Nearly 50 Online Journalism Innovators Pledge Support for Net Neutrality

Dear Chairman Genachowski and members of Congress,

We, the undersigned, ask you to stand with us in favor of “Net Neutrality.” Freedom of the press is a central tenant of our democracy and the Internet is today’s printing press. As journalists we understand that Net Neutrality is at its core about people’s access to information. The future of journalism in America depends on an open and free flowing Internet.

Opponents have suggested that a Net Neutrality rule would give the government the power to “become the Web’s traffic cop, shutting down free speech on the Internet.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Without rules to prevent discrimination, Internet service providers will be free to choose whose online voices are more important. Network Neutrality promotes the widest dissemination of all forms of news and information. This openness is the reason the Internet has unleashed a tidal wave of new journalism efforts and innovative reporting projects.

As more and more news and information moves online, we need to ensure that the flow of information on Internet is free and unencumbered. With Net Neutrality we can support newspapers’ transition to the digital era, and at the same time foster a new cadre of voices online. Net Neutrality ensures that innovative local news websites and nonprofit reporting projects can be accessed just as easily as legacy media sites. Net Neutrality encourages journalists to pioneer new tools and modes of reporting and lowers the bar for citizens to participate. It is about creating a level playing field for all voices.

The future of journalism is bound up in the future of the Internet. To function effectively, our modern democratic society must protect these central public goods. We need news and information to fill and guide a marketplace of ideas for an informed citizenry. And we need universal access to a communications network to participate in that marketplace as both audience and speaker.

Without strong Net Neutrality protections, Internet companies can block certain Web sites, or slow down and obstruct certain applications. These actions would have a chilling effect on free speech and freedom of the press online. Protecting freedom of the press can’t stop online.

We call on the FCC to take action now to affirmatively safeguard the free flow of information on the Web before it’s too late.

Signed,

Angela K. Antony, CEO, Beanstockd Media Inc.
David Ardia, Director, Citizen Media Law Project, Harvard Law School
Julia Austin, Associate Publisher, The Texas Observer
Murali Balaji, Assistant Professor, Lincoln University
David S. Bennahum, President & CEO, The Center for Independent Media
Jason Barnett, Executive Director, The UpTake
Joel Bleifuss, Editor & Publisher, In These Times
Jeff Cohen, Park Center for Independent Media, Ithaca College
David Cohn, Director, Spot.Us
Dan Conover, freelance journalist and media futurist, http://xark.typepad.com
Jessica T. Durkin, Scranton, PA, http://inothernews.us
Phillip Frazer, Publisher & Co-editor, Hightower Lowdown
Garlin Gilchrist II, The SuperSpade
Steve Hanson, Publisher, RootsWire
Lauren Hauser, YouthNoise!
Peter Hussmann, Editor/Publisher, Newton Independent
Aldon Hynes, Blogger, Orient Lodge
Carol Jenkins, President, Women's Media Center
Linda Jue, Director/Executive Editor, G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism
Steve Katz, Vice President for Strategy and Development, Mother Jones
Chip Kaye, Founder, Jseed.org
Tom Klammer, community radio public affairs program host/producer, KKFI
Barbara Kooyman, Director, Artists For Media Diversity
Fran Korten, Executive Director, YES! Magazine
Jonathan Lawson, Executive Director, Reclaim the Media
Otis Maclay, Pacifica Foundation
Marge May, Producer/Host of Women’s Windows, WERU-FM Community Radio Maine
Steve Outing, media consultant, Editor & Publisher columnist
Randy Paynter, Founder & CEO, Care2.com
Dan Pacheco, founder, Printcasting
Nick Penniman, Executive Director, Huffington Post Investigative Fund
Miriam Perez, Editor, Feministing.com
Richard Phelps, Former Chair of KPFA's Local Station Board
Jessica Mason Pieklo, Writer and Editor, Care2
Cara Lisa Berg Powers, Co-Director, Press Pass TV
Steve Ranieri, Executive Director, Quote...Unquote, Inc.
Tracy Record & Patrick Sand, co-publishers, West Seattle Blog and White Center Now
Colin Rhinesmith, Community Media Coordinator, Cambridge Community Television
Iván Román, Executive Director, National Association of Hispanic Journalists
Nancy Roof, Founder and Editor, Kosmos Journal
Jay Rosen, New York University
Mary Serreze, Publisher, NorthamptonMedia
Tracy Van Slyke, Project Director, The Media Consortium
Craig Sinclair, Community Media Coordinator, Amherst Community Television
David Sirota, Nationally syndicated weekly newspaper columnist and bestselling author
Michael Stoll, Project director, The Public Press
Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder of Global Voices, senior researcher at the Berkman Center

UPDATE: The names just keep rolling in - we are now up to nearly 50 newsrooms and journalists who have signed on to support Net Neutrality."

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good