Blog

  • The Top Five Most Ridiculous Things I Have Experienced (So Far) While Collecting Files from Television Stations

    August 17, 2012
    While the process of collecting public and political files from broadcast TV stations should probably evoke the feel of a drama or a high-tension mystery show, my experiences have left me feeling like I am starring in my own personal sitcom. Why? Because the process of getting my hands on these files has been laced with moments that can be described only as comedic. Or maybe they more accurately fit into the genre of “dark comedy” —you know, the kind that’s funny but also makes you groan a bit.
  • Free Pussy Riot. Free Expression

    August 17, 2012
    Three members of the Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison this morning for committing acts of “hooliganism.” Pussy Riot’s conviction rattles us because it seems so outdated. The word hooliganism itself belongs to an era long gone. Yet the sentencing of these women reminds us that no matter how far we think we have come, threats to free speech and freedom of expression continue.
  • New York Times Picks a New CEO

    August 15, 2012
    Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC, has been named the new CEO of the New York Times.The choice of Thompson comes just weeks after the Times announced that it now receives the majority of its revenue from subscriptions, not advertisers. In many ways, the success of the Times paywall has been to cultivate a committed cohort of fans who subscribe — which then allows the majority of readers to access stories for free. This model isn’t that far off from the public media model, where donors account for about 10 percent of the audience.
  • Why Is It So Hard to Get Press Credentials?

    August 14, 2012
    Every couple of months, questions arise over who qualifies as a journalist — and who has the power to make this judgment. Recently there’s been a lot of discussion about the difficulty many journalists and media outlets have had in obtaining press credentials. The accreditation process has created significant barriers for nonprofit, nontraditional and online journalism outlets in particular.
  • On the Road in Chicago at NBC and Telemundo

    August 13, 2012

    I have to admit, I approached NBC Tower in Chicago with trepidation.

    Five years ago I helped organize 1,000 people from all over Chicago to attend a Federal Communications Commission hearing and speak out against media consolidation. Two years ago I was in Chicago to organize local people to oppose Comcast's takeover of NBCUniversal.

  • On the Road at WGN-TV

    August 13, 2012
    I flew to Chicago to visit WGN-TV, a Tribune-owned station. Armed with a MacBook Air and an Epson scanner — try clearing that with Transportation Security Administration officials — I headed to the station to review WGN's political file.
  • Seeking Political Ad Sleuths!

    August 10, 2012

    Today we’re launching the next phase of our ongoing work to shine much-needed sunlight on this year’s unprecedented political ad spending.

    We’re announcing the Political Ad Sleuths: Campus Challenge, a nationwide effort in which Free Press and allied organizations will work with college faculty and students to find out who’s behind all the political ads dominating our airwaves.

  • FCC Ruling Will Save Verizon Wireless Customers Big Bucks

    August 9, 2012
    Last week, the Federal Communications Commission handed down a decision that could save millions of Verizon Wireless subscribers up to $240 a year.
  • The National Conference for Media Reform Wants You!

    August 9, 2012

    Want to present a session at the next National Conference for Media Reform? We’re already busy planning the conference, which will be held in Denver in April 2013, so now is the time to send us your proposals.

    But before you dive in and start typing something up, take some time to learn more about our conference priorities, selection criteria, themed tracks and submission process.

  • 2012 Games Highlight an Olympic-Sized Problem for Fans

    August 8, 2012
    While competition is the name of the game for the 10,000 athletes competing in the Summer Olympics, the same can’t be said for the viewing audience. In fact, the Olympics show what happens when viewers don’t have enough options at their disposal.

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people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good