In 2015, Free Press celebrated our two biggest victories yet: We secured real Net Neutrality rules at the Federal Communications Commission and derailed Comcast’s bid to take over Time Warner Cable.

All year, we defended our victories — in Congress, in court and in the press — against attacks from the giant phone and cable companies, their lobbyists and the politicians doing their bidding.

But we didn’t do it alone.
Allies like YOU made all the difference.

Net Neutrality Activists

Major Win
We Saved Net Neutrality !

On Feb. 26, in a meeting filled with repeated standing ovations, the FCC adopted its landmark open Internet protections in response to a decade of nonstop advocacy from Free Press and our allies. The FCC put its new Net Neutrality rules on strong legal footing by restoring its authority over broadband under Title II of the Communications Act. And for the first time ever, we have rules that apply to mobile Internet connections. The agency’s final order cited Free Press analysis close to 70 times .

Grassroots advocacy groups began gathering outside the building more than four hours before the 1 p.m. vote [at the FCC]. … “We have been out here pretty much every month — in rain, sleet and now snow,” said Craig Aaron , president and chief executive of Free Press , an activist group that promotes Internet openness .

The New York Times , Feb. 27, 2015

What the Net Neutrality Win
Means for You

  • These protections safeguard your freedom of expression online. Internet service providers like Comcast can’t dictate where you go, what you share, or what you watch online.

  • You’re changing how policy is made in Washington. The 4 million people who spoke out for real Net Neutrality changed the debate and turned FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler from an opponent into a champion.

  • You can influence what happens next. We have major momentum on our side — and we’ll use it to defend our victory and build toward bigger wins that will keep the cable companies in check and make the open Internet affordable and available to everyone.

We Fought Back When Cable and Phone Companies Attacked the Net Neutrality Rules

The big Internet service providers and their lobbyists — not to mention their friends in Congress — wasted no time trying to kill these open Internet protections. Comcast and its cronies went after the rules in Congress, court and the press. Free Press fought back on every front.

We Stopped Congress from Destroying Net Neutrality

  • March

    Anti- Net Neutrality lawmakers convened five hearings designed to undermine the rules; we live-tweeted the proceedings to discredit false claims from the cable lobby.

    Once more, with feeling! Hearing no. 5 on #NetNeutrality -- largely repeating the same myths and claims we've debunked 100 times.

    Matt Wood ‏@mattfwood March 25

  • April

    Twenty-three House Republicans introduced a resolution of disapproval to overturn the rules. Thanks to you, the resolution never made it out of committee.

  • May

    We worked with our Voices for Internet Freedom partners to pressure members of the Congressional Black Caucus to drop their opposition to the rules.

  • June

    In a sneak attack on Net Neutrality, the House attached three riders aimed at gutting the rules to a must-pass appropriations bill. The next month, the Senate took up similar legislation.

  • Net Neutrality Activists


    The Free Press Action Fund teamed up with Demand Progress and the Media Action Grassroots Network to organize a Net Neutrality Drop-In Day at congressional offices. More than 1,200 activists took part , urging lawmakers to stop messing with the Internet .

  • August

    We organized in-person meetings in 11 states where scores of Free Press Action Fund members urged their lawmakers to speak out in support of the Net Neutrality rules.

  • November

    The budget process restarted and open Internet foes revived the riders during the year-end push to pass the spending bill. With you by our side, the Free Press Action Fund fought back once again on Capitol Hill.

  • Net Neutrality Activists


    Big win! The anti- Net Neutrality measures were removed from the final budget deal.

We’re Defending Net Neutrality in Court

After ISPs and their lobbyists sued to overturn the rules, Free Press intervened in court to defend both these protections and the FCC’s authority to enforce them. We coordinated the filings from our allies and constructed the legal arguments used in the briefs to safeguard the rules.

“We’re confident the FCC’s ruling will stand up in court because the agency chose the correct legal path to protect the rights Congress gave to Internet users,” said Matt Wood, policy director at awareness group Free Press.

USA Today , Dec. 4, 2015

On Dec. 4, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard arguments in the case of United States Telecom Association v. FCC . Our counsel, representing Free Press and close allies, mounted a forceful defense of the  Net Neutrality rules and the FCC’s authority .

We’ve done all we can to ensure the court upholds the rules in 2016. But we’re prepping for every possible outcome — including more congressional attacks and a possible appeal to the Supreme Court.

We Set the Record Straight

“It’s time for opponents of the Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality rules to drop the tired argument that these protections will harm investment. The facts show that they haven’t.”

Free Press Internet Campaign Director Candace Clement , The Boston Globe , Feb. 8, 2015

Companies like Comcast aren’t used to losing — so we weren’t surprised to see them resort to dirty tricks in the press. We tracked industry-fronted pieces spreading misinformation about the rules — then skewered these arguments via fact sheets and our own Op-Eds.

Net Neutrality Activists
Net Neutrality Activists

Major Win We Stopped the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger!

In April, Comcast dropped its $45 billion bid to take over Time Warner Cable, a deal that would have crushed competition, raised prices — and given one company unprecedented control over how we connect online.

Free Press led the coalition that defeated this merger. We organized rallies and helped activists speak out at hearings, delivered more than 400,000 petition signatures, and underscored the deal’s many harms in our extensive filings at the FCC.

The demise of this merger is a huge victory for broadband users nationwide. As with the Net Neutrality win, the combination of public activism and top-notch policy analysis made this victory possible.

Opponents of the deal, like the public interest group Free Press , are in a celebratory mode. Free Press CEO Craig Aaron credited the government regulators “who have listened to the public .”

CNN, April 24, 2015

The TimeWarner/Comcast merger is dead! Congrats 2 orgs who fought 2 stop it & won! #NetNeutrality @mediajustice @freepress @mediamobilizing

Matt Howard ‏@MattWHoward April 24

Comcast Activists

What the Comcast Win Means for You

  • People power can triumph over corporate power. Comcast failed in its quest to monopolize Internet access — despite spending a whopping $336 million to try to sell the merger to Washington.

  • Internet users are now a force to be reckoned with. The momentum from the Net Neutrality win fueled the victory on this front — and Comcast’s loss will make it that much harder for companies to close similar deals.

How We Won

Check out our top takeaways from the Net Neutrality and Comcast wins.

Delete Monopolies

We’re Heading Off the Next Mega-Merger

Charter wants to be the new Comcast — and is trying to buy Time Warner Cable for $78.7 billion . We’re drawing on our success in defeating the Comcast merger to sink this one:

  • Our original research reveals how harmful this merger is: If it goes through, Charter and Comcast together would offer service to nearly 80 percent of U.S. homes.

  • We’re also showing how wasteful this deal is: To pay off the enormous debt it would need to take on, Charter would have to hike its already sky-high prices.

  • Free Press worked with Demand Progress and other allies to launch Already more than 200,000 people have signed the site's petition urging the FCC to block this deal.

Other Fronts in the Fight for Your Online Rights

Click to learn about the fight for online privacy.

Click to learn about the fight for universal and affordable access.

Building People Power

All year we ramped up the fight for your rights to connect and communicate — galvanizing hundreds of thousands to take action. We:

  • Inspired activists. Free Press Action Fund members made 7,500 calls to members of Congress. All told, our members took more than 350,000 actions in 2015.

  • Flew an airplane towing a “Don’t mess with the Internet” banner over Comcast headquarters in Philadelphia and the state capitols of key members of Congress in partnership with our Battle for the Net allies.

    Internet Banner
  • Internet Banner

    Broadcast our message in Times Square via a digital billboard celebrating the open Internet .

  • Launched our Internet 2016 campaign via the Free Press Action Fund to push presidential candidates from all parties to respect the principles of free speech , access, privacy, choice and openness online.

Free Press earned more than


media hits in 2015.

Coverage of our work appeared in major outlets like the BBC, CNN, The Los Angeles Times , The New York Times , The New Yorker , NPR, PBS, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post , as well as in regional outlets, the trade press, syndicated radio shows and high-profile tech and news sites.

Free Press Activists
Credit: Vanessa Maria Graber
Free Press Activists
Brad Resnick Photography

Boosting Local Journalism

Free Press launched our ambitious News Voices: New Jersey project to change the way local news is made. We’re working in the Garden State to strengthen relationships between newsrooms and community members. We chose New Jersey because it’s one of the most underserved states when it comes to news.

Thank you @freepress I am so motivated & excited to get back in the #acpress #newsroom tomorrow #newsvoices #AtlanticCity

Donna Weaver ‏@ACPressWeaver Dec 8

  • We’re engaged in intensive on-the-ground outreach with journalists, community members and a range of nonprofit organizations.

  • Hundreds of local residents turned out for community forums we held in New Brunswick and Atlantic City. Reporters listened to residents’ concerns and left with numerous story ideas to pursue .

  • We’re planning to hold similar events in Asbury Park, Camden, Morristown and Newark in 2016 and are committed to ongoing follow-up in all of these communities.

Journalism Activists
Brad Resnick Photography
Journalism Activists
Brad Resnick Photography
Free Press Staff


  • Craig Aaron President and CEO
  • Candace Clement Internet Campaign Director
  • Rachel Courtney Office Manager
  • Mary Alice Crim Field Director
  • Carrie Cuthbert Development Director
  • Elizabeth Dubuque Operations Manager
  • Dutch Embree Associate Digital Director
  • Dana Floberg C. Edwin Baker Policy Fellow
  • Katherine Fuchs Campaign Organizer
  • Sandra Fulton Government Relations Manager
  • Timothy Karr Senior Director of Strategy
  • Amy Kroin Editor
  • Gaurav Laroia Policy Counsel
  • Kimberly Longey Chief Operating Officer
  • Sara Longsmith Foundation Relations Manager
  • Lucia Martínez Organizer
  • Amy Martyn Administrative Director
  • Fiona Morgan Journalism Program Director
  • Yesenia Perez-Algarin Associate Development Director
  • Misty Perez Truedson Managing Director
  • Mike Rispoli Press Freedom Campaign Director
  • Joseph Torres Senior Director of External Affairs
  • S. Derek Turner Research Director
  • Matt Wood Policy Director
Josepeh Torres

Click to learn about Joe's amazing year.

Board of Directors

  • Craig Aaron
    Free Press President and CEO
  • Michael Copps Former FCC Commissioner
  • Olga M. Davidson
    Professor at Wellesley College
  • Kim Gandy President of the National Network to End Domestic Violence
  • Robert W. McChesney Media scholar at the University of Illinois
  • John Nichols Nation Correspondent
  • Liza Pike New Media Mentors Project Director
  • Ben Scott
    Senior Adviser to New America’s Open Technology Institute
  • Josh Silver
    CEO of United Republic
Free Press Next Generation

Building the Next Generation of Leaders

Free Press interns and fellows are key members of our team who do hands-on research, policy, communications and campaign work.

Free Press by the Numbers

Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund are grateful for the many generous individuals and charitable foundations that make our work possible. Thank you!

Free Press raised $2,438,063 in donations in 2015, from 355 unique donors, with contributions ranging from $1 to $700,000. The average Free Press donation was $6,868.

The Free Press Action Fund raised $418,092 in donations in 2015, from 4,594 unique donors, with contributions ranging from $3 to $125,000. The average Action Fund donation was $91.

Top Donor List

  • Evolve Foundation
  • Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
  • Ford Foundation
  • Foundation to Promote Open Society
  • Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
  • Holthues Trust
  • Hugh M. Hefner Foundation
  • Lederer Foundation
  • New Venture Fund (Media Democracy Fund)
  • Park Foundation
  • Pechet Foundation
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
  • San Francisco Foundation
  • Schwab Charitable Fund
  • Sixteen Thirty Fund
  • Steve and Paula Child Foundation
  • Sy Syms Foundation
  • The Democracy Fund
  • The Kaphan Foundation
  • Tides Foundation
  • Voqal Funding Group
  • William B. Wiener, Jr. Foundation
  • Working Assets/CREDO Customer Donation Program
  • Woodcock Foundation

2015 Financial Year in Review*

Free Press


Unrestricted Contributions$1,953,063
Temporarily Restricted Contributions$485,000
Collaborative Projects$12,114
Investment and Other Income$18,208
Total Revenue:$2,468,385


Internet Freedom and Press Freedom Programs$1,728,894
Management and Governance$127,191
Total Expenses:$2,304,444
Net Assets at Beginning of Year:$1,895,532
Net Assets at Year End:$2,059,473

Free Press Action Fund


Unrestricted Contributions$165,264
Temporarily Restricted Contributions$90,000
Investment Income$3,719
Total Revenue:$421,811


Internet Freedom and Press Freedom Programs$416,326
Management and Governance$31,141
Total Expenses:$523,960
Net Assets at Beginning of Year:$401,511
Net Assets at Year End:$299,362

Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund are nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that do not endorse or oppose any candidate for office.

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