• Transparency Is Not a Four-Letter Word

    November 2, 2011

    Everyone loves transparency. (For me, it brings to mind those “The More You Know” public service announcements). And as FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn put it at October’s FCC open meeting, “Disclosure and transparency: words that inspire confidence, increase the public’s trust and convey good faith. We’re seeing, hearing and focusing more and more each day on ways to enhance these efforts in both our public- and private-sector engagement.”

  • Why Is Justin Bieber So Hackin Mad?

    November 2, 2011

    Justin Bieber is pissed off and you should be, too.

    What's made Bieber so angry? A bill in Congress that could rip apart the open fabric of the Internet and let corporations censor free speech.

    The "Stop Online Piracy Act" or SOPA gives private entities the power to blacklist websites at will. And it violates the due process rights of the thousands of users who could see their sites disappear from the Internet.

  • Can Ink-Stained Fingers Boost Your Wow Factor?

    October 28, 2011

    Ladies, keep the Manolo Blahniks in the closet; gents, don’t worry about squeezing into those True Religion jeans. The next time you want to make an entrance at your watering hole of choice, the only accessory you’ll need is a newspaper.

    Or so goes the logic over at the Newspaper Association of America, whose new advertising campaign bears the tagline “Smart is the new sexy.”

  • Toward a Journalism R&D Fund

    October 27, 2011

    This week the Knight Foundation announced three new board members and a new strategy regarding its journalism investments. The foundation, whose aim is to “help sustain democracy by leading journalism to its best possible future,” has been one of the leading funders of journalism projects and initiatives across longstanding media organizations and new news models. The new board members are all leading media thinkers who have a long history of putting innovative ideas into action.

  • What's Your Local TV Station Hiding?

    October 27, 2011

    Broadcasters use the public airwaves for free in exchange for a commitment to serve and inform their communities. If you want to know exactly what your local broadcasters are doing to meet those public-interest obligations, the best place to look is their public files.

    Unfortunately, public files are currently difficult to access, requiring curious residents to drive down to the station during business hours. In large media markets, a trip to view the public file could mean traveling over 100 miles.

  • Shareholders of the World Unite!

    October 27, 2011

    A memo from a group of AT&T shareholders — including the Beastie Boys’ Mike D — shows signs of a revolt from within. It calls for the company “to publicly commit to operate its wireless broadband network consistent with network neutrality principles.”

    That’s a big deal. In just a few weeks, the Senate will vote on a “resolution of disapproval” that would strip the FCC of its ability to enforce Net Neutrality rules.

  • Rip-Off or Reform?

    October 25, 2011

    Today the FCC announced its plan for revamping the Universal Service Fund. While the agency didn't rubber-stamp the plan written by AT&T and Verizon, it missed a chance to bring real pro-consumer reform to a wasteful system. 

    In our statement, Free Press Political Adviser Joel Kelsey said that the rules would still allow carriers to impose new charges on local subscribers:

    "The Commission did take steps to narrow the scope of these rate increases, but asking consumers to pay more into a broken system and letting the industry divvy up the pot will not increase broadband adoption. If the goal is to increase broadband adoption, prices should be going down, not up.”

  • In the Belly of the Murdoch Beast

    October 24, 2011

    I always feel a little better when I go home to Los Angeles. My hometown takes a lot of flak about its Tinseltown image and how “fake” the people are supposed to be. But I can assure you that the working folks of my hometown are as real as the 99-percenters anywhere else in the country.

    Last Friday, more than 100 of my fellow “real” Angelenos took their concerns about the corporate media and their power to corrupt our democracy right into the lap of one of their most notorious figures: News Corp. potentate Rupert Murdoch.

  • The 'Media Circus' of Occupy Wall Street Coverage

    October 21, 2011

    Big news: The establishment media are finally picking up on the Occupy Wall Street story. In fact, Occupy Wall Street coverage increased to nine percent of the overall news hole from Oct. 10–16 — up from two percent two weeks prior. As Jon Stewart of the Daily Show said, the media dial has gone from “media blackout” to “media circus.”

  • Free Press Changes the Channel at Bioneers

    October 20, 2011

    This year I celebrated Halloween early. Wearing cardboard-television costumes, two fellow Free Press staffers and I traveled to northern California to attend the Bioneers Conference, which focuses on ways to create a more sustainable world.


People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good