Blog

Welcome to the Free Press blog! We post several times a week on everything from Internet access to free speech to media mergers, so check back often to see what we’re up to.

  • Future of Media Report: A Feminist Challenge

    June 20, 2011

    This is a guest post from Carolyn Byerly, cross posted from WIMN's Voices, the blog of Women In News and Media. 

    Finding women and people of color in the long-awaited Federal Communications Commission report The Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape in a Broadband Age is an exercise in near futility. The 478-page report integrates details on the status of various media platforms and assesses mediated informational needs by communities within the United States in the years to come, ending with a short chapter on recommendations.

    Yet those of us know through experience that when women and people of color are omitted or barely mentioned in such a comprehensive undertaking, their interests are most certainly not going to be part of any structural changes. If Congress and the FCC follow this report, the future of media promises to be as white and male as the present.

  • Summary and Analysis of the FCC Future of Media Report: Bold Analysis, Weak Solutions

    June 17, 2011

    [Download a PDF version of this summary and analysis here.]

    The Federal Communications Commission has finally released its much anticipated report on the “Information Needs of Communities” (aka the “Future of Media Report”). The 400-page report is a wide-ranging look at the media landscape with an eye toward two questions: whether people and communities are getting the news and information they need, and whether current media policy is furthering local public interest goals.

  • A Recovering Journalist Reads The FCC Future of Media Report

    June 16, 2011

    I am a recovering journalist. 

    I went to school for it, got a master’s degree in it, won awards for it and taught it at two universities. So you could say I’ve spent a lot of time in the business of informing my fellow citizens about the goings-on in their world.

    But I don’t do it anymore. Not because I don’t believe that informing the public is an important service—it absolutely is.  I left the profession because I was no longer convinced that we were providing any such thing.

  • Debating Disclosure and Transparency in the FCC Future of Media Report

    June 15, 2011

    The recently released FCC report on “The Information Needs of Communities” focuses a good deal of attention on increasing transparency by government and by broadcasters, who get to use the public airwaves for free. Indeed, the FCC recommended that “disclosure should be a major pillar of FCC media policy.”

    The FCC has long recognized that providing communities with locally responsive programming is a “bedrock” obligation of every broadcaster. But to hold broadcasters accountable to this promise both citizens and the FCC need data about how broadcasters claim they are serving local communities.

  • No Rubber Stamp for AT&T in California

    June 15, 2011

    Last week I had the chance to testify before the California Public Utilities Commission about the harms of AT&T’s pending takeover of T-Mobile.

  • The Three Worst Ideas in the FCC’s Future of Media Report

    June 9, 2011

    The Federal Communications Commission released its long-awaited report on the future of media, now re-titled "The Technology and Information Needs of Communities.” The document spans a whopping 450 pages and touches on nearly every aspect of American media. The scope and depth of the report is impressive and the FCC future of media team should be commended for their tireless work on it. 

    However, at first glance, there are some glaring problems in key parts of the report that suggest troubling trends for those who care about better news and information for American communities. While the report does highlight a number of promising policy ideas—many proposed by Free Press and our allies—almost all of them are outside the jurisdiction of the FCC. We’ll post more on these policies soon.

  • Live Chat: FCC and the Future of Media

    June 8, 2011

    On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission released its long-awaited report on the future of media, titled "The Technology and Information Needs of Communities.” Below is an archive of a live blog discussion and some of the best tweets from the event. Stay tuned for more analysis of the 450 page report from Free Press and SaveTheNews.org.

  • Tethers, Rules and Consequences for Verizon

    June 8, 2011

    If you’ve been occasionally frustrated by your Internet service, you’re not alone. Service interruptions, slow download speeds, and climbing costs are common complaints.  But it could be worse.

  • Previewing the FCC Future of Media Report

    June 7, 2011

    After more than a year of investigation, the Federal Communications Commission is set to release its report on the Future of Media this week. While there have been a number of “future of news” reports over the last few years, this one has potential to help reshape the media policy landscape that shapes everything we watch, read and hear. For too long, technology has outpaced media policy and the public interest is being left behind.

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people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good