At the Free Press Summit: Ideas to Action this past April, nearly 100 participants attended a breakout session to talk about mapping local media ecosystems and meeting the information needs of communities. The session built on the ideas presented in the Knight Commission report, “Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age,” and produced a vibrant discussion that made clear there is a lot of exciting but disparate work happening in this area, and a lot of enthusiasm for making connections between media makers, researchers and communities. You can read a write up of the session here.
It was standing room only at South High in Minneapolis on Thursday night as more than 750 people turned out to show their support for Net Neutrality and free speech online. FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn listened to hours of impassioned public testimony about the future of the Internet.
Sen. Al Franken (D.-Minn.) warned a packed house Thursday night in Minneapolis that the corporate takeover of our media, and the government's failure to stop it, is one of the most important issues of our time.
Franken said our media system is at risk everywhere we turn -- from our free speech online to the growing power of companies who own a massive number of media outlets.
The recent announcement that Google and Verizon believe Internet and wireless providers should decide what kinds of online content they allow customers to access should spur the FCC to immediate action. As it stands, Internet and phone service providers cannot and must not discriminate between different kinds of online content and applications.
The fight for Net Neutrality has turned into a lesson in Washington, D.C. sausage making. In the latest round, the usual special interest groups – led by lobbyists from AT&T, Verizon and their pet trade association CTIA – are pouring all their energy into arguments that wireless networks cannot be subject to Net Neutrality rules because of purported technical obstacles.
As we debate the future of news, we need to keep in mind what this debate is really about. We need to ask ourselves, “What is it we’re trying to save, protect or foster?” Or asked another way, “Journalism for what?” Identifying what we mean by journalism and why we care about its future is central to figuring out what solutions might get us there.
The most common response to these questions is that journalism is fundamental for our democracy. It's hard to argue with that, but how does it help guide us toward a new vision for news?
An online publication that will go unnamed and unlinked has accused Free Press of hypocrisy, claiming that as we criticize the Federal Communications Commission for secret meetings, we hide evidence of our own advocacy activity in violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act. The allegations are ludicrous on their face.