Free Press Releases "2009 Media & Tech Priorities: A Public Interest Agenda"

Free Press, a national nonpartisan organization working to reform the media, released 2009 Media & Tech Priorities: A Public Interest Agenda, a comprehensive look at the key media and telecommunications policies President-elect Barack Obama and Congress should implement next year. The document offers concrete recommendations for legislative and regulatory action in four key policy areas, building upon items in Obama's technology innovation agenda.

"The core of the Obama agenda aligns squarely with the public interest goals of creating a more democratic media system and promoting universal access to communications technologies," said Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press. "Obama's proposals represent a fundamental shift toward communications policy in the public interest. We look forward to working on this shared agenda -- and holding accountable those who will be charged with delivering on its promises."

In the document, Free Press highlights four public interest priorities:

  • Protect an Open Internet: The Obama administration should move swiftly to put Net Neutrality into law by urging Congress to pass Net Neutrality legislation. Obama's FCC should adopt Net Neutrality rules that pertain to all wireless and wireline networks; add a fifth principle of nondiscrimination to the Internet Policy Statement; establish an expedited complaint process; and require extensive disclosure for all network management practices.
  • Promote Universal, Affordable Broadband: Next year, the new administration should lay the groundwork in Congress for new telecommunications law that recognizes the growing convergence of communications platforms. The next FCC should set new speed standards for broadband; collect meaningful data on deployment; transition the Universal Service Fund toward broadband; and open inquiries to stimulate broadband competition.
  • Increase Diversity in Media Ownership: The road to media ownership reform begins by reversing the Bush administration's pro-consolidation policies. Obama's FCC should also investigate the impact of concentration on localism and diversity; advance a new minority tax certificate program; and increase competition among cable operators and content providers.
  • Renew Public Media: President-elect Obama should urge Congress to substantially increase funding for all levels of public media; create a long-term funding strategy that protects public media from undue political interference and supports the digital transition; and promote new Low Power FM stations and existing PEG channels.

Read the complete document "2009 Media & Tech Priorities: A Public Interest Agenda."