While the last votes are still being tallied, we saw so many voters reject hate and lies and show up to defend democracy and human rights. When it comes to media and tech, the results mean there is new momentum and political opportunity to advance key appointments and new policies that will actually protect people and improve their lives.
At the same time, the media’s misguided focus on horse-race coverage and polling once again showed how much work we still have to do to build a democracy-sustaining media system. The simultaneous implosion of Twitter under Elon Musk demonstrates why we can’t leave the future of our media — our democracy — to the whims of billionaires or charlatans. We must begin investing in and building alternatives that are grounded in and responsive to local communities.
So our tasks at this moment are two-fold: We must seize political opportunities and reduce harm in the immediate term — starting with this “lame duck” session of Congress — while continuing to dream and lay the pathways to the media system we actually need and deserve.
Here at Free Press Action that means we’ll move now to:
- Build on the early success and excellent coverage of our #StopToxicTwitter campaign by keeping the pressure on advertisers and readying for any post-election chaos;
- Fight Trump’s return to social media as he readies for a 2024 bid;
- Continue pushing to get Gigi Sohn confirmed to the FCC so the agency can get to work on urgent priorities even with the potential of a divided Congress;
- Push for the passage of the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, which would safeguard our personal data; and
- Fight bad bills like the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which would prop up the corporate media that continue to harm our communities.
In the long term, we’re aiming to:
- Get ready for 2024 now. We need to continue to expose how the news industry fuels threats to our democracy.
- Build new systems. We need to put forward new plans and strategies to create the transformative changes and media structures that will support a just multiracial democracy.
- Sharpen the vision and build the political power we need to construct a news system that is responsive to communities, rather than shareholders.
There are now new political openings and opportunities. We have a lot of work ahead of us — but in the days ahead, we will organize for the media and tech we deserve, the stories that must be told and the world we know we can build — because we know it’s possible.