The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Moira Vahey, 202-265-1490 x 31

Free Press Saddened by the Death of C. Edwin Baker


C. Edwin Baker, a prominent communications law scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, defender of the First Amendment, and advocate for media and democracy, died Dec. 8. He was 62.

Robert W. McChesney, co-founder of Free Press, made the following statement:

"It is impossible to gauge the immensity of the loss with Ed Baker's passing. He has been the leading constitutional scholar on matters of freedom of the press for two decades. His commitment to a strong free press and a vibrant democracy guided all of his work. He combined open-mindedness, curiosity, a lack of pretension and creativity with intellectual rigor, rare knowledge and rock-hard principles in a manner that was unmatched.

"Ed was a singularly generous scholar, always willing to assist a fellow scholar or activist with as much of his time as was necessary. I am going to miss our long telephone calls where we hashed out ideas for resurrecting journalism. I relied upon him as much as any scholar for my own work. Anytime my work broached constitutional issues it relied upon his direct input and the foundation he provided. The American people and the Constitution have lost a friend and a defender. And those of us who knew Ed have lost a dear friend and a kind, sweet man."

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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