Logistical Instructions: • Complete your assignment in a Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF document of 2-3 pages. Use double line spacing, 11- or 12-point font, and standard margins. • Make sure your name is on the document. • This assignment can be completed in the form of an essay, with your own opinions on the issue; combined with knowledge from class discussions and some basic online research. • Your grade will be based on two equal factors: 1) the viability of your opinion, and 2) spelling, grammar, and consistency.
Select one of the topics on the next page, and read all three of the short Benton.org reports that are given for that topic. • Find at least one longer and more in-depth recent story about the issue in question. [Hint: These can sometimes be found by clicking on links in the Benton reports.] The longer story/stories you find must be fully cited in your paper and should be used to back up your arguments. • Start your paper with a short summary that describes the issue in detail, including the common issue behind the short Benton reports. • Address some or all of the following: o Identify the social problem, political controversy, and/or market failure that is at the root of the issue. o Why might the public, or a portion of the public, believe that there should be a governmental solution to the issue? Or, is there really a problem at all? o Is it practical or necessary for government to find a solution to the controversy or problem? If so, who in government would be able to offer a solution? Or, who/what outside of government could offer a solution? o Consider proposing your own solution, but be sure to discuss whether it would be practical or realistic.
Topic A: Cyber-Disputes with China See these recent stories at Benton.org: US Adds China’s Internet Controls to List of Trade Barriers http://tinyurl.com/jx587ly US v. China: Who Gets to Define the Terms of Hacking? http://tinyurl.com/hkjmonx President Obama Talks Cyber with Chinese President Xi Jinping http://tinyurl.com/h5m6gn4
Topic B: Reforming the Lifeline Program (Universal Service) See these recent stories at Benton.org: FCC Makes Essential Lifeline Progress http://tinyurl.com/grral4k Members of Congress Unleashed Last-Minute Lobbying to Change Lifeline Deal http://tinyurl.com/h7nkb96 Commissioner Pai’s Plan and the FCC Lifeline “Compromise” That Wasn’t http://tinyurl.com/h6jfsau
Topic C: Phone Calls in Prison See these recent stories at Benton.org: Court Stops FCC’s Latest Attempt to Lower Prison Phone Rates http://tinyurl.com/zq942u4 The Prison-Commercial Complex http://tinyurl.com/zpenzl6 Prison Phone Company Says Rate Caps Will Make Inmates Angry and Dangerous http://tinyurl.com/gq8ulow