Quality Journalism

We are in an unprecedented moment for journalism. The media landscape is changing dramatically, empowering more and more people to become media makers even as the traditional infrastructures that have supported journalism for years are eroding.

Yet one thing hasn’t changed: Journalism remains a public good. Journalism is so vital to our democracy that our founders protected it in the First Amendment.

Like many public goods, journalism has always been heavily subsidized. For the past century, the subsidy model has been advertising-supported journalism. But now that model is under threat. As a result of changes to the industry wrought by media consolidation, 24/7 cable news channels and the rise of the Internet, many cities and towns have lost their local newspapers. Meanwhile, slashed budgets and staff layoffs have ravaged local TV newsrooms.

We need to address the policies that have encouraged media companies to gut newsrooms and abandon serious newsgathering. We need policies that will foster a new era of locally rooted journalism. This is not about newspapers specifically; it’s about all kinds of newsrooms. It’s not about protecting old institutions or shoring up outmoded business models; it’s about serving the information needs of local communities.

The future of journalism will likely feature a range of models, and we recognize the need for experimentation, now and in the future. To nurture this kind of innovation, we need to engage in a truly public conversation about what the future of journalism should look like and point policymakers and regulators toward an agenda that will save the news and serve the public good.

Blog Posts

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Press Releases

  • 42 Free Speech, Open Government and Public Interest Groups Urge the FCC to Protect Net Neutrality

    March 20, 2014
    WASHINGTON -- On Thursday, Free Press and 41 freedom of speech, open government, journalism and public interest groups sent a letter urging Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to reclassify broadband access services to protect freedom of expression online.
  • Justice Dept. Pushes FCC to Take a Closer Look at Sharing Arrangements; Free Press Responds

    February 21, 2014

    On Thursday, the Justice Department sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission noting that broadcast-television station-sharing arrangements harm competition and deserve a far closer degree of scrutiny.

  • Hundreds Gather to Welcome FCC Chairman in Oakland

    January 9, 2014

    OAKLAND, Calif. -- On Thursday, it was standing room only in Nile Hall at Preservation Park as hundreds of Oakland residents gathered to tell Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler about the issues that matter most to them. The event, hosted by the Voices for Internet Freedom Coalition in partnership with the Center for Media Justice, Free Press, ColorOfChange and the National Hispanic Media Coalition, was the chairman’s first community event outside the Beltway.

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News from Around the Web

  • Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras Returning to U.S. for First Time Since Snowden Revelations

    Huffington Post
    April 11, 2014

    Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, two American journalists who have been at the forefront of reporting on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, will return to the United States for the first time since revelations of worldwide surveillance broke.

  • The Front Page 2.0

    Vanity Fair
    April 11, 2014

    In most hand-wringing debates about the future of newspapers, high-quality journalism is seen as doomed by the Internet. The author begs to disagree.

  • Peabody Hands Out a Record 46 Awards

    April 4, 2014

    A record 46 recipients of the University of Georgia’s 73rd Annual Peabody Awards were announced.

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  • Press Freedom

    Our democracy needs a robust press to hold our leaders accountable and cover the important issues facing our communities.

    But press freedom is under attack today, with government authorities seizing journalists’ phone records, detaining reporters at border crossings and demanding that journalists reveal the identities of confidential sources.

  • Nonprofit Journalism

    The ravages of consolidation and the rise of the Internet have converged to create a crisis in journalism.  Job cuts have decimated newsrooms, media companies have closed foreign bureaus, and the number of journalists covering statehouses has shrunk to almost zero in many places. Many small cities and towns — and even large cities like New Orleans — are now without a daily local newspaper.

  • IRS Policy and Nonprofit News

    The rise in the number of nonprofit journalism organizations has been heralded as one of the news industry’s most promising recent developments. Veteran reporters, tech-savvy journalists and members of the public are starting vibrant journalism nonprofits to fill the gaps commercial media are creating as they consolidate and slash newsroom jobs.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good