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.

  • NPR and PBS Safe...For Now

    April 27, 2011

    Public broadcasting has survived another bruising round of attacks, thanks to the enormous outcry from all corners of the country and across the political spectrum. Thanks, in other words, to you.

    As we gathered in Boston earlier this month with 2,500 other media reform advocates at the National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR), the White House and Congress were on the verge of a possible government shutdown. The last minute deal our lawmakers struck included roughly $40 billion in cuts to an array of vital programs, but NPR and PBS were taken off the table. After hearing from millions of Americans, lawmakers got the message.

  • Astroturfing Net Neutrality

    April 18, 2011

    Free speech online has come under withering attack from the astroturf lobby -- corporate front groups that are determined to hand control of the Internet to companies like AT&T and Comcast.

  • Saving Rural Stations

    April 14, 2011

    On election night in the fall of 2000 I was serving with AmeriCorps in Adirondack Park in upstate New York. I was stationed at an old logging camp, now owned by the state, and spent my days serving as a teacher and mentor in a local school. We got our electricity from a generator and we didn’t have any access to cable TV or high speed internet. So that night, my fellow AmeriCorps members and I huddled around a small transistor radio in our kitchen and listened to the drama of that contentious election play out on North Country Public Radio. It was our only access to the outside world, our only reliable source of local, regional and national news.

  • Poll: Public Supports Higher Funding for NPR, PBS

    April 4, 2011

    Americans radically overestimate the amount of federal funding that goes to NPR and PBS, but still have overwhelming support for that funding.

    This weekend, Talking Points Memo reported on a new CNN survey assessing Americans' understanding and perceptions of the U.S. budget and government spending. The poll comes just days before a potential government shut down as the House and Senate battle over spending cuts for the rest of 2011.

  • Censorship: Made in the USA

    March 30, 2011

    March has been a stormy month across the Arab world as the hope for new democracy faces the harsh reality of despots armed with guns, tanks and the tools of censorship.

  • AT&T, T-Mobile and Unions: Our View

    March 28, 2011

    Here at Free Press, we see a lot of problems with AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile. The massive merger will eliminate competition in an already concentrated wireless market. It would leave two behemoths — Verizon and the newly bloated AT&T — in control of nearly 80 percent of that market, with Sprint a distant third.

  • Fake News Fines

    March 25, 2011

    Television stations have been getting away with airing fake news for far too long. But this week the Federal Communications Commission clamped down on the practice at two stations.

    The FCC fined a pair of television stations for airing commercials masquerading as news segments. These video news releases (VNRs) are advertisements produced to be virtually indistinguishable from news stories and distributed to television news departments, and they violate the FCC’s longstanding “sponsorship identification” rules when they are aired without disclosing their origins.

  • Five Things Wrong with AT&T's Mega-Merger

    March 24, 2011

    AT&T's $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA is yet another in the series of large telecom mergers that over time are slowly reassembling the Ma Bell monopoly of old.

    It's now left to federal regulators at the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission to decide what's really best for Americans.

  • Knocking AT&T’s Deal to Devour T-Mobile

    March 23, 2011

    AT&T wants you to think that its takeover of T-Mobile will lower your wireless bills and give you more choices for plans. Industry analysts are already filling our TV screens with prognostications to prop up AT&T’s promises of a bright new wireless future.

  • AT&T Takes America Back to the Future

    March 22, 2011

    AT&T's plan to take over T-Mobile has set the stage for Washington's high-tech policy battle of 2011.

    But that's not all that's at stake. This proposed deal paints a dark scenario for the future of all communications -- a future that looks increasingly like a bygone era of monopoly control.

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