• The Onslaught Is Coming to a TV Near You

    February 6, 2012

    If Minnesotans flip on their TVs right now, they're likely to see at least one — a political ad slinging mud at a presidential candidate.

  • Censorship U?

    February 3, 2012

    Great news. Last night, thanks to the rapid response of Free Press activists, Arizona State University lifted its blocking of student access to

    We hope ASU understands that it must put the free speech rights of its students first. Free Press has asked the university to scrutinize its Internet-use policies to ensure they don’t compromise these online freedoms. 

  • As Pressure Builds, Some Cities Respond to Journalist Arrests

    February 2, 2012

    After arresting more than 20 journalists in New York City, and threatening press in various other ways, the New York City Police Department has admitted that it has reprimanded only two of its officers for their actions.

  • Tucson Media Monopoly Takes Root

    February 1, 2012

    UPDATE: Today marks the beginning of a local media monopoly in Tucson, Ariz. Exploiting loopholes in the Federal Communications Commission’s ownership rules, Raycom Media has taken control of three local stations: KMSB, KOLD and KTTU. The stations are now co-branded as “Tucson News Now” and they operate out of the same studio (about 40 employees lighter than before).

  • Public Media: Still on the Chopping Block

    February 1, 2012

    Last November Free Press released On the Chopping Block: State Budget Battles and the Future of Public Media, an inventory of dramatic state-level funding cuts to public broadcasting. Our report, co-authored by Josh Stearns and Mike Soha, documents how state support for public broadcasting has plunged since the economy took a nosedive in 2008. What’s more, the report notes that politics — not financial considerations — have driven much of this budget cutting.

  • Save the Date for NCMR 2013!

    January 31, 2012

    Internet censorship. Massive media mergers. Attacks on public and independent media. Not to mention all that slanted, horse race-style election coverage that does nothing to inform or inspire.

  • A Push for Privacy in the Wake of the Carrier IQ Controversy

    January 31, 2012

    Remember Carrier IQ, the company that makes the secret spying software that’s installed on more than 140 million phones? You know, the software that can record our most sensitive personal data?

    Cellphone companies including AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile use Carrier IQ to track what smartphone users are doing on their phones, but it’s unclear what data is being tracked and what is being done with that information. While both these companies and Carrier IQ claim they want our most sensitive information only to diagnose hardware and software problems, the public — and some members of Congress — still have questions about what, exactly, this powerful software can do.

  • Oakland Becomes the Epicenter for Journalist Arrests

    January 30, 2012

    While most of the attention surrounding journalist arrests at Occupy protests has focused on New York City, where more than 20 journalists have been detained, it looks like Oakland will be giving the Big Apple a run for its money. On Jan. 28, Oakland police detained six journalists during mass arrests of Occupy protesters. This comes just weeks after Oakland police apprehended another journalist who, in a video of the arrest, appeared to be obeying orders to disperse.

  • Adding It Up: Press Freedom, Democratic Health and Public Media Funding

    January 26, 2012

    This week Reporters Without Borders released its 2011–2012 Press Freedom Index, and much of the attention has focused on the fact that the United States dropped 27 places to 47th in the world, thanks in large part to the journalist arrests at Occupy Wall Street events. For a nation that has built its model of governance on freedom of the press, that ranking should be a wake-up call, and should spark a national debate about how we are going to defend the First Amendment in the digital age.

    On its own, the study from Reporters Without Borders is a powerful snapshot of press freedom around the world. However, it’s worth cross-referencing the report’s findings with a few other data points to better understand how the United States stacks up, and why this ranking is so important. When the lists below are viewed side by side, it becomes clear that press freedom correlates directly with other measures of democratic health.

  • Democracy Under Threat

    January 26, 2012

    The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has already picked a winner in the 2012 elections: TV broadcasters.

    Companies like CBS Corp., News Corp. and Sinclair Broadcast Group are already dividing the spoils of an election year that will see unprecedented spending on political ads.


People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good