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

FCC Takes a Close Look at the Unwired

[Source: The New York Times, by Brian Stelter and Jenna Wortham, February 22, 2010]
For many Americans, having high-speed access to the Internet at home is as vital as electricity, heat and water. And yet about one-third of the population, 93 million people, have elected not to ...

Case Closed: Why Most of USA Lacks 100Mbps Internet Connections

[Source:, by Matthew Lasar, February 23, 2010]
Excitement about the approach of the Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan, due March 17, is inspiring ever more dramatic calls for greater high-speed Internet connectivity ...

Google Shakes Up Broadband Landscape With Fiber Build Initiative

[Source:, by Drew Clark, February 10, 2010]
Google shook up the broadband world on Wednesday with the announcement, on its blog, that it plans to offer super-fast broadband, at speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second, to up to 500,000 ...

Final Round of Broadband Stimulus Funding Applications Open

[Source: Huffington Post, by Tony Shawcross, February 16, 2010]
Today marks the launch of the second - and final - round of applications for the Broadband Initiatives Program (BTOP): two initiatives within the Recovery Act that collectively represent what ...

FCC Chair Gives Nod to Google, Will Push for Ultra-Fast Broadband

[Source: Washington Post, by Cecilia Kang; February 16, 2010] The Federal Communications Commission will announce a plan to bring Internet speeds of 100 megabits a ...

Pew Center: Social Media Provide First-Hand Accounts, Direct Action on Haiti

[Source: Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, January 21, 2010]
The tragic earthquake that devastated the country of Haiti on January 12 and killed an estimated 200,000 people inspired a wealth of online activity. The online communication site Twitter played ...

Op-Ed: Why Are Some Civil Rights Groups and Leaders On the Wrong Side of Net Neutrality?

[Source: Huffington Post, by James Rucker, January 28, 2010]
It's said that politics creates strange bedfellows. I was reminded how true this can be when I traveled to D.C. in recent weeks to figure out why several advocacy groups and legislators with ...

Community Radio Reaches Out in Haiti

[Source: Prometheus Radio Project, January 27, 2010]
"Much has been made about the role flashier technologies like Twitter, Skype and text messaging have played in helping disaster victims find loved ones and communicate with international aid ...

The Clinton Internet Doctrine: Internet Access is the New Freedom of Assembly

[Source:, by Nathaniel Whittemore; January 22, 2010] If freedom of speech gives people the right to express their viewpoints, freedom of assembly gives people the right to ...

Resources: The Broadband Stimulus and How Funders Can Address the Needs of their Communities

In the Spring of 2010, an unprecedented $4.8 billion will be distributed via federal Stimulus funding for building out high-speed Internet/Broadband to unserved and underserved communities ...