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.

  • 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. 

  • How Low Will AT&T Go?

    October 18, 2011

    Rev. R. Henry Martin directs the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, a Louisiana-based ministry that “reaches out to feed, clothe, shelter and provide healing services to homeless men, women and families with children.” The ministry aided 1,200 people in 2010, served over 135,000 meals and is open to those in need 365 days a year.

  • 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.


People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good