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

Court Tosses FCC Cable Ownership Cap, Likely to Set Off Consolidation Harmful to Consumers

Since 1992, an FCC rule limited cable companies from controlling more than 30 percent of the pay TV market in the United States. The court has now vacated the entire rule, making media ...

From a Porch in Montana, Low-Power Radio’s Voice Rises

Legislation now before Congress could sharply increase the number of noncommercial low-power radio stations, reports The New York Times below.

The Open Zones of CommonWealth: A Review of NAMAC's 2009 Conference

These meditations on the biannual conference of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, were originally posted on the blog of the Finger Lakes Enviromental Film Festival.

Video: Reporter Roundtable on Upcoming Media and Technology Policy Issues

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This episode of C-SPAN's "The Communicators" features three reporters discussing the significant telecommunications and technology issues in the upcoming session of Congress and at ...

Policies that Matter for Artists and Media Makers

[Source:, by Mary Alice Crim; September 08, 2009] I am amazed by the talent and creativity of all the people I ...

Opportunities for Grantees’ Voices in Formulating National Broadband Plan: What Funders Can Do

For the first time, the U.S. government is developing a national broadband plan to foster robust and affordable Internet access for all Americans – in a similar way that a comprehensive plan was ...

Nonprofit Model Makes Sense for Newspapers

If a newspaper were run as a nonprofit, this would allow [foundations and] people who valued the impact of its stories to donate and receive a tax deduction.[By James T. Hamilton, Atlanta ...

2,200 Broadband Stimulus Applications Seek Seven Times More Funds Than Available

[By Drew Clark,; August 27, 2009]Nearly 2,200 applications were submitted for funding from the federal government’s broadband stimulus program, seeking $27.6 billion in ...

New FCC Chairman Affirms Net Neutrality Stance

[By Andrew Noyes, CongressDaily; August 25, 2009] The FCC remains committed to enforcing principles intended to ensure unobstructed access to Internet content, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski ...

Rural broadband = More jobs, better salaries

A new USDA report shows that rural counties that get on the broadband bandwagon see more and better-paying jobs. But high-speed Internet penetration in the countryside still lags behind cities by ...