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A View from the Field is an ongoing feature that highlights the efforts of Free Press’ team of organizers and advocates.

We provide regular updates from the field as staffers work alongside our amazing allies and activists to create a just and equitable media system.

  • Nora Benavidez took part in “New Frontiers for Protecting the Press Function,” a panel discussion at the Knight First Amendment Institute conference The Future of Press Freedom: Democracy, Law, and the News in Changing Times.” Nora and her fellow panelists explored how generative AI and other technologies change how journalism is produced and disseminated.
  • Nora also took part in the panel discussion “AI and News: Charting the Course” at a joint Aspen Institute/Ford Foundation event. The gathering explored, among other topics, the ethical imperatives for newsrooms and AI companies when they gather our personal data.
  • The Free Press-led Media Power Collaborative presented the discussion “Building Worker and Community Power to Transform Local News” in honor of International Labor Day on May 1. Alex Frandsen hosted the virtual event, which featured Vanessa Maria Graber moderating a panel discussion with three journalists. The panelists, Alex noted in an accompanying blog post, “spoke at length about how community members and journalism workers can work together to structurally transform local journalism, reorienting it away from profit-chasing and corporate consolidation and toward serving community-information needs and ensuring fair working conditions.”
  • Vanessa Maria and Cassie Owens took part in the event “Youth Justice, Media Narratives & Philadelphia,” which DayOneNotDayTwo and Zealous hosted. Cassie gave a presentation about media harm and set up an activation station where she and Vanessa Maria engaged community members in conversations about care and media harm.
  • Alisha Wang Saville spoke at a press conference in Sacramento that introduced a journalism bill that would impose a fee on tech platforms and use the proceeds to support journalism jobs. “We believe that SB 1327 has immense potential to bolster local news at a time when California needs bold action really desperately,” Alisha said. The bill is up for consideration in the state Senate.
  • Matt Wood took part in the panel discussion “Capitol Hill: Legislative and Regulatory Updates in the Broadband and Cable Industry” at the Broadband and Cable Industry Law Conference in New York City.
  • Free Press Action presented the webinar “Data and Dissent: Protest Rights and Press Freedom Under Surveillance,” which Nora moderated and Jenna Ruddock took part in as a panelist. The discussion explored the state of protest rights and press freedom on university campuses. Watch the conversation here.
  • Nora also gave a presentation on AI and civil rights at the Kapor Center in Oakland.
  • Venneikia Williams hosted Media 2070’s quarterly membership meeting, where Diamond Hardiman shared two videos she co-created for the Reparative Journalism series. The first video explored the journalism industry’s violent history of harming Black communities and other communities of color, and the second examined what journalists can learn from global movements responding to centuries of violence, theft and oppression. Joseph Torres took part in the gathering.
  • Free Press released a poll surveying public attitudes about media and technology in an election year. The comprehensive survey, which the African American Research Collaborative and BSP Research conducted, shows that Americans believe the current media system is failing to meet the needs of a functioning democracy. Nora and Jessica J. Gonzàlez took part in a webinar Free Press hosted about the poll’s findings. “Across racial, ethnic and political divides,” Jessica said in a statement, “the poll shows high levels of concern about the twin problems of dwindling local news and the prevalence of false information online.”

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