“MEDIACRACY” – A Dialogue with Experts on the Troubled Intersection of Media and Democracy


November 7, 2013 @ 1:45 – 4:00 pm.

Philanthropy New York

79 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor, NYC or via Livestream.

Register now to attend in person.

Access the Livestream. Tweet along with hashtag #PNYEvent

Democracy and media are inextricably connected – one cannot have an informed and engaged electorate without robust access to information and guarantees of free expression.

While we have a growing array of communications choices at our fingertips, what we read, watch, hear and see is increasingly created and distributed by an ever-shrinking number of corporate media giants. Media consolidation in radio, TV, newspapers, and online has enormous implications for the quality of news and information available – especially at the local level. The fight between locally controlled, independent voices and telecom goliaths is taking place across the country and across all media formats. Even so, there have been some successful organizing efforts by media policy reform activists, supported by a dedicated cadre of grantmakers and individual philanthropists.

This fall Low-Power FM radio is celebrating a long-fought victory to expand local radio while consumer activists closely watch a case between Verizon and the Federal Communications Commission over open Internet principles. At the same time, Free Press, the largest media policy coalition, is celebrating a decade of fighting for diverse and free expression.

Join us for a lively discussion with a terrific panel of experts and practitioners to learn about the critical role that funders play at the local, state and federal level to ensure that our media system serves our democracy.


  • Michael Copps, former Federal Communications Commissioner; Special Advisor, Media and Democracy Reform Initiative, Common Cause
  • Helen Brunner, Director, Media Democracy Fund 
  • Robert McChesney, Professor of Communication, University of Illinois; Co-Founder, Free Press
  • Vince Stehle (Moderator), Executive Director, Media Impact Funders

Register now.


For more information on media and democracy read Vince Stehle’s recent Chronicle of Philanthropy piece on the topic.

“No matter how distressing it was to watch the federal government grind to a halt this month, it has been encouraging to hear a growing chorus of foundation and nonprofit leaders call for intensive efforts to fix our broken government.

But we won’t make any progress on that goal until we change the way media and politics intersect, so it’s time for everyone in philanthropy to make that a high priority of their advocacy.” Read more.


In addition to this briefing, Bob McChesney and Michael Copps, both Free Press board members, will be participating in that organization’s 10th anniversary celebration from 6:30 – 9:00 pm at the Press Lounge (653 11th Avenue, between 47th and 48th). Help Free Press celebrate their first decade and the future of media, technology and democracy. RSVP to rsvp@freepress.net.



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