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.
- In November, Free Press Action released the report Insatiable: Inside the Tech Industry’s Quest for All Our Data, which Jenna Ruddock wrote. The report explores how the rampant harvesting of our personal data online has led to discrimination, disclosure of sensitive information and other abuses. To mark the report’s launch, Free Press Action hosted a webinar featuring a discussion with Jenna, Sen. Ed Markey and other advocates. Nora Benavidez moderated the conversation. “For two decades, Free Press has served as a champion of the free and open internet, a defender of democratic values and of course a relentless advocate for online privacy rights,” Markey said. “When freedom is in jeopardy, Free Press is there to ensure that we stay on the right side of history.”
- Earlier this year, the Media 2070 team and the Black Thought Project debuted the Black Future Newsstand exhibit in Harlem. In November, Diamond Hardiman and Venneikia Williams went to Austin to present a travel-sized version of the newsstand at the AfroTech conference. “Black Future Newsstand continues to offer space for people to share their dreams for a future media, one where Black people control their stories from ideation to distribution, a world that will exist on the other side of media reparations,” Diamond wrote in a powerful blog post.
- Jenna helped organize two panel discussions for the annual meeting of the Society of Social Studies of Science. The discussions explored technological infrastructures and the violence generated via industrial practices of extraction and exploitation.
- Nora spoke at a virtual event examining anti-democratic trends in the United States. The conversation, which South Arts hosted, touched on book bans, legislative proposals to limit the teaching of slavery, bans on drag shows and more.
- Nora took part in the Open Markets Institute’s “AI & the Public Interest” event. She spoke during a panel discussion considering how monopoly control over AI threatens to exacerbate online disinformation and the destruction of news.
- Nora also took part in the panel discussion “What Threats Loom Over the 2024 U.S. Elections, and Are We Prepared to Face Them?” — a look at how elections are becoming a battleground instead of a civic activity. The event, which Ethnic Media Services hosted, explored the impacts of disinformation, threats to election officials and baseless claims of election fraud.
- Timothy Karr took part in the Saving Journalism Summit at Columbia University, where he presented a recent Free Press Action study on the California Journalism Preservation Act. The report, which S. Derek Turner and Alex Frandsen wrote, shows that the CJPA would reward large and very profitable media outlets, including Fox News, Sinclair Broadcast Group and People magazine — and steer very little money to the independent media outlets that are struggling to survive.