October 8, 2013
Free Press was founded when people were just beginning to become aware of the consolidation of the corporate media landscape and the impact of the 1996 Telecomm Act. The FCC was poised to allow further consolidation. I had run a workshop on media ownership with Mark Crispin Miller and Michael Morgan two years earlier at the founding of the Cultural Environment Movement, which drew about 12 people. Free Press put out the call for its first conference, expecting maybe 200. I think it was closer to 1,200. It hit just the right notes and the right time, and people have responded. Obscure FCC rule changes were brought into the light. Some were turned around by popular resistance led by Free Press. They have maintained a vital leadership role in the movement to foster a more democratic media landscape and terrain for democracy to fight for survival against the onslaught of corporate power. It is not just a good organization; it is an essential one.
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