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.

  • 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.

  • Defend NPR: Call Your Senators

    March 18, 2011

    Late yesterday, members of the House came one step closer to achieving a longstanding ideological goal: silencing NPR. 

    They passed a rotten bill that would end taxpayer support for NPR and stop local public radio stations from using federal dollars to buy any radio programming. Period.

    We have to — and we can — stop this bill in the Senate. Call your senators this afternoon and demand that they vote to defend – not defund – NPR.

  • House Shamefully Votes to Defund NPR

    March 17, 2011

    The House just passed a preposterous bill designed to attack NPR and dismantle America’s public media system piece by piece. The bill, H.R. 1076, cuts NPR off from all federal funding and prohibits local public radio stations from using federal funds to buy radio programming, or pay dues to NPR.

    As the debate over this bill stretched on throughout almost the entire day, proponents of the bill repeated two talking points over and over again. Let’s fact check those claims.

    Fiction: Cutting NPR funding is what the American taxpayers want.

  • AT&T's Desperate Shot at Netflix, Online Video

    March 17, 2011

    Unlimited data? It's so 2010. For AT&T, the future is in data caps.

    That's why this week, in line with its recently announced wireless data plan caps, AT&T announced it will limit the amount of data its DSL and UVerse broadband subscribers can access per month.

  • When Newspapers Get It Right

    March 17, 2011

    It's no secret that the newspaper business is in trouble. It has been for a very long time, with readership shrinking along with ad revenues, and costs continuing to climb. But some newspapers are not content to go gentle into that good night… they’re finding ways to make themselves more valuable to their communities, reflecting the readers’ needs and delivering news in innovative and engaging ways.

  • Ira Glass Has a Posse

    March 15, 2011

    In an interview on NPR’s “On the Media”, Ira Glass, host of “This American Life”, argues that it is time to stand up to the bullies and fight back against the smear campaign being waged against public media in Washington D.C. and on cable news.

    But how do we fight back? Here is what Glass suggests:

    “With the truth, baby, with the truth. That’s all we got. Listen to what we're doing on the air, and measure it. Call it impractical, call it idealistic, but I have to believe if we get out there with the truth, that, that weapon is a real weapon and actually means something.”

  • Delivering One Million Petitions Defending Public Media

    March 15, 2011

    Some members of Congress have been spending so much time fretting about what’s going on in the executive offices at NPR that they have lost sight of the local people, local jobs, and local organizations in their districts that depend on public broadcasting. Today we are sending a wake-up call to Capitol Hill.

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people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good