• Sinclair Hijacks the Airwaves for Political Gain

    November 12, 2012

    Lost in the media frenzy of last Tuesday’s elections was one broadcaster’s 11th-hour attempt to bias voters against President Barack Obama.

    Just hours before Americans went to the polls on Tuesday, Sinclair Broadcast Group — which owns more than 70 TV stations nationwide — forced newscasters in battleground states to air a “special” that attacked President Obama’s positions on health care, jobs and foreign policy.

  • Spanish-Language TV Ads by the Numbers

    November 7, 2012

    Free Press spent the final months of the campaign season traveling to swing states to visit TV stations that are not currently required to post their political files to the Federal Communications Commission’s new online database.

    When the FCC announced it would require broadcasters to upload data on political ad spending, it exempted all Spanish-language TV stations from posting this information until 2014.

  • Following Political Ad Money in Miami

    November 6, 2012

    Since the Federal Communications Commission’s new online database of political ad data does not include information from Spanish-language stations, we at Free Press decided to take matters into our own hands. Free Press staff and volunteers visited Spanish-language stations in three battleground states — Colorado, Florida and New Mexico — to inspect the political files and post them online.

  • Puppet Power

    November 5, 2012

    "Power to the puppets!" The chant rang out Saturday over the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where roughly 1,000 people gathered to show their support for public media.

    A meme was born minutes after Mitt Romney said in the first presidential debate that he would cut funding for Big Bird and PBS. Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and Photoshopped images flooded the Internet, but the buzz faded after a few weeks. Then along came the Million Puppet March.

  • Missing Out: Political Ads, Spanish-Language TV and the Latino Vote

    November 5, 2012
    Latino voters will play a critical role in the 2012 presidential race. An estimated 12 million Latinos will cast ballots this November, making up a significant portion of the electorate in swing states like Colorado, Florida and Nevada. One might assume that the presidential candidates, political parties and Super PACs would spare no expense to win over Latino voters. After all, Latinos make up 17 percent of the U.S. population. But so far, that has not been the case.
  • Your Right to Record at the Voting Booth

    November 2, 2012

    For the most part Free Press’ work on people’s right to record has focused on conflicts between journalists and police. However, as Election Day approaches, a coalition of groups is mobilizing people to take their smartphones and video cameras to polling places to “video the vote.”

  • After #Sandy, WNYC Radio Shows How Pro-Am Crowdsourcing Can Fill in the Picture

    November 2, 2012
    With millions of residents of the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state area without power since Superstorm Sandy swept through the region Monday, a complete picture of the devastation and loss remains out of reach. On Wednesday, I visited Oceanside, on the south shore of Long Island, where I grew up and where my mother still lives in our family home.
  • UberTAXI Goes UberRAND

    October 31, 2012
    A brouhaha has developed over the shutdown of UberTAXI — a service run by Uber, a startup that connects people to taxi cabs and liveries. So ... why are we at Free Press writing about a taxi service?
  • Join the Open Wireless Movement!

    October 31, 2012
    Imagine a world in which, neighborhood by neighborhood, people stop putting password locks on their Wi-Fi networks and instead share their Internet connections with their neighbors, giving everyone in their community access to a fast and open Internet.­­
  • Hijacking Democracy

    October 26, 2012

    Former Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps gave a talk Thursday about whether the media will strengthen our democracy — or destroy it.

    His assessment — given after he spent more than a decade overseeing the industry — is disturbing. Copps has long argued that the media in general, and TV broadcasters in particular, need to do a lot more to nourish civic discourse.


People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good