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

Universal Service Reform: By the Numbers

[Source: Connected Planet, by Joan Engebretson, September 15, 2011]
A recap of the data driving USF reform proposalsThe FCC is gearing up to make long-awaited Universal Service reforms promised before year-end. To put potential reforms in context, Connected Planet ...

BART and the New Era of Censorship

[Source: The Huffington Post, by Timothy Karr, August 18, 2011]
I have spent most of the week poring over news stories, blogs and commentary on last week's decision by Bay Area Rapid Transit officials to shut off cell-phone service to quash planned protests on ...

New Information on AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Proves It's About Eliminating Competition, Jobs

[Source: AlterNet, by Sarah Jaffe, August 16, 2011]
AT&T claims its purchase of T-Mobile will create jobs - but history shows it's far more likely to eliminate them. The announcement that AT&T wants to buy T-Mobile was met with ...

ProPublica's outreach a welcome step toward "open-source" journalism

[Source: OJR: The Online Journalism Review, by Melanie Sill
, August 4, 2011]
A couple of outreach efforts by ProPublica this week caught my eye as examples of how the Web can make journalism more open and effective — and reminders that both journalists and the public need ...

Wired and Wireless Broadband: What's at Stake for Rural Communities?

[Source: Center for Media Justice, by Amalia Deloney, July 18, 2011]
On Tuesday, June 28, 2011, the Center for Media Justice brought together 20 individuals from 17 organizations across the country to examine the role of wired and wireless broadband access in rural ...

A Growing Digital Divide: Internet Freedom and the Negative Impact of Command-and-Control Networking

[Source: New America Foundation, by Sascha D. Meinrath, James Losey and Benjamin Lennett, July 19, 2011]
There is a growing consensus that communications is a fundamental right. However, achieving digital equality in the broadband age has become considerably more complex than just universal access. ...

How Congress’ Spectrum Bills Hurt the Tech Community

[Source: GigaOm, by Stacey Higginbotham, July 15, 2011]
This week both Republicans and Democrats proposed drafts of mobile spectrum bills that would incent television broadcasters to give up some of their spectrum to be used for mobile broadband. ...

NHMC and NiLP File Petition to Deny AT&T's Acquisition of T-Mobile

[Source: National Hispanic Media Coalition, May 31, 2011]
Washington, D.C. - Today, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and the National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP) filed a petition to deny AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile at the ...

NPR Amps Up

[Source: Columbia Journalism Review, by Jill Drew, April 1, 2010]
Can Vivian Schiller build a journalism juggernaut?

Hot Topic: Armed (with Social Media) & Dangerous

[Source: Hershey|Cause, July 29, 2010]
The last few weeks have provided several stinging examples of one of our mantras: just because you can use social media doesn't mean you should. Remember social media is not a promotional strategy ...