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.

  • What's Your Local TV Station Hiding?

    October 27, 2011

    Broadcasters use the public airwaves for free in exchange for a commitment to serve and inform their communities. If you want to know exactly what your local broadcasters are doing to meet those public-interest obligations, the best place to look is their public files.

    Unfortunately, public files are currently difficult to access, requiring curious residents to drive down to the station during business hours. In large media markets, a trip to view the public file could mean traveling over 100 miles.

  • Shareholders of the World Unite!

    October 27, 2011

    A memo from a group of AT&T shareholders — including the Beastie Boys’ Mike D — shows signs of a revolt from within. It calls for the company “to publicly commit to operate its wireless broadband network consistent with network neutrality principles.”

    That’s a big deal. In just a few weeks, the Senate will vote on a “resolution of disapproval” that would strip the FCC of its ability to enforce Net Neutrality rules.

  • Rip-Off or Reform?

    October 25, 2011

    Today the FCC announced its plan for revamping the Universal Service Fund. While the agency didn't rubber-stamp the plan written by AT&T and Verizon, it missed a chance to bring real pro-consumer reform to a wasteful system. 

    In our statement, Free Press Political Adviser Joel Kelsey said that the rules would still allow carriers to impose new charges on local subscribers:

    "The Commission did take steps to narrow the scope of these rate increases, but asking consumers to pay more into a broken system and letting the industry divvy up the pot will not increase broadband adoption. If the goal is to increase broadband adoption, prices should be going down, not up.”

  • In the Belly of the Murdoch Beast

    October 24, 2011

    I always feel a little better when I go home to Los Angeles. My hometown takes a lot of flak about its Tinseltown image and how “fake” the people are supposed to be. But I can assure you that the working folks of my hometown are as real as the 99-percenters anywhere else in the country.

    Last Friday, more than 100 of my fellow “real” Angelenos took their concerns about the corporate media and their power to corrupt our democracy right into the lap of one of their most notorious figures: News Corp. potentate Rupert Murdoch.

  • The 'Media Circus' of Occupy Wall Street Coverage

    October 21, 2011

    Big news: The establishment media are finally picking up on the Occupy Wall Street story. In fact, Occupy Wall Street coverage increased to nine percent of the overall news hole from Oct. 10–16 — up from two percent two weeks prior. As Jon Stewart of the Daily Show said, the media dial has gone from “media blackout” to “media circus.”

  • Free Press Changes the Channel at Bioneers

    October 20, 2011

    This year I celebrated Halloween early. Wearing cardboard-television costumes, two fellow Free Press staffers and I traveled to northern California to attend the Bioneers Conference, which focuses on ways to create a more sustainable world.

  • The Great Local News Heist

    October 20, 2011

    The FOX station in Charleston, S.C. is airing one set of news at 10 p.m., and then the CBS affiliate across town is broadcasting the same news — same anchors, same scripts, same everything — an hour later. We received video footage from activists in South Carolina that shows just how similar these supposedly independent newscasts are.

  • News Corp. Protesters Issue List of Grievances

    October 20, 2011

    A coalition of concerned citizens, labor organizations, advocacy groups and OccupyLA protesters will demonstrate outside News Corporation’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Friday, Oct. 21.

    While we come from different backgrounds and interests we are joining together in Los Angeles because we believe that no single company should be allowed to own an overwhelming share of the media in our country.

    These are our grievances against News Corp.:

  • Panel Tackles Innovation in Public Media

    October 19, 2011

    “News is just too important to leave to those who shout the loudest … or have the biggest purse.”

    Caroline Thomson, chief operating officer of the BBC, made these remarks at this week’s Washington, D.C. forum on innovation in public media. “The Next Big Thing” featured a range of leaders from public and community media, plus demos and videos of new projects and debate about how we create and consume journalism in the digital age.

    Other speakers included Jake Shapiro, the founding CEO of the Public Radio Exchange, Sue Schardt, the CEO of the Association of Independents in Radio, Joaquin Alvarado, head of innovation for American Public Media, and Craig Aaron, Free Press president and CEO.

    For footage of Tuesday’s event click the links below:

  • Computer Pioneer Dennis Ritchie Dies

    October 19, 2011

    Last week Dennis Ritchie, the co-creator of UNIX, died — and hardly anyone covered it. Ritchie lived quietly — he wasn't the showman that Steve Jobs was — and apparently he died quietly, too. While working at Bell Labs in the late ‘60s Ritchie wrote the C programming language with Brian Kernighan. 


People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good