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.
I first heard of free press on an announcement for their first National Conference on Media Reform in Madison WI in 2003. I attended, and have attended all of them since, including the most recent one in Boston last April, and I hope to attend the next one in Denver next year. All of these conferences have been spectacular with big name speakers as well as lots of interaction with other "civilians" from around the country and a great wealth of information on media reform issues. I have also have had help and support on local media reform issues from Free Press staffers, and interviews from Free Press luminaries for my community radio station show. This is an important and vitally needed organization - as cofounder Robert McChesney put it, journalism is in a deep, profound, existential crisis and that means that democracy itself is in an existential crisis. This organization is helping us do something constructive about these crises.
Free Press plays an integral role in connecting the public to the country’s most pressing media, technology and journalism-related issues. I have attended three Free Press Media Reform-based conferences and can confidently attest they were not only coordinated and executed with remarkable professionalism but were insightful, informative and invaluable to the media reform movement. Through innovative campaigns, newsletters, social media, creative videos and petitions, the organization exemplifies what a committed non-profit should. In a time when the media environment is plagued with increased concentration and fewer voices (and not to mention one that scarcely informs the public about these vital media policy issues), their passion for supporting diversity, inclusion and alternative sources of news should be commended, fostered and certainly praised. The work done by Free Press is imperative to ensuring our media system serves the public rather than the profit-margin– a mission necessary to sustaining a viable democracy. Whether you are an activist, a policy analyst, a scholar, a journalist, a technologist or simply a citizen who cares about media, Free Press is an organization you should become familiar with.
Free Press is Great. a lot of exciting programs and interesting people.
I was given a scholarship to attend the National Conference on Media Reform. The wonderful opportunity afforded me allowed for an exponential increase in my knowledge and a chance to connect with like minded people. The work done by Free Press is ever more essential in a world of media consolidation, new communications tools arising each moment and no common ground from which to view everything. Free Press is the advocacy organization needed to keep "we the people" informed and engaged in what is truly a fight for freedom.
Hey, these guys help us all out by fighting for online rights. Seriously, we're all under attack by bad actors, like the very day I write this, in Congress, regarding SOPA. It could kill any site with user generated content, like user review sites.
The folks at Free Press believe that there's still a place for community-based journalism and that's the work they are pushing forward every day.
Okay, you hear me talking "trust is the new black" and that power and influence will shift dramatically to the people and groups with the best reputations and largest networks. The power and influence landscape in 2020 will look very different from now.
I feel this applies to media, and that the media landscape at that point will reflect those flows of power and influence. Among news organizations, the successful survivors will be the ones that build a culture of trust, largely by checking facts, and not tolerating disinformation.
Thanks for your comments and review, Craig! Your input and support have been so valuable. Our 500,000 activists work for universally accessible communications, from the hyper-local to the global. And it's all thanks to great tools that allow us to network and join together, as you mention. Together, onward! Sara Longsmith, FP staff.
I have been donating on a monthly basis to Free Press for quite some time now. I view this organization as essential to the maintenance of our "free" society. I am a lawyer representing indigent defendants in criminal appeals. In my work, I see the steady chipping away of constitutional rights by our courts in one result-oriented opinion after another. But the attack is not limited to the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments, those you most often see tested in criminal appeals -- the 1st Amendment is under steady attack as well. In my opinion, Free Press does a top notch job of exposing the behind-the-scenes machinations of the corporate media and protecting our rights to free, unadulterated information. If I could afford more in my monthly donation, I would give more.
I depend on Free Press to keep me abreast of the Congressional idiots marching to the tunes of their corporate masters. Free Press is my only real source of media truth. I particularly appreciate Free Press for letting me know which Obama- appointed idiots are gaming the system nationally and when the public needs to fight back. Media matters seem to get little attention from the corrupted, consolidated press corps except for Free Press. So I'm grateful for their vigilance.
Dear Wimhoa! Thank you for the great review--Free Press activists are among the most passionate, informed, and dedicated e-activists out there and you are obviously no exception! I think your comment about Media Matters is an interesting one. We do work closely with them on certain issues--their primary focus is to uncover and correct misinformation in the media, which they do exceedingly well! Free Press is the only organization working to strengthen both media content AND infrastructure (on all communications platforms). That means that in addition to monitoring and exposing government and corporate wrongdoing, we want to build up a media system that is more inclusive, diverse, and accessible. So we will promote investigative journalism, Net Neutrality protections, diverse media ownership etc. AND increased broadband deployment, a more robust public media system, etc. We will continue to collaborate with Media Matters when it makes sense--with more plans in the works--and join with other allies on other issues. In the meantime, thanks for joining us! Together, stronger! ~Sara Longsmith, FP staff
Free Press is the only charity I give to every month. The press is the only industry mentioned in The Constitution. Our press is in trouble, and that means our country is in trouble. Free Press fights for my right to know the truth.
I refer to this the Free Press website all the time as an example of top-notch e-activism. Brilliant videos and scorching resources.
Thanks for your fabulous review, Chad, and for keeping the heat notched up on our political representatives!
With the corporate take over of our media over the last many years our education and democracy have suffered. It is groups like Free Press that fight the good fight to protect us from people with names like Rush or Hannity or Rupert.
Hi Dan, thank you for reviewing Free Press! Together with informed, vocal people, such as yourself, we will be able to reinvigorate the public media system and advocate for more diverse media ownership! ~Sara Longsmith, FP staff
I have watched the news from media in the US being eroded methodically by special interests over the past 30-40 years. It has become little more than "sound bites" and distraction rather than information . As a result I turned more and more to PBS stations to get real information - and have been appalled by so-called "conservatives" who want to silence any voices that do not agree with them. I don't like everything I see on PBS either, but that doesn't mean it is valueless. As those efforts to supress progressed, free press has been a bastion of support for those of us who don't want to lose what appears to be our last balanced voice in the media. It is a group we can count on to do their best to keep our internet access free and open as well.
Free Press is great! I support them in any way I can.
Thanks for your review, Eesha! Free Press agrees that we need to exert more pressure from outside the Beltway! This summer, we're undertaking some serious in-district organizing so that real people can directly engage their political representatives! I hope you can join us! ~Sara Longsmith, FP staff
I believe the revival of a strong, honest, and independent media is the most critical ingredient to the future of American democracy. After I attended my first of the FreePress national conferences (the best conference of a broad variety that I have attended over the years), I decided that FreePress was at the forefront of that revival, and has since been my Number One charity.
I've been a supporter of freepress.net since 2005. Among other things, they have been at the forefront of efforts to keep Public Broadcasting from being killed by the Republicans. Imperfect as it is, Public Broadcasting offers the only semblance of actual journalism available on broadcast television. It is vital that real news be disseminated to the public rather than the corporate drivel and propaganda on the networks and cable "news" channels. That's one reason I support freepress.net
I have attended two of the National Media Reform Conferences sponsored by Free Press and I have been deeply impressed by the level of expertise and commitment they bring to the crucial, but underappreciated task of spotlighting the shortcomings of our nation's media system.
This is an issue with political, economic, and technological dimensions and Free Press helps people understand all three of these areas.
No other group takes as broad a view of this issue as does Free Press
I've been a monthy recurring donor to Free Press for several years. I get their email alerts, and I often respond to their calls to contact media organizations and individuals about various shortcomings and travesties. I attended the NCMR in Minneapolis two or three years ago and was very impressed with the many media activists in attendance and the quality of the seminars and presentations. I live far away from any city and Free Press helps me keep up with the issues of the media as well as do what I can to help democracy survive by supporting a free press.
I support FreePress because they are powerful advocates for preserving independent news sources and keeping the internet open. I'm a "broadband activist", working to bring high-speed internet access to underserved rural communities in Western Massachusetts, so I especially appreciate FreePress's efforts to prevent major corporations from controlling internet access. I also find the information they provide by email to be very valuable.
Free Press is inclusive of all peoples including Native Americans. Media reform is not only complex but a huge challenge for Indian Country where our voice on the media and digital divides are often not heard. Free Press provides a critically important role by representing the interests of some of the most vulnerable and un-served populations in the United States on Communications and Telecommunications issues.
Thanks so much for the feedback! Having just attended the NAJA conference it's apparent to me how important media reform is for Indian Country and how valuable Free Press's work is in those communities. And I agree maintaining long-term financial sustainability is a challenge but having committed, engaged and supportive board members like you will help us to continue to progress in the right direction and make change to the media landscape no matter how long it takes. Cheers - Jessy
Free Press has been a leader in the movement to keep our democracy vibrant through ensuring that the means of distributing information (i.e. media, internet, TV, etc.) remain democratic. They have been especially prominent in the fight to maintain the internet as a free space for the flowering of creative and political potential. I have been a monthly donor to Free Press for two years and I am continually impressed with the enormous amount of advocacy work they do on such a tight budget. Without any hesitation, I recommend them to volunteers and donors as a place where what you do and give makes a huge difference.
Thanks for your comments and review! Your ongoing support via your monthly gifts are so important to our work - our work for universally accessible communications, from the local to the global. And yes, our work to maintain internet as a free space for the flowering of creative and political potential is essential! Without donors and activists like you, we couldn't do it. Together we fight the good fight, onward! Amy Altwarg Clough, Free Press Staff.
Free Press has provided a strong voice in support of the actual fair and balanced news that comes from non-commercial, locally owned, public media. The system of PBS and NPR and their locally-controlled member stations has benefited from the research and advocacy work of Free Press.
Thanks for the feedback and for your past support, Michael! One of our current goals is to refresh our intellectual capital, especially in the realm of continuing our research on viable and sustainable public media models. We've done a lot of groundwork in this area (see http://www.savethenews.org/public-media/resources)and we hope you will be helping to lead efforts to implement the most promising strategies. Please stay in touch. ~Sara Longsmith, FP staff