Late last week, the FCC launched its “Future of Media” project with a public notice that solicits comment on the current and future media market and its role in fulfilling the information needs of citizens in the digital age. The inquiry is being spearheaded by Steven Waldman, who is a senior advisor to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, and who was given the task of leading “an agency-wide initiative to assess the state of media in these challenging economic times.” Noting that information gathered through the project will form the basis of a report that will assist the development of FCC policy on media ownership, broadband, and net neutrality, Genachowski said, “the FCC commits to fully understanding the fundamental changes underway in the media marketplace.” Specifically, the FCC’s notice seeks input, among other things, on (1) the role of the Internet in meeting the information needs of communities, (2) the potential impact of open Internet, net neutrality or universal broadband policies on the delivery of news online, and (3) the role of mobile communications in meeting information needs. While requesting comment on the decline of traditional print media and the impact of that decline on “the ability of broadcast radio and television, cable, satellite and other electronic media to serve communities,” the FCC’s notice also asks whether the public interest obligations of broadcasters should be “strengthened, relaxed, or otherwise re-conceptualized in this digital era.” Terming the FCC’s inquiry as a top priority, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps asserted that, “five-to-ten years more of the present journalistic decline is not an option America can afford.” Warning, “we must be wary of any attempts to let the government foxes into the henhouses of the press,” Commissioner Meredith Baker said, “I am hopeful we will address the concerns of parties that our current rules—based on a far different media landscape—inhibit innovative and new forms of journalism and newsgathering.”