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

Roundup of Articles on SOPA and PIPA Blackout

  Biggest Day Ever of Online Protest in English The Benton Foundation's Kevin Taglang offers a terrific roundup of developments regarding SOPA and PIPA, along with responses from the White House, ...

Verizon's Deal with Big Cable Spells the Demise of the Telecom Act

[Source: Save the Internet, by Joel Kelsey, January 5, 2012]
We all remember the 1980s and its awesome fashion and music. While some may want to revisit those aspects of the past, I don't think anyone wants to return to the era of the cable and Ma Bell ...

New York Times, Washington Post, AP Found NewsRight

[Source: The Wrap, by Lucas Shaw, January 5, 2012]
Newspaper organizations are banding together under an organization titled NewsRight to license and profit from the spread of their content online.   A project first developed by the Associated ...

Fair Use: What Public Media Makers Are Doing Right and How They Can Do Even Better

[Source:, by Patricia Aufderheide, December 12, 2011]
Fair use, the right to employ copyrighted material in certain situations without licensing it, is in resurgence after two dismal decades of widespread misinterpretation — and nowhere is the right ...

Explainer: Understanding SOPA

[Source: The Guardian, by Dominic Rushe and Chris Moran, December 23, 2011]
Will 2012 see the end of the Internet as we know it? The House Judiciary committee tried to finalize the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) before Christmas for a vote early next year. But fierce ...

FCC Proposes New Media Ownership Rules

[Source: The Washington Post, by Hayley Tsukayama, December 22, 2011]
The Federal Communications Commission announced Thursday that it will move ahead with a proposal to loosen the rules on media ownership.   Today, the agency voted to continue with a new proposal ...

Defining Journalism Is a Lot Easier Said Than Done

[Source: GigaOm, by Mathew Ingram, December 15, 2011]
The ripples continue to spread from a recent Oregon court ruling involving a blogger who was sued for defamation, and argued she should be covered by the state’s “media shield” law.

Surrender by AT&T Is Victory for Consumers and Regulators

[Source: The Los Angeles Times, by David Lazarus, December 19, 2011]
AT&T's decision to drop its bid for T-Mobile will benefit the consumer marketplace. And for the first time in a long time, regulators ruled that bigger isn't always better in the telecom sector.

Brad Burnham Explains Why SOPA Must Be Stopped

[Source: TechCrunch, by Erick Schonfeld, December 15, 2011]
  The Congressional Judiciary committee is debating a bill today called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which nobody in the Internet industry wants to see passed.

Online Journalism Enterprises: From Startup to Sustainability

By Jon Funabiki, Executive Director Renaissance Journalism Center