From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, we are highlighting each of the organizations featured in the Jersey Give-Back Guide, an online giving gadget that takes the guesswork out of year-end giving.
Facebook: Free Press
What they do:
Free Press fights for your rights to connect and communicate. We’re working to save the free and open Internet, curb runaway media consolidation, protect press freedom and ensure diverse voices are represented in our media.
This year we launched News Voices: New Jersey, a project designed to strengthen relationships between newsrooms and the communities they serve. We chose New Jersey because it’s one of the most underserved states when it comes to news coverage. Sandwiched between the New York and Philadelphia media markets, New Jersey receives little to no coverage of its state and local governments. Reporters are out of work, TV stations are closing down and public media’s budget has been slashed. Meanwhile, local news startups are experimenting with business models, providing fresh voices — and struggling to gain a foothold.
News Voices: New Jersey is designed to spark the kind of public engagement that will invigorate both newsrooms and communities. We’re conducting intensive on-the-ground outreach in cities throughout the state and are holding forums in each of the targeted communities. We’ve connected residents and journalists at events we organized in New Brunswick and Atlantic City and plan to hold similar gatherings in Asbury Park, Newark and other locations in 2016. We’re committed to ongoing follow-up in all of these cities.
All of this work is focused on getting residents and journalists to listen to one another and find creative ways to collaborate. In the coming months, we’ll help journalists explore new ways of engaging with readers. We’ll also help community members and organizations figure out how to build relationships and work with members of the news media.
We’re a nationwide organization with a growing base of nearly 1 million members.
What makes them great:
We’re working to create a world where people have the information and opportunities they need to tell their own stories, hold leaders accountable and participate in policymaking. This work takes place on many fronts. We’re dedicated to elevating community voices in our journalism work and to protecting the First Amendment rights of everyone engaged in acts of journalism.
We mobilize in Congress and the courts against threats to the free and open Internet. We fight media mergers designed to crush competition and raise prices. Our ongoing advocacy has led to many victories for the public interest — and we’re on a roll. Our two most significant wins — securing strong Net Neutrality protections at the Federal Communications Commission and stopping the dangerous Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger — happened in 2015.
How your donation will make an impact:
Free Press doesn’t take money from business, government or political parties. To stay independent we rely solely on the generosity of individual donors and charitable foundations to fuel our work.
How you can get even more involved:
Email Mike Rispoli to join the News Voices: New Jersey project. If you’re a journalist, tell us about the stories you want to report on. If you’re a member of the public, tell us how the media could better serve your community.
– Fiona Morgan, journalism program director, and Mike Rispoli, press freedom campaign director and director of the News Voices project
For more information on the Jersey Give Back Guide and the featured organizations, visit jerseygivebackguide.org.