Since 2004, more than 1 in 5 local newspapers in the United States has closed.84% of White people have home-internet access, compared to 78% of Latinx people and 76% of Black people. 8 media giants control 818 broadcast-TV stations, resulting in local news that all looks and sounds the same.
Free Press believes that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what’s actually happening in their communities. We believe that the struggle for racial justice must be at the center of transforming our media and our democracy. We focus on saving Net Neutrality, achieving affordable internet access for all, uplifting the voices of people of color in the media, challenging old and new media gatekeepers to serve the public interest, ending unwarranted surveillance, defending press freedom and reimagining local journalism.
To reform the media; to conduct research on how the current media system influences the development of public policy and educates the public and policy-makers on how a more diverse and public service-oriented media system can stregnthen American Democracy; and to promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications.
Free Press is a United States advocacy group that is part of the media reform or media democracy movement. It gives the following mission statement: "We focus on saving Net Neutrality, achieving affordable internet access for all, uplifting the voices of people of color in the media, challenging old and new media gatekeepers to serve the public interest, ending unwarranted surveillance, defending press freedom and reimagining local journalism." The group is a major supporter of net neutrality.
It is part of the broader "media reform movement" (or "media democracy movement"), and has described its work in these terms. This movement promotes ideas of "media localism" and opposes media consolidation. Like other organizations that are part of the same movement (such as the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union and the Center for Digital Democracy), Free Press is concerned with issues such as Federal Communications Commission regulations, "as well as Congressional funding for public broadcasting and the malfeasance of corporate media."
Free Press is a strong supporter of net neutrality. In 2008, Free Press was the key mover in a pro-net neutrality campaign that "drew together strange bedfellows, including the Christian Coalition, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Gun Owners of America, and helped set in motion a broader debate on the issue" that resulted in an FCC hearing on the subject. In its campaign for net neutrality, Free Press has been allied with Democratic members of Congress. The group supports the 2015 Open Internet Order, in which the FCC classified broadband internet as a common carrier service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which meant that "no content could be blocked by broadband providers and that the internet would not be divided into pay-to-play fast lanes for internet and media companies that can afford it and slow lanes for everyone else."
Free Press has long been strongly critical of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai because of Pai's opposition to net neutrality regulations. In 2017, Free Press's president Craig Aaron has said that the reversal of the 2015 Open Internet Order "would put consumers at the mercy of phone and cable companies." Pai, in turn, has been critical of Free Press, asserting that Free Press has a "socialist" agenda.
WASHINGTON, DC 20036-5413 | Tax-exempt since Jan. 2004
Classification (NTEE) Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (Arts, Culture and Humanities)
Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3) Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
Donations to this organization are tax deductible.