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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Free Press

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Journalism

Mission: Free Press fights for your rights to connect and communicate. We're working to create a world where people have the information and opportunities they need to tell their own stories, hold leaders accountable, and participate in our democracy. We fight to save the free and open internet, curb runaway media consolidation, protect press freedom, and ensure diverse voices are represented in our media.

Results: Free Press and its allied 501(c)4 organization, Free Press Action Fund, have engaged and mobilized millions of people in crucial media policy debates. Free Press and its 1.4 million members have challenged the most egregious corporate and governmental attacks on the open internet, press freedom and public broadcasting — and won some remarkable victories. For more on our accomplishments and impact to date, please see our reports at www.freepress.net/about

Geographic areas served: the United States

Programs: • Internet Freedom: We’re fighting to defend Net Neutrality — and make the internet more accessible and affordable for its users. •Fight for Media Diversity: We're analyzing media company mergers — and mobilizing millions of people to demand that decision-makers act in the public interest. • Defend Press Freedom: We’re speaking out against attacks on journalists and protecting the First Amendment in the digital age. • News Voices: We're helping communities improve local journalism to better respond to their need for information. • Curb Mass Surveillance: We’re at the center of a broad and diverse network of civil liberties groups working to rein in unchecked government spying.

Community Stories

102 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 Jacqui G.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am rating and writing from the viewpoint of a volunteer. This is one of the best organizations to volunteer for. The staff is supportive, communicative, listens to ideas and concerns, and basically treats us as part of the team. Free Press is also really great about acknowledging volunteers' efforts. The work Free Press is doing to protect a free media, the internet, and to expand the voices of communities is incredibly important if we are to have a democracy. They are making a difference. Adding to this review as we near the end of the year because I feel that Alison Brzenchek, Campaign Organizer & Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow, deserves special notice. Alison has consistently supported, challenged, and included volunteers in her campaigns from start to finish. Largely because of Alison's passion, I am looking forward to participating in the new initiatives from Free Press and Alison that are building community and coalitions on the ground, on college campuses, and in the technology sector.

Comments ( 1 )

slongsmith Thank you, Jacqui, for all of your hard work! It's fantastic to have you working by our side. Go TI!

Tiffany TFant F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am glad to have partnered with Free Press as a community member and organizer! It has helped strengthen my work in making it holistic and realizing how important it is to engage media in a way that allows it to be a more of partnership instead of an us vs. them scenario.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first got involved with Free Press for an initiative in my home state of New Jersey, which was the NJ Civic Information Consortium bill. It gave me an opportunity to not only present my views before our state assembly, but also encouraged my to meet with my state and national elected officials on other Free Press initiatives, such as Net Neutrality.

As I became even more involved, I participated in calling small businesses across the country (who petitioned the FCC on the importance of Net Neutrality) to contact their local Congresspersons.

I now am a member of a National team, that is working on combating other issues such as Hate Speech, Fake News / Propaganda.

I highly recommend that anyone, who wants to make a change for the better in America, get involved with Free Press. The people are great, and you can truly approach today's negative issues in a positive and productive manner.

3 Jacqui G.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am rating and writing from the viewpoint of a volunteer. This is one of the best organizations to volunteer for. The staff is supportive, communicative, listens to ideas and concerns, and basically treats us as part of the team. Free Press is also really great about acknowledging volunteers' efforts.

The work Free Press is doing to protect a free media, the internet, and to expand the voices of communities is incredibly important if we are to have a democracy. They are making a difference.

Adding to this review as we near the end of the year because I feel that Alison Brzenchek, Campaign Organizer & Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow, deserves special notice. Alison has consistently supported, challenged, and included volunteers in her campaigns from start to finish. Largely because of Alison's passion, I am looking forward to participating in the new initiatives from Free Press and Alison that are building community and coalitions on the ground, on college campuses, and in the technology sector.

Comments ( 1 )

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slongsmith 07/18/2018

Thank you, Jacqui, for all of your hard work! It's fantastic to have you working by our side. Go TI!

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a new volunteer to Free Press via Team Internet and Net Neutrality. I've been involved with politics and non-profits of various sorts for over 40 years. I am finding working with the people from Free Press and the other volunteers one of the easiest and best experiences I've had. Everyone is very supportive and just plain nice. I hope that there will be ongoing opportunities for me with Free Press. I'd urge anyone who cares about the issues they address to volunteer.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Free Press since its beginning - as a volunteer, as an employee, and now as a board member - and I will continue to support them well into the future. By helping to ensure that we have public service journalism, an open internet, and diverse media, Free Press has always been our advocate and our first line of defense against those who would use our communication systems for undemocratic purposes. Today their work is more vital than ever before.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked with Free Press as a volunteer and moderator on their text team, and as a volunteer on help desk. I appreciate how intersectional their net neutrality activism is, especially on the front of combating racial inequality. When I'm working with the organizers and other volunteers, I feel like I'm part of a team, and I feel like I'm making a difference.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Free Press helped save our community newspaper by connecting us with resources to strengthen our organization and gain visibility. They do great work and we will be forever grateful to them for helping improve the news ecosystem in New Jersey!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I learned everything I know about the importance of net neutrality from Free Press! The information they provide is unbiased and easy to digest, and helps me get the message out to my own network. Free Press in Florence also connected me to Free Press in Camden, NJ, where there is a great campaign to bring back community news to silenced communities.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member, I am proud to say that Free Press is a first rate organization -- a pioneer in the field of public education and advocacy in media and communications policy. No other organization in the country working on these topics combines a commitment to public engagement and organizing with a sophisticated research and advocacy team at the federal level (and in some states too!). They connect the dots between the core principles of American democracy -- freedom of the press, an open marketplace of ideas, and civil rights & liberties -- with the laws and regulations that shape our media and communications system. From supporting more and better public journalism to digital divide, net neutrality, and universal access to communications -- Free Press is on top of the most important media and communications policy facing the nation. They are a go-to for public spirited citizens interested in the role of media and technology in democratic society.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our local group of citizen activists held a public program entitled "Freedom of the Press in the Age of Fake News: Sinclair Broadcasting, the FCC and Citizen Action." Brandon Forester, a community organizer and activist for Free Press, graciously agreed to be a featured speaker. He generously donated his time and expertise to our group. His presentation, including slides and video clips, was informative, entertaining and engaging. Our members were impressed with how he explained some of the more "wonky" issues concerning FCC rules. He answered questions from the public with ease. His suggestions for planning and taking action were helpful. We have scheduled a demonstration against Sinclair Broadcasting as a program follow-up. Our audience members had nothing but praise for Brandon. Thank you, Brandon and Free Press, for being such a wonderful resource for enlightening the public about threats to our First Amendment rights, and about how to effectively advocate for those rights!

Comments ( 1 )

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slongsmith 07/18/2018

What a fantastic story, thank you so much for hosting Brandon and for all of your work to defeat Sinclair!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Free Press for about two months now supporting their fight for Net Neutrality. I am impressed with their ability to organize, their level of energy and their ability to connect and involve people on this issue. The staff is easy to work with and supportive of their volunteers.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Free Press for a little while now, and I have to say, I'm extremely happy with the work they/we are doing! The people are absolutely wonderful! They are all nice, caring, professional and hard-working people! They don't spew propaganda out to us, nor encourage us to, putting down or putting on a pedestal one party or the other.. They just care about the CORE ISSUES! I can not speak more highly of the people behind the scenes. I really can not. I'm a disabled citizen, so giving money is kind of hard. My input in the organization is this volunteer work. I will be volunteering my time with Free Press and its affiliates for as long as I can and as long as they will have me! I encourage everyone everywhere to look into the mission(s) of Free Press, and help out where YOU can, too! We all have to stick together to fight for a free and open Internet, an unbiased media, and so much more! A++++++ organization!!!

Comments ( 1 )

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slongsmith 09/13/2017

Thank you, infamy, for all of your hard work and your passion! It's people like you, telling your stories to decision-makers and banding together, creating a major people-driven force to be reckoned with! P.S. Love your Husky snap!!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer for Free Press' Team Internet (which fights to protect Net Neutrality). So, I can attest to their work with this cause.

This organization's group has shown to very effective in increasing the awareness of the cause, getting supporters to attend town halls/in-district events in their areas, and conveying the message for a free and open internet to congress members. This can be attributed to its inclusive, collaborative structure, and the fact that there are different tasks that volunteers can help with and they have the freedom to suggests better strategies to improve the outcome of the volunteers' efforts.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Free Press is a Washington, DC lobbying shop that lobbies for the corporations that directly and indirectly support it. It does not lobby for "civil rights" but rather for corporate interests - primarily those of large Internet monopolies such as Google, Netflix, and Facebook, which channel "dark money" to it through foundations and opaque 501(c)(4)s. It is a fake "public interest" group and should be stripped of its nonprofit status.

Comments ( 1 )

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slongsmith 07/18/2018

Free Press lobbies on behalf of the public interest within IRS allowable limits. Free Press and Free Press Action do not accept money from business, government or political parties so that we can remain independent and working on behalf of the public interest. We only accept donations from individuals and charitable foundations. Our audited financial statements and IRS 990 filings are available on our website. Our campaigns often work to hold large media and tech platforms accountable to the public interest.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering through this nonprofit for the past several weeks. I've found them to be very effective and responsive to suggestions for changes to their outreach campaigns. Their system for texting to organizing community efforts is easy to use and allows for genuine interactions with the targeted market.

4

Donor

Rating: 1

I used to support this organization with both my time and money until it became abundantly clear that they are in fact a highly partisan and politically driven organization that is really just anti-corporate and highly liberal.

I fully support freedom of press and of free speech. To their credit some of their work has been great, including most of their work on Net Neutrality, however it's clearly not for the reason of promoting freedom of information.

They showed their true colors to me in their efforts, that they openly brag about to get companies to drop support for the Republican National Convention, due to Donald Trump's "Hateful Rhetoric". That stance is a polar opposite to the ideals of free speech and free press. I am not a member of the RNC, nor a huge fan of Trump. But I will absolutely defend anyone's right to say unpopular things they believe.

Any organization that claims to support free speech and free press needs to support this freedom regardless of the personal likes or dislikes of some of its leaders. For this reason, I have ended my support and would give this group a very low rating.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

A fair study of the mass media in the USA and many allied 'western democracies' documents and reveals there is little or no functional "freedom of the press" in any form of corporate owned news media. Even nominally public media like NPR and PBS broadcast the same talking points issued by the same government agencies and secretive think tanks distributed to all the common news 'talking heads' and text 'outlets' in the parlance. Any so called embedded journalist is also a controlled journalist. So the only independent news and information available is via small non-commercial publications, pod casts and web sites. Free Press is one of the organizations I value for supporting honest local, national and international news. Free Press also features political action drives to help fact based news inform public policy and promote the protections in the First Amendment for all citizens.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I discovered Free Press in it's earliest days and was thrilled to find a group of folks who care about public media. Since then, I have tried to support it financially whenever I could. I also do my part to speak out against media consolidation issues and anything else they bring to my attention. Better yet, I teach my college students about FP every semester and make them spend time on the website. Hopefully this educates them to the important issues that FP advocates for. And I hope I am modeling conscientious citizenship for them as well.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

I began contributing to Free Press out of concern over net neutrality. This is a fundamental free speech issue these days, but I did not expect much success given the strength of the forces arrayed against net neutrality. Free Press actually won important battles. I continue to support them, because threats to net neutrality and free speech in general are not over. We need Free Press.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

I initially became a Free Press monthly supporter because they were fighting for net neutrality. I will continue my support, and hope others will too, because corporations are eliminating the competition, giving us just what big business wants us to know

7

Donor

Rating: 5

I've made sporadic donations to the Free Press for maybe five years now, and about a year ago I switched to making a (small) monthly donation. They have produced reports on a variety of topics which I consider important and valuable. They spend the extra time and energy to dig into these stories, and to keep people informed on issues such as net neutrality.