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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.

  • News Voices Director Vanessa Maria Graber received an Atlantic City Ladies in Leadership Award for Media Activism from the Light, a radio-and-events organization.
  • Al Dia News nominated Vanessa Maria for a Women of Merit Award in the public-service category.
  • Associate Legal Director and Senior Policy Counsel Carmen Scurato spoke on a MozFest panel exploring the fight against disinformation that targets communities of color. Free Press partnered on this panel with allies in the Disinfo Defense League, which is calling on social-media companies to combat racialized disinformation about voting, the pandemic and other crucial issues.
  • Media 2070 Campaign Manager Venneikia Williams took part in a panel discussion exploring the fight for federal reparations for the Black community. Panelists shared their strategies for nationwide organizing, ranging from education to storytelling to direct action. Liberation Ventures and the Women Donors Network co-hosted this event.
  • Senior Director of Strategy and Communications Timothy Karr spoke at a Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs event on global efforts to save journalism. Drawing on Free Press research, he examined the need to reform or reinvent the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to better support noncommercial media.
  • Co-CEO Jessica J. González testified about California legislation that would create a $50-million fund to support local journalism. “Over the past 15 years, the U.S. has lost over half the newspaper reporters covering state and local beats,” she testified. “California has lost 25 percent of its newspapers and total news circulation has dropped by 50 percent. The decimation of local news has disproportionately harmed the poor, people of color, rural communities and immigrants.”
  • This California fund would share similarities with New Jersey’s Civic Information Consortium, which distributes public funds to innovative news-and-information projects throughout the state. Free Press Action helped conceive and pass the New Jersey bill that created the consortium. In March, Senior Director of Journalism Policy Mike Rispoli, who is also a consortium board member, testified in support of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposal to invest $2 million in funding for the nonprofit.

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