Watchdog detailed top issues for 2013


Free Press has been an energetic participant in the debate over media policy, regulation and legislation for years – and it recently made it known what its three top priorities will be for the year. It will be focusing its energies on media diversity, protecting the First Amendment rights of journalists and propagating public media.

Increasing diversity has led the organization to vigorously oppose the expected attempt by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to relax broadcast/newspaper cross-ownership restrictions along the same line proposed several years ago by former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. Free Press says the FCC is trying to “gut” the rules.

Beyond that, it will be urging the FCC to take direct action to increase the diversity of voices on the nation’s broadcast outlets.

The second issue involves protecting the right of journalists to cover domestic stories, such as Occupy Wall Street and the Keystone XL Pipeline – two issues where Free Press says those rights were abridged; and protecting journalists themselves when covering hot spots abroad.

Finally, Free Press will be actively encouraging the expansion of public media – both by strengthening existing noncommercial broadcast platforms and by encouraging the expansion of low power FM.