Recommendations for Funders - Media Policy in '09

On November 19, 2008, GFEM conducted a members-only conference call with FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein entitled "Obama, A New Congress & Media Policy: Strategic Opportunities for Funders."
We also heard from leading policy advocates Ben Scott, Policy Director of Free Press, and Jon Rintels, Director of the Center for Creative Voices in Media. Rintels is the author of the Benton Foundation's new report "AN ACTION PLAN FOR AMERICA: Using Technology and Innovation to Address Our Nation's Critical Challenges."
During the funder-only discussion that closed out the call, we identified a number of recommendations for funders interested in supporting this work. We hope you'll review the suggestions below and send feedback and additional ideas:

  • Fund local and regional organizations to develop and present policy ideas directly to the administration - This administration is going to look at interacting with consituency groups and the public in a whole different way -- think The opportunity for people and organizations outside the Beltway to participate in policy discussions and decision will be unprecedented -- help underrepresented constituencies be able to participate.
    • Fund local and regional convenings to develop policy ideas for the administration
    • Support local and regional orgs to do advocacy work
  • Support projects to connect national advocacy groups with local and regional organization:
  • Help advocates suggest key personnel - FCC posts (Commisioners, key staff), Chief Tech Officer, positions at NTIA, etc...
  • Research and reports - The new Administration will be looking for ideas for new policies and programs. Research and white papers from media orgs, especially around impact on local communities will be very helpful.
Possible Next Steps for Funder Education:
  • GFEM delegation to the National Broadband Strategy Summit
  • Funder delegation to Washington, D.C. to meet the new key policy decisionmakers
  • Ongoing quarterly briefings on this subject to keep up with what is going on