Blog

Welcome to the Free Press blog! We post several times a week on everything from Internet access to free speech to media mergers, so check back often to see what we’re up to.

  • Video: Free Press’s Ben Scott on Net Neutrality's Future

    April 13, 2010

    Are you still trying to make sense of last week's court decision, which ruled the FCC lacks authority over the Internet? There have been so many articles and so much spin, it’s hard to know what this decision means for Net Neutrality and our work to bridge the nation’s digital divide.

    For some clarity, check out this Q&A between Washington Post's Cecilia Kang and Free Press policy director Ben Scott, in which they discuss the effect of last week's court decision on the future of the Internet.

  • ColorOfChange.org Calls on Its Members to Support Net Neutrality

    April 8, 2010

    ColorOfChange.org has urged its members to call on the Federal Communications Commission to protect an open Internet by passing Network Neutrality rules and re-establishing its authority to regulate the broadband industry following Tuesday’s federal court ruling.

  • How I Lost the Big One, Bigtime

    April 7, 2010

    On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit ruled on an important Internet law case I argued for Free Press on behalf of a range of “supporting intervenors” in the case. I wanted to post a few thoughts about the decision.

  • Appeals Court Ruling Endangers FCC's Ability to Protect Online Speech

    April 7, 2010

    Broadband networks represent the most critical communications infrastructure of our time: if these underlying transmission systems don't function effectively, the Internet cannot serve as a vibrant forum for speech, commerce, and culture.

  • Net Neutrality -- The Fight Ahead

    April 7, 2010

    "The Day the Internet Lost" read a full-banner headline on Huffington Post yesterday.

  • The Courts Can’t Take Away Our Internet

    April 6, 2010

    Today’s ruling for Comcast by the DC Circuit Court could be the biggest blow to our nation’s primary communications platform, or it could be the kick in the pants our leaders need to finally protect it. Either way, the future of the Internet, the fight for Net Neutrality, and the expansion of broadband is hanging in the balance.

  • Public Policy and the Collapse of Complex Business Models

    April 5, 2010

    Clay Shirky published a thoughtful blog post called “The Collapse of Complex Business Models” where he applies the lessons of Joseph Tainter’s 1988 book, The Collapse of Complex Societies to the shifting media industry. Shirky's reflections on the challenges and opportunities that exist in times of collapse pose key questions about how we make structural change in societies, cultures and industries.

    Tainter’s essential theory is that complex societies collapse not in spite of their complexity but because of it. Shirky summarizes: “Early on, the marginal value of this complexity is positive—each additional bit of complexity more than pays for itself in improved output—but over time, the law of diminishing returns reduces the marginal value, until it disappears completely. At this point, any additional complexity is pure cost.” For Shirky, this tension is at the heart of many questions about the future of media, and he suggests that paywall advocates are essentially arguing that they need to find ways to make Web users pay up because otherwise, “we will have to stop making content in the costly and complex way we have grown accustomed to making it. And we don’t know how to do that.”

  • Phone Company Helps Make the Case for Net Neutrality

    April 5, 2010

    Here we go again. Another Internet service provider is caught getting in the way of its users, just four days before the Federal Communications Commission closes the window for public comments in its effort to stop such meddling.

  • New Journalism Centers Created for Public Media

    April 2, 2010

    The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has announced a major journalism initiative that will increase original local reporting in seven regions around the country. Media Minutes has the story this week.

    The CPB is funding the creation of seven Local Journalism Centers that would combine the resources of participating public TV and radio stations to tackle important but under-reported regional news stories.

    Patricia Harrison, President and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, says that the public media system is uniquely structured to increase regional reporting.

  • Driven Back to Dial-Up

    April 2, 2010

    You know your company is performing poorly when someone cancels your high-speed Internet and opts for dial-up instead.

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people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good