I believe that people have a right to demand better media, a responsibility to fight for better media and the capacity to help create better media.
And I believe this fight is critical to every other issue we care about, from education to the environment, but it is also critical to our democracy. If we believe in a government of the people, for the people and by the people, we need a media that can help make that possible.
At Free Press my work is focused on fostering press freedom, protecting public media, supporting nonprofit journalism and fighting media consolidation. Those are grand aspirations, but on a day-to-day basis a lot of the work I do is inspired my by two sons.
I have a New York Times article about journalist arrests posted near my desk at home. The article features a photo of two police officers dragging a photographer to the ground. One day my oldest son looked at the picture and asked “What did that man do?” I said “He was just taking pictures,” and my son responded questioningly, “But that’s not a bad thing…”
I want my sons to grow up in a world with media that inspires, informs, engages and represents the diversity of our nation. I want them to be surrounded by quality journalism that earns their trust and speaks truth to power. I want them to have access to local music as easily as they have access to local foods. I want them to be as free to make media as they are to consume it.
The day after the first presidential debate I was in a hurry to get to the office. As I was walking out the door my 4-year-old asked, “Where are you going daddy?” I told him I was going to “save Big Bird.” He smiled and sent me on my way with a hug.
The media we have is the result of policy decisions – good and bad. The good news is, we can change policy and we can change the media. In fact, we already are. It’s been a year of big wins, but the fights ahead in 2013 will strike at the core of our values – access, equity, justice, democracy.
We are just getting started – I hope you’ll join us. Please consider a donation to Free Press to help support this fight. Right now, if you give, another Free Press supporter will match every new gift — up to $75,000 — we receive before Dec. 31.