Today is my last day at Free Press.
After seven years fighting for more diverse, independent media, quality journalism and all people’s rights to connect and communicate, I’m moving on to a new adventure.
It’s a tough time to leave. The work Free Press does is profoundly important right now.
I started at Free Press the same month the first iPhone was released. In the seven years since, media has become interwoven into our lives in ways we couldn’t have predicted. Our computers have moved from our desktops to our pockets, and technology is far more personal and intimate today than ever before. Our movements, our politics, our news and our communities are being transformed by creative people and unexpected technology. And through these tools, people are creating, collaborating and participating in media and journalism every day in ways few of us imagined seven years ago.
However, at the same time we also face a range of new threats to freedom of expression and the open Internet. From net neutrality to mass surveillance and media diversity to mega mergers, Free Press has been fighting these fights for a decade. And I know the organization has big plans for the next decade, especially at the intersection of press freedom and Internet freedom.
The team at Free Press is second to none. They are some of the most dedicated and knowledgeable people I’ve ever worked with. I’ll miss the work, but I’ll miss the team more than anything.
However, in recent years I’ve been more and more drawn to the newsroom and to working directly with reporters on building more sustainable and resilient journalism networks.
I’ve had the chance to do some of this through my advocacy in support of journalists arrested and threatened here in the US, my writing on ethics, social media verification and breaking news and my work on community engagement. I explored these issues through my research, at events and informally advised start-ups around the country.
But there was only so much I could do while also running three national campaigns around media diversity, press freedom and public media. So, when an opportunity came to roll up my sleeves and work directly with one of the most exciting emerging journalism networks in the country I had to leap at it.
I’ve taken what amounts to a dream job, working with people I respect immensely. I’m excited for the new challenges ahead of me, and I’ll have more to share about this new project in the next few weeks.
But one of the reasons I’m ready to dive into this new adventure is because I know there are people at Free Press – and many of the allied organizations that Free Press works with – fighting on the front lines for our rights. They are building and defending the legal foundation, and waging the policy battles, that will define the future of technology and journalism. And in this moment of profound change, the stakes are high.
I’m leaving Free Press today, but I’ll always support their work. And you should too.