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.

  • Reporters Expose AT&T’s Astroturf Funding Practices

    September 22, 2011

    Beltway insiders were hardly shocked when Bloomberg News reported that AT&T contributed nearly $1,000,000 to Republican members of Congress who signed a letter supporting its bid to acquire T-Mobile.

  • Public Media on the Chopping Block -- Or Not

    September 22, 2011

    The federal appropriations for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are determined two years in advance to help insulate the CPB from congressional budget bickering. But now we are confronted with the odd paradox that one part of Congress — the Super Committee that grew out of the debt-ceiling debate — is likely debating cuts to public broadcasting even as a Senate subcommittee this week approved an increased budget for 2014.

    Current.org reported this week that “If CPB survives 'til [2014], it would receive $445 million, the same as appropriated for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 but $6 million below President Obama's request.”

  • Michael Copps and the First Amendment

    September 22, 2011

    Last week’s Constitution Day celebrations sparked a flurry of news and debates about the role of the First Amendment in our society. On its surface, the First Amendment embodies the sort of apple-pie American value that all people tend to agree with. It’s fundamental to our democracy and has been our media’s defining characteristic since the nation’s founding. However, what became clear throughout the course of the week was that the First Amendment is a contested terrain, and the technological and economic changes shaping our media are also shaping new understandings and implications of freedom of speech and the press.

  • Rep. Clarke Sees the Light on AT&T Deal

    September 21, 2011

    Earlier this month, five activists and I met with Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) in Brooklyn to discuss the mounting opposition to AT&T's takeover of T-Mobile.

  • Comcast Should Bring Low-Cost Broadband to Everyone

    September 20, 2011

    On Tuesday Comcast Executive Vice-President David Cohen and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, along with D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, announced a plan to provide low-cost broadband to families eligible for the National School Lunch Program.

  • State AGs Add Nail to AT&T/T-Mobile Coffin

    September 20, 2011

    It happened with little fanfare, but another nail was banged into the coffin of the unlamented AT&T/T-Mobile merger last week when attorneys general from seven states joined the Department of Justice’s lawsuit to block the deal on antitrust grounds.

  • Rupert, Is That You?

    September 19, 2011

    Leonard Nimoy made a cameo as the “president of television” in the opening segment of Fox’s Emmys broadcast. The Star Trek veteran was a pinch hitter for Alec Baldwin, who played the role in the skit’s original incarnation — and then walked when Fox cut a line about its parent company, News Corp., and the phone-hacking scandal.

  • Update: Here's What $570,000 Gets You in Congress

    September 15, 2011

    UPDATED 9/16/11: Now with additional campaign contribution data.

    Maybe it’s the water in Washington that’s making people silly. Or maybe it’s AT&T’s hefty campaign spending. Either way, something’s got people believing AT&T when it says that up is down, green is red, 1 + 1 = 3 — and that its proposed takeover of T-Mobile would be good for America.

  • Sprint Takes a Swing at AT&T

    September 15, 2011

    AT&T is like a piñata at a children’s party. It’s an easy target; everyone’s jumping in line to take a bash at it; we’re all waiting with baited breath to watch it explode. Sure, we won’t get any candy, but the result will be just as sweet: no AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

  • AT&T Merger Threatens Our Ability to Stay Connected

    September 14, 2011

    When Hurricane Irene approached my home in Massachusetts, and my family’s on the coast of Connecticut, I received a powerful reminder of how much we rely on our cellphones and the Internet. We used both tools to track the storm and prepare ourselves for a worst-case scenario, which luckily didn't come to pass.

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people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good