Von Zeplin from Brooklyn, NY

Fantastic. I loved the piece. The whole darn thing. I found the musical accompaniment entertaining and illuminating. I love when a medium is utilized to it's full potential.

Where else can you find an important piece of reporting set to music? A really inventive way to showcase all the players in this important story.

Thanks so much for your experimentation. It's a delight to experience.

Aug. 16 2010 09:19 PM
Francisco from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Why am I not surprised that Google is supporting a more restrictive Internet? I'm glad somebody realised that only allowing a fading technology to have net neutrality effectively means that it will die out when technology moves on.

The music did not help the piece but intruded on it. I missed some of the words and now I have Peter and the Wolf as an earworm.

Aug. 16 2010 06:32 AM
1414 from Albuquerque

With regard to the larger dynamic at play in the network neutrality debate, wherein ISPs get paid by end users as well as content providers, there are other considerations that make the issue of network neutrality less ideological. As somebody who used dialup Internet access until about a year ago, I can tell you that a large percentage of the bytes I downloaded were advertisements. I understand that advertising revenue is what makes many websites free, but as Internet Service Providers start imposing download quotas on users, consumers will be more directly paying for the ads that often involve intrusive user-tracking systems. We'll pay for content in lost privacy and in dollars.

I do find it darkly comic that the Internet, developed as a military technology, was pretty much our friend until industrial-scale commerce got ahold of it.

Now both government and corporations take an adversarial stance towards users.

Aug. 15 2010 11:05 AM
Bruce Armstrong from Flushing New York

I thought I had some wires crossed in my radio. I completely lost the thread of what you were talking about because I got absorbed in Peter and the Wolf. Please don't do this kind of thing again. It's just cluttered and annoying to listen to. Your interviewees and Tchaikovsky and loyal listeners all deserve better.

Well, I guess I can read the transcript, sans soundtrack. I'm grateful for that.

(seriously, using musical snippets to PUNCTUATE a story can work well, as with WNYC's Radio Lab. But not the way you did it, just slapping the words on top of the music.)

Aug. 15 2010 10:25 AM
Clif Martin from Michigan

The musical punctuation left me thinking there was something wrong with the feed. Bad idea. Send us the music or the commentary but not at the same time.

Aug. 14 2010 11:55 AM
Brett Glass from Laramie, WY

Unfortunately, this segment completely excluded two important viewpoints: the views and interests of independent Internet service providers (not the large telecomm companies like Verizon) and those of their customers. It also failed to analyze or critique the FCC's proposed "network neutrality" regulations, which in fact would make the playing field less neutral than it is today. (They'd slant it toward large campaign contributor Google, which had a hand in crafting the proposed regulations.) Rather than simply interviewing the "usual suspects" (that is, Washington DC lobbyists), NPR should entertain views from the real world outside the Beltway.

Aug. 14 2010 11:50 AM
Micah from Queens

That was a very entertaining and informative segment. Thanks on the media, you deliver every week.

Aug. 14 2010 07:19 AM

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