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Free Press Annual Report
Free Press staff with the text “2018: The Year in Review”
Our staff and members were unstoppable in 2018. Check out our victories, progress and people power.
Timothy Karr

Epic Wins

We achieved remarkable wins in 2018 — milestones that were all the more remarkable in light of nonstop attacks on everyone’s rights to connect and communicate. The secret to our success? People rallying together to bring about the world we want and deserve to live in.

Three Net Neutrality activists holding signs reading “Save Net Neutrality. Vote for the CRA.”
Staff and activists leading the fight to restore Net Neutrality.

Our Biggest Wins of 2018

  • Former FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani holding a sign reading “Latinos for Net Neutrality”
    Maria Merkulova
    Net Neutrality

    Pushed the Senate to Save Net Neutrality

    After the Trump FCC destroyed the Net Neutrality rules, we got busy.

  • Heading reading “New Jersey deserves better media: This is our chance” appears above an old-fashioned TV with text on screen reading “Tell your lawmaker: Vote yes on the Civic Info Bill.”
    Local Journalism

    Passed the Civic Info Bill

    We made history when the New Jersey legislature passed this groundbreaking bill — legislation we dreamed up to transform local journalism.

  • Anti-merger advocates speak out against Sinclair outside the company's headquarters.
    Media Control

    Stopped Sinclair

    We defeated the toxic Sinclair-Tribune merger in a huge victory for local communities.

Fighting for Justice

Basic rights are under threat in the Trump era, and marginalized communities are increasingly vulnerable. We’re pushing back via these innovative campaigns.

A woman dressed as a pirate and a woman dressed as a witch holding signs in English and Spanish reading “Less competition = less affordability”
An activist protesting the T-Mobile/Sprint merger explains how it would harm her.

Ongoing Fights

  • Cellphone reading “T-Mobile just sold you out”
    Media Consolidation

    Blocking the T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

    This deal would send prices skyrocketing, putting internet access out of reach for millions.

  • Crowd of people holding sign reading “The people disconnected will never be liberated”
    Maria Merkulova
    Internet Access

    Protecting Lifeline

    We derailed the Trump FCC’s plan to disconnect millions of low-income people, but the fight is far from over.

  • Four panelists discussing the launch of the Change the Terms campaign
    Timothy Karr
    Platform Accountability

    Disrupting Online Hate

    We’re pushing the big tech companies to combat hateful activities on their platforms and protect targeted communities while preserving free speech.

Defying the Trump FCC

Like the president he serves, FCC Chairman Pai is a friend to big business and a foe to ordinary people. We sued the agency over his decisions to end Net Neutrality and pave the way for more media consolidation.

Legal Showdowns

  • Activist holding sign reading “Save the Net”
    Free & Open Internet

    Restoring Net Neutrality Protections

    We sued the FCC over its shameful decision to destroy the Net Neutrality rules.

  • Text reading “We’re suing” next to a judge’s gavel
    Diversity in Media Ownership

    Preserving Local Media

    The FCC gave big media companies everything on their wish list when it gutted longstanding ownership rules. We sued to restore them.

Connecting with Communities

Our News Voices and Puerto Rico projects are all about building relationships and listening to people on the ground.

One man listening to another
Our News Voices: North Carolina team is building bridges between newsrooms and communities.

Amplifying Local Voices

  • Group of people in Camden, N.J., raising hands in response to a question.
    Timothy Karr
    Local Journalism

    Organizing Around the News

    In New Jersey, North Carolina and beyond, our News Voices team is working with people who want better news and information in their communities.

  • A group of activists and advocates standing in a row in Puerto Rico.
    Resilient Communities

    Seeking Justice for Puerto Rico

    We’re working with Puerto Ricans to get the FCC to investigate and address the communications crisis stemming from 2017’s hurricanes.

Leading with Our Values

A big secret to Free Press’ success is our ability to evolve and innovate while staying true to our commitment to fighting for justice.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn
Our webinar on the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report exposed and explored racism in the media.

Principles & Practices

  • Three Free Press staffers and a Free Press consultant at the Facing Race conference.
    Racial Justice

    Commitment to Racial Equity

    Working toward racial justice in the world means committing to race equity within our organization.

  • “The Connection: Media, tech and the fight to connect” above two raised fists


    We revamped our website, hosted a series of webinars, launched a podcast and honed new organizing techniques.

About Free Press

The entire Free Press staff.
Timothy Karr

Our Mission

We seek to change the media to transform democracy to realize a just society.

Since Free Press was founded in 2003, the media landscape has changed dramatically. Media and technology are now intertwined in our daily lives, vital to the health of our communities, and essential to a functioning democracy. We believe the fight for racial justice must be at the center of transforming our media and our democracy.

Media and technology can be used to oppress people — or to liberate them. We focus on these powerful platforms and tools because they have an outsized influence not just on our political system but on the kind of society we will have and the lives we will lead.

We focus on saving Net Neutrality, achieving affordable internet access for all, uplifting the voices of people of color in the media, challenging old and new media gatekeepers to serve the public interest, ending unwarranted surveillance, defending press freedom and reimagining local journalism.

Our Team* as of February 2019

  • Craig Aaron
    President and CEO
  • Michael Abbate
    Finance Manager
  • Diego Barrera
  • Alicia Bell
    Organizing Manager
  • Candace Clement
    Campaign Director
  • Dutch Cosmian
    Digital Director
  • Mary Alice Crim
    Field Director
  • Carrie Cuthbert
    Development Director
  • Leo Fitzpatrick
    Policy Counsel and C. Edwin Baker Fellow
  • Dana Floberg
    Policy Manager
  • Brandon Forester
    National Organizer
  • Heather Franklin
    Digital Campaigner and C. Edwin Baker Fellow
  • Sandra Fulton
    Government Relations Director
  • Jessica J. González
    Vice President of Strategy and Senior Counsel
  • Timothy Karr
    Senior Director of Strategy and Communications
  • Amy Kroin
  • Gaurav Laroia
    Policy Counsel
  • Kimberly Longey
    Chief Operating Officer
  • Sara Longsmith
    Foundation Partnerships Director
  • Lucia Martínez
    Digital Campaign Manager
  • Amy Martyn
    Administrative Director
  • Nilda Muhr
    Campaign Manager
  • Yesenia Perez-Algarin
    Associate Development Director
  • Misty Perez Truedson
    Chief of Staff
  • Christina Pierce
    Operations Manager
  • O’neil Pryce
    Special Assistant to the President and CEO
  • Mike Rispoli
    News Voices Director
  • Carmen Scurato
    Senior Policy Counsel
  • James L. Thompson
  • Joseph Torres
    Senior Director of Strategy and Engagement
  • S. Derek Turner
    Research Director
  • Stefan Ward-Wheten
    Office Manager
  • Collette Watson
    Creative Communications Director
  • Matt Wood
    Vice President of Policy and General Counsel

Board of Directors

  • Craig Aaron
    President and CEO, Free Press and Free Press Action
  • Alvaro Bedoya
    Founding Executive Director, Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology
  • Michael Copps
    Former FCC Commissioner
  • Olga M. Davidson
    Chair, Ilex Foundation
  • Victor Pickard
    Professor, University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication
  • Liza Pike
    Director, New Media Mentors
  • Ben Scott, Chair
    Director of Policy and Advocacy, Luminate

Free Press by the Numbers

Free Press raised $1,970,659 in donations in 2018, from 1,458 unique donors, with contributions ranging from $1 to $500,000. The average Free Press donation was $1,351.

The Free Press Action Fund raised $945,715 in donations in 2018, from 5,588 unique donors, with contributions ranging from $1 to $100,000. The average Action Fund donation was $115.

Top Foundation Partners ($5K and higher)

  • American Endowment Foundation
  • craigslist Charitable Fund
  • CS Fund/Warsh-Mott Legacy
  • CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Foundation (News Integrity Initiative)
  • Democracy Fund
  • Democracy Fund Voice
  • Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
  • Ford Foundation
  • Foundation to Promote Open Society
  • Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
  • Holthues Trust
  • Leland Fikes Foundation, Inc.
  • New Venture Fund (Media Democracy Fund)
  • Park Foundation
  • Pechet Foundation
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • Steve and Paula Child Foundation
  • Sy Syms Foundation
  • The Kaphan Foundation
  • Voqal Funding Group
  • Working Assets (CREDO customer donation pool)
  • Woodcock Foundation

Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund are supported by gifts and grants from individuals, private foundations and public charities. Neither organization accepts funding from business, government or political parties.

2018 Financial Year in Review*

Free Press

Unrestricted Contributions $ 724,550
Temporarily Restricted Contributions $ 1,246,109
Collaborative Projects $ 0
Investment and Other Income $ 25,158
Total Revenue: $ 1,995,817
Internet Freedom, Platform Accountability and Press Freedom Programs $ 3,672,474
Fundraising $ 364,788
Management and Governance $ 140,101
Total Expenses: $ 4,177,363
Net Assets at Beginning of Year: $ 6,119,999
Net Assets at Year End: $ 3,938,453

Free Press Action Fund

Unrestricted Contributions $ 473,460
Temporarily Restricted Contributions $ 145,000
Membership $ 327,255
Investment Income $ 2,091
Total Revenue: $ 947,806
Internet Freedom, Platform Accountability and Press Freedom Programs $ 876,718
Fundraising $ 134,301
Management and Governance $ 24,350
Total Expenses: $ 1,035,369
Net Assets at Beginning of Year: $ 287,591
Net Assets at Year End: $ 200,028

*The fiscal year for Free Press and Free Press Action Fund extends from Jan. 1–Dec. 31.

For more information, see the complete audited financial statements and accompanying notes on our website at