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Once a month, we provide updates from the field as staffers work alongside our amazing allies and activists to create a more just and equitable media system.

  • Senior Director of Strategy and Communications Timothy Karr served as the general rapporteur at the Council of Europe’s World Forum for Democracy, which was held in Strasbourg, France. The theme of this year’s gathering was “Can Democracy Save the Environment?” Tim organized volunteer rapporteurs to attend all of the conference sessions and report their findings; he drew on these reports for a presentation he gave during the closing plenary.
  • Free Press Action and Sen. Ben Ray Luján hosted a roundtable that delved into social media’s non-English disinformation crisis and explored solutions. Free Press Action CO-CEO Jessica J. González moderated the discussion, which featured remarks from Luján, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Tony Cárdenas, FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, grassroots leaders and policy experts. “Sometimes Spanish-language posts never get flagged,” Klobuchar said. “You can still find Spanish-language Facebook posts from November 2020 that promote election lies with no warning labels.” More information about the event is available here.
  • Senior Counsel and Director, Digital Justice and Civil Rights Nora Benavidez spoke at and helped facilitate “Logging Off Facebook: What Comes Next,” a conference that brought together technologists, policymakers and organizers working to hold the company accountable and address how it’s harmed civic life.
  • Nora also took part in a Practising Law Institute panel exploring legal and regulatory solutions to tech challenges. She discussed policy reforms that Free Press is fighting for, including efforts to regulate social-media companies.
  • The Los Angeles branch of the Society of Professional Journalists honored Nora for her contributions to journalism in Southern California and her commitment to a free press.
  • Nora also spoke during “The People’s Pink Slip: Zuckerberg Must Go,” which our ally MediaJustice organized. This campaign call focused on how Facebook has eroded our information systems, exploited our data and enabled users to foment hate and violence.
  • News Voices: Colorado Manager Diamond Hardiman presented at World Denver’s International Visitor Leadership Program. She spoke with journalists from Belize about the News Voices project and about the ways in which power shows up in journalism. One participant drew inspiration from the Black Voices and Latinx Voices working groups Diamond helped organize in Colorado and called for similar gatherings in Belize to address issues of corruption.
  • News Voices Director Vanessa Maria Graber took part in two panel discussions at the Center for Cooperative Media’s Local News Summit. One session explored the work she’s helped lead to shape a collective vision for the future of local news in New Jersey. The other examined the findings from information-needs assessments conducted in Atlantic City, Camden and Newark.
  • Policy Fellow Sanjay Jolly took part in the discussion “Imagining a New Social Contract for Media,” which the Media, Inequality & Change Center hosted. The panel of international law and policy scholars discussed ways to reform our media system so that it serves everyone. The group noted that maximizing positive freedoms is essential to creating the information and communication infrastructures that democratic society requires.

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