Media Content

Media Issues

GFEM is an advocate to our grantmaker colleagues, encouraging them to fund innovative media arts and public interest media—through support of content, infrastructure, and policy—as a vital form of cultural expression and essential component of our democracy. Whether providing support for documentary or narrative films, or efforts to close the national or international “digital divide,” or supporting advocacy and educational organizations to keep the Internet unrestricted, or highlighting media advancements being made in developing countries, or the evolving media policies in developed nations-GFEM’s aim is to provide small and large funders alike with information to assist them in making decisions about supporting the interconnected areas of media content, infrastructure and policy.


A television program or film puts a face on an issue. A radio news feature or documentary brings a tangible reality to recited facts. Video streamed on a website underscores issues presented in plain text and can move people to action. Whether the content is targeted to public or commercial media outlets, funders need a working understanding of the entire media landscape in order to be most effective in their grantmaking. View Content articles


A high-speed, unfettered Internet, community-based media arts organizations, PBS, NPR, Public/Educational/Government (PEG) public access stations, or mobile phones are all a part of our media infrastructure—GFEM provides funders with information to help them in supporting media infrastructure, whether local, national, or international. View Infrastructure articles


Restrictive media policies can curtail access to the content we do have through the infrastructure we currently have in place. There are clear roles for funders to play in helping to address media policy issues and GFEM works to keep funders abreast of the constantly shifting media policy environment. View Policy articles

A New FCC: What Should We Expect?

[Source: Benton Foundation, by Michael Copps, May 8, 2012]
At last: a full Federal Communications Commission! After months of seemingly interminable delay (due to a confirmation process highjacked for non-related purposes) a full complement of five ...

The Coverup Culture of News Corp.

[Source: Columbia Journalism Review, by Ryan Chittum, May 1, 2012]
A damning report from Parliament and Rupert Murdoch’s revealing response to it   When a committee of Parliament condemned Rupert Murdoch Tuesday as “not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of ...

Industry Tells Senate: Internet Video Is "Ready Now"

[Source: Public Knowledge, by John Bergmayer, April 24, 2012]
Today's Senate hearing on online video was interesting for a few reasons. The most important of these, to me, was that no one questioned whether the Internet was the future of video. It's apparent ...

Will the Senate Please Ask ISPs to Justify Their Wireless Caps?

[Source: GigaOm, by Stacey Higginbotham, April 23, 2012]
The Senate is investigating video competition during a hearing on Tuesday and public interest groups are using it as an opp

Spectrum Crisis, Hyperbole or Quest for Market Control?

[Source: Benton Foundation, by Kevin Taglang, April 20, 2012]
Fueled in no small part by a Congressional hearing, the need for more spectrum devoted to wireless telecommunications services was a big topic this week. AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint say ...

Susan Crawford Keynote at TNW2012

[Source: The Next Web, by Martin Bryant, May 1, 2012]
High-speed Internet should be a utility like water, open to all and carrying all data neutrally. That’s what Internet policy visionary Susan Crawford believes, and she wants us all to join ...

Data Journalism, Data Tools, and the Newsroom Stack

[Source: O'Reilly Radar, by Alex Howard, July 5, 2011]
The 2011 Knight News Challenge winners illustrate data's ascendance in media and government.

Public Ownership of Networks Can Solve Broadband Policy Fights

[Source: Community Broadband Networks, by Eric Null, February 19, 2012]
Eric Null is a third-year law student at Cardozo Law School in New York City. He is passionate about corporate and intellectual property law, as well as technology and telecommunications policy.

Broadcasting, Disclosure and Democracy

[Source: The Benton Foundation, by Kevin Taglang, February 10, 2012]
When we speak of “wireless” these days, we’re talking about cell phones and other devices we use on the go – many enabled with mobile broadband. But the term wireless first came into use about 100 ...

Since the FCC No Longer Listens, AT&T Tries Congress

[Source: GigaOm, by Stacey Higginbotham, February 9, 2012]
The payroll extension tax before Congress has two surprisingly technical segments related to mobile broadband that raise big mobile broadband questions — namely, will the FCC be allowed to set ...