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Annual Report 2009

Annual Report 2009

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Published by Free Press

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Published by: Free Press on Aug 18, 2010
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The Free Press Action Fund
advocatesand lobbies or media policies in the publicinterest. Our policy team regularly meetswith members o Congress and their sta tochampion specic policy proposals and tocounteract the steady stream o propagandarom industry lobbyists. We mobilize ourmembers to take action when the timingis right and when the opportunity to win isreal. The Free Press Action Fund is tax exemptunder 501(c)(4) o the IRC. Contributions tothe Action Fund are not tax-deductible ascharitable donations or business expensesunder IRC S162(e). The Action Fund issupported by contributions rom individualsand rom public charities.
Lobbying iscritical to our success.
We encourage you to get involved in our work.
Visit our websites or requent updates onimportant media issues. Sign up to receive periodic e-mail alerts (we don’t SPAM). And equallyimportant, give us your nancial support at a level that is meaningul or you. We acceptgits by cash, check, credit card or stock. We also accept planned gits. Automatic monthlycontributions may be made in support o the Free Press Action Fund. For more inormation,
 call 877-888-1533 x 504 or visit www.freepress.net/donate
Free Press
is a national, nonpartisan,nonprot organization working to reormthe media. Our goals are to promote diversemedia ownership; quality journalism;universal access to ast, aordable, openInternet service; and vibrant public andindependent media.We are among the most eective nonprotorganizations in the country and the largestocused solely on media policy. Throughresearch, education, organizing andadvocacy, we’re working to create a moreaccountable, diverse and democratic mediasystem that truly serves the public interest.Free Press is tax exempt to the extentallowed by law under 501(c)(3) o theIRC. Contributions to Free Press are tax-deductible as charitable donations. FreePress is supported by private oundations,public charities and many individual donors
Josh Silver 
President & CEO,
Free Press & Free Press Action Fund
Dear Friend
We played a pivotal role in the allocation o more than $7 billion in ederal unds orbroadband buildout to under- and unserved communities. Our eorts helped to bringabout the long-awaited release o a National Broadband Plan that sets goals or broadbandadoption and deployment or the next 10 years. And most recently, ater years o sustainedadvocacy by Free Press activists, the FCC announced the start o a rulemaking proceedingor Net Neutrality, the principle that ensures consumer choice and the ree ow o communications online.But now the real ght or better media begins — because the closer we get toimplementing these key public interest policies, the more opposition we ace romindustry, which is employing dirtier tactics and has deeper pockets than ever beore.In order to control Internet trafc and to ght competition that could lower prices andexpand consumer choice, the telecom industry has spent record amounts o money onlobbyists to spin Net Neutrality as anti-business. They are seeding ake grassroots groups tocreate the illusion o popular support or their anti-consumer practices. And they’re liningthe coers o lawmakers willing to act as their shills.And what we’re nding is that the promise o change that swept President Obama into ofceat the beginning o 2009 has dissipated in a Washington that remains beholden to corporatespecial interests and the status quo. The names have changed or the leadership posts o key committees and agencies, but the old ways o governing are still deeply entrenched.Our challenge is to hold new leadership to earlier commitments, to engage our activists inghting new threats, and to promote media policy that serves the public interest.And that’s exactly what we’re doing.We’re producing groundbreaking papers that are serving as a roadmap or a visiono people-powered media policy. At the same time, we’re driving tens o thousandso activists to contact the Federal Communications Commission and their electedrepresentatives and mobilizing hundreds o civic organizations and small-business groups.We’re making sure media issues keep a high prole in the mainstream press and theblogosphere, and we’re getting the word out through every means possible, including YouTube,online social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and other websites and online tools.In 2009, we launched our SavetheNews.org campaign to address the crisis in journalism and thenewspaper industry. Through this campaign, we’re identiying policy solutions to support thequality journalism our democracy needs, policies such as changes to the tax code and bankruptcylaw and new nonprot approaches. We’ve also been laying the groundwork to build support orthe expansion and revitalization o our public media system. A House vote in the all o 2009 toissue new licenses to community radio stations across the country was the result o many years o hard work by Free Press and our independent media allies. This was also the year when media consolidation once again reared its ugly head. When the buzzbegan in early all that cable and Internet giant Comcast was planning to take over NBC Universal,Free Press quickly mobilized its base. This dangerous deal, which would result in higher prices andewer choices or consumers and less competition in our media markets, has proved to be a greaton-ramp or new activists.Finally, we convened the Free Press Summit or the rst time in 2009, bringing together keypolicymakers, public interest advocates, entrepreneurs, media makers, and hundreds o engagedpeople to Washington, D.C. The central theme o this successul event was also the ocus o our work this year: the need to develop a comprehensive communications policy ramework that recognizesthe connection between Internet and journalism policy and seeks to ensure the uture o both.In short, 2009 has been a year o great accomplishment or Free Press and the Free Press ActionFund. And or this, we must thank our tireless activists and our loyal supporters or carrying thetorch during these exciting times. We are inspired by and grateul or all you do and look orwardto a brilliant 2010.Onward,
2009 was an exceptional year or Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund. A new administrationaltered the political landscape, bringing reormopportunities we wasted no time in seizing.
 Timothy Wu
Chairman o the Board,
Free Press & Free Press Action Fund

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