The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jen Howard, Free Press, (202) 265-1490 x22 or (703) 517-6273

2009 Media & Tech Priorities: A Public Interest Agenda


Today, Free Press 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.
This document builds upon the proposals detailed in Obama's technology
innovation agenda by offering concrete recommendations for legislative
and regulatory action.

"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

Read 2009 Media & Tech Priorities: A Public Interest Agenda:

Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what's actually happening in their communities.

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