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.

  • Nonprofits Hit Trouble at the IRS

    October 17, 2011

    Last week, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported on a troubling trend that has many of the most innovative new journalism nonprofits stuck in a bureaucratic black hole at the IRS.

    The rise of local nonprofit news organizations has been heralded as one of the most promising signs in the news industry’s rapid transformation over the last four years. Veteran reporters, tech-savvy journalists and citizens are starting vibrant local journalism nonprofits to fill the gaps commercial media are leaving behind as they consolidate and slash newsroom jobs.

  • High Schoolers Heart Free Speech

    October 13, 2011

    As millions of Facebook and Twitter users know, the Internet, more than any other medium, is dominated by the speech of billions.

    This has become a cliché but it’s true: The Internet is the greatest gift to free speech since the printing press.

  • Rural Groups Call for Better Broadband Service

    October 13, 2011

    In its relentless effort to take over competitor T-Mobile, AT&T has been dangling the promise of better service and greater access to broadband Internet to rural Americans as an incentive for policymakers to support and approve the $39 billion deal. But in eastern Kentucky, activists for rural broadband aren’t holding their breath and waiting for AT&T to make good on this promise.   

  • Online News Sites Diss Diversity

    October 12, 2011

    The Web is supposed to be different. More open, more inclusive. Surely old ways of reporting on (or ignoring) people of color haven’t transferred online ... 

  • Music to Industry's Ears

    October 12, 2011

    The last time I scanned through my local radio dial, I heard the same pop song, Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” playing simultaneously on three different radio stations. If a couple of senators and their friends in the broadcast industry have their way, soon we could hear the same song on six or more stations.

  • News for All the People Book Tour Launch

    October 12, 2011

    Here at Free Press we're celebrating the release of our colleague Joseph Torres' new book, News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media. This October the authors are taking their book on the road on a national tour that includes stops in New York, California, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Washington, D.C.

  • Product Placement Gone Wild

    October 6, 2011

    On NPR’s Morning Edition this Wednesday, reporter Elizabeth Blair took a hard look at the ways in which advertisers are flooding our media and having more and more of a say in the content we see between the commercial breaks. New tools and technology have given consumers more options for skipping the ads that have quietly come to fill as much as 10 to 15 minutes of a half-hour program. With TiVo and online streaming, people can increasingly choose what commercials they see — or skip the ads altogether.

  • Field Reporting: Going, Going, Gone?

    October 4, 2011

    Veteran TV journalist David Marash knows the news.

    Marash is a former correspondent for ABC’s Nightline and won Emmys for his reporting on the Oklahoma City bombing and the explosion of TWA Flight 800. He was an anchor for Al Jazeera English from 2006–2008. He’s spent a good 50 years in the business.

    Which also means Marash knows when the networks are trying to pass something off as news that isn’t news. He calls it “news whiz”: Like Cheez Whiz, it’s an embarrassing substitute for the real thing.

  • Surprise! The Open Internet Spurs Innovation

    October 4, 2011

    We’ve been saying it for years. Now a new report from the nonpartisan Institute for Policy Integrity backs it up: The open Internet — an even playing field on which all websites and applications are treated equally — is an engine of innovation and investment.

  • Pittsburgh Stands Up for Media Reform

    October 3, 2011

    Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps will be the first to tell you that his own agency needs to do more to improve the country’s media system. Last Monday, he told a room full of Pittsburgh residents that a key part of the remedy is citizen action.

    “If we are to ever have media of the people, by the people and for the people, you need to take this fight on,” Copps told the crowd at a town hall-style dialogue sponsored by Free Press. “The stakes could not be higher ... If we are denied quality news and information, if we are denied in-depth investigative reporting and if we are denied a media environment wherein independent voices can speak and be heard, then we won’t be able to sustain an
    informed electorate.”


People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good