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.

  • Celebrating Community Radio Champion Rep. Mike Doyle

    March 7, 2011

    Several dozen Pittsburghers honored Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) as he received a "Community Radio Champion Award" on Saturday.

    The award, presented by Free Press and the Prometheus Radio Project, recognizes Congressman Doyle’s championship of the “Local Community Radio Act,” a bill that will create space on the radio dial for hundreds of new community radio stations across the country. Advocates for these Low Power FM – or LPFM stations – have been working for years to pass this bill.

  • GOP Senate Bill: Another Attack on Public Broadcasting

    March 4, 2011

    Senators Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced a bill today that would eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This bill joins six other bills taking aim at public broadcasting already introduced in the House. DeMint wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today to make his case, attacking – of all things – CEO salaries at public broadcasting outlets.

  • Pubcasting Battle: A Slight Reprieve, and a Push for Reform

    March 4, 2011

    Over the past few weeks I've been tracking the arguments of public broadcasting advocates fighting efforts in Congress to defund the service. This week, defenders got a bit of a reprieve, as Obama signed a two-week extension of the the deadline for the Senate and House to devise a final funding bill for this year.

     

  • Canadians Step Up to Stop the Meter

    March 2, 2011

    Canadian Internet users rose up to defend Internet freedom when they beat back an attempt by the big telecoms to meter broadband usage. After a public outcry, both the liberal and conservative parties came together to stop the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission – the Canadian version of the U.S.

  • Speaker Boehner's Space Odyssey

    March 1, 2011

    On Monday, House Speaker John Boehner (R - AT&T) chose the occasion of his first address outside Washington to take aim at Net Neutrality.

  • Filmmaker Ken Burns Defends PBS

    February 28, 2011

    Revered filmmaker Ken Burns added his voice to the throngs of people defending public broadcasting from funding cuts in Congress.

    Burns has been creating documentary films for 30 years, and some of his most notable productions include The Civil War (1990), Baseball (1994), Jazz (2001), The War (2007), and The National Parks: America's Best Idea (2009). All of these films were produced with help from PBS.

    Burns wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post on Sunday, saying:

    • Media Ownership Rules Go to Court

      February 24, 2011

      Remember back in 2007 when the Federal Communications Commission voted to lift the 35-year-old ban on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership? We do, too. In fact, how could we forget; the impacts of years of media consolidation are all around us as newspapers slash staff and TV stations air fluff.

      We thought the FCC’s decision was so egregious that we took them to court, and today Free Press and the non-profit organization Media Access Project (MAP) are presenting oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

    • House Eliminates Public Broadcasting Funds in 2011 Budget

      February 19, 2011

      Early Saturday morning the House voted to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the institution responsible for distributing federal funds that support 1,300 local public broadcasting stations. The cuts were made as part of a larger budget bill targeting cuts of more than $60 billion in federal funding to numerous public programs. The fight now moves to the Senate.

    • FCC Expands Investigation of Fox Station

      February 18, 2011

      This week, the efforts of a New jersey citizen media watchdog group are yielding results in Washington, and local Fox station WWOR is facing some tough questions. The Federal Communications Commission is expanding their investigation of WWOR for allegedly lying to the agency about their local programming and staffing of the Seacaucus, NJ station.

      These days, broadcasters don’t lose much sleep over the license renewal process. Once every eight years, stations simply put a postcard in the mail to renew their right to use the public airwaves—what used to be an opportunity for community input and evaluation has become a simple rubberstamp process.

    • Free Speech Online UnderAttack

      February 17, 2011

      Yesterday, Republicans in Congress introduced a "resolution" in both chambers that would give phone and cable companies absolute, unrestricted power over Internet speech.

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