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.

  • Rural Groups Call for Better Broadband Service

    October 13, 2011

    In its relentless effort to take over competitor T-Mobile, AT&T has been dangling the promise of better service and greater access to broadband Internet to rural Americans as an incentive for policymakers to support and approve the $39 billion deal. But in eastern Kentucky, activists for rural broadband aren’t holding their breath and waiting for AT&T to make good on this promise.   

  • Online News Sites Diss Diversity

    October 12, 2011

    The Web is supposed to be different. More open, more inclusive. Surely old ways of reporting on (or ignoring) people of color haven’t transferred online ... 

  • Music to Industry's Ears

    October 12, 2011

    The last time I scanned through my local radio dial, I heard the same pop song, Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” playing simultaneously on three different radio stations. If a couple of senators and their friends in the broadcast industry have their way, soon we could hear the same song on six or more stations.

  • News for All the People Book Tour Launch

    October 12, 2011

    Here at Free Press we're celebrating the release of our colleague Joseph Torres' new book, News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media. This October the authors are taking their book on the road on a national tour that includes stops in New York, California, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Washington, D.C.

  • Product Placement Gone Wild

    October 6, 2011

    On NPR’s Morning Edition this Wednesday, reporter Elizabeth Blair took a hard look at the ways in which advertisers are flooding our media and having more and more of a say in the content we see between the commercial breaks. New tools and technology have given consumers more options for skipping the ads that have quietly come to fill as much as 10 to 15 minutes of a half-hour program. With TiVo and online streaming, people can increasingly choose what commercials they see — or skip the ads altogether.

  • Field Reporting: Going, Going, Gone?

    October 4, 2011

    Veteran TV journalist David Marash knows the news.

    Marash is a former correspondent for ABC’s Nightline and won Emmys for his reporting on the Oklahoma City bombing and the explosion of TWA Flight 800. He was an anchor for Al Jazeera English from 2006–2008. He’s spent a good 50 years in the business.

    Which also means Marash knows when the networks are trying to pass something off as news that isn’t news. He calls it “news whiz”: Like Cheez Whiz, it’s an embarrassing substitute for the real thing.

  • Surprise! The Open Internet Spurs Innovation

    October 4, 2011

    We’ve been saying it for years. Now a new report from the nonpartisan Institute for Policy Integrity backs it up: The open Internet — an even playing field on which all websites and applications are treated equally — is an engine of innovation and investment.

  • Pittsburgh Stands Up for Media Reform

    October 3, 2011

    Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps will be the first to tell you that his own agency needs to do more to improve the country’s media system. Last Monday, he told a room full of Pittsburgh residents that a key part of the remedy is citizen action.

    “If we are to ever have media of the people, by the people and for the people, you need to take this fight on,” Copps told the crowd at a town hall-style dialogue sponsored by Free Press. “The stakes could not be higher ... If we are denied quality news and information, if we are denied in-depth investigative reporting and if we are denied a media environment wherein independent voices can speak and be heard, then we won’t be able to sustain an
    informed electorate.”

  • Free Press Tells the FCC: Time for Media Transparency

    October 3, 2011

    At today’s FCC hearing on the Information Needs of Communities, Free Press Policy Counsel Corie Wright made the case for why we need a new era of broadcaster transparency. Through a few simple changes, Wright argues, the FCC could make available vital information about how the media serve local communities — and enable citizens, journalists and public interest groups to hold media accountable.

    The text of Corie Wright’s speech, delivered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University, follows below.

  • Black Voices for Internet Freedom Launches

    September 30, 2011

    Last Friday marked the launch of Black Voices for Internet Freedom, a new coalition of local, regional and national organizations, leaders and their allies joining together to keep the Internet open and free from discrimination.


People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good