I've supported Free Press for many years. They are are one of the very best and unfortunately very few organizations working to improve the quality of media in our beleaguered democracy. The 4th estate is being swallowed whole by huge multi-national corporations who use their immense financial clout to buy the FCC deregulation and Congressional legislation that permits them to keep growing. Free Press is helping to expose what's going on and stem that tide. This is a fight we must win...failure is not an option.
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.
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.
I have been on the board of around a dozen nonprofit organizations over the past 25 years. There is no doubt that Free Press is the best managed and organized group I have overseen. The waste factor is all but nonexistent. Every penny is spent like it has a manhole cover attached to it. Planning is taken seriously and strictly adhered to, allowing for necessary flexibility. Consequently the group has proven far more effective than scores of other groups that have equal or larger annual budgets. It is all about taking care of the work at hand and leaving the theatrics to others.
I first discovered Free Press about 10 years ago when I was working to get women's voices and opinions more widely included in the mainstream media, and found the organization to be an ally in seeking increased diversity in the media. I also worked with them in urging the Federal Elections Commission to block the increasing consolidation of the media that was resulting in a concentration of opinions and limiting the expression of opposing views.
As a proud board member of the organization for several years, I believe that Free Press' effective nationwide campaigns have been indispensable in building public demand to keep the internet "free and open" and to expand public media and independent journalism. What an effective and important organization!
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