Tim Wu to chair Free Press media reform org

Tim Wu sez,

I just took over as the chair of Free Press, a non-profit that is the largest media reform group in the U.S. — we just finished the bi-annual conference for Media Reform.

Why should Free Press's work matter for Boing Boing readers? The fact is that while media and tech issues have sort of have been thought of separately, they are coming together. People in the media reform movement care about things like growing media consolidation, the many failures of journalism (particularly over the last 8 years) and the general trend of news being turned into entertainment. But here's the trick: as the internet takes over everything (or just about) suddenly all of these problems of media policy are only answerable in a discussion about the internet.

That's why the challenge, for me, as chair of Free Press is to try and make sure that the power of the media reform movement gets translated into the internet age. What does this mean in practice? Defending the media's role in the internet age, in my view, begins with defending the ability of bloggers and other small scale critics and journalists to be heard through an open and neutral internet.

It almost goes without saying that the media, in the U.S. or anywhere, is the first line check on abuses of public and private power. But figuring out exactly how that's going to work as the mainstream media undergoes a total industry reboot is the big question for the next decade.

You'll remember Tim from such Boing Boing posts as: Tim Wu profile in Business Week, Tim Wu to edit Lessig blog, Why wireless carriers should be forced into neutrality, Keep Your Copyrights: helping creators beat abusive contracts, AT&T's Retarded Plan to Filter the Internet, Fair use for the 21st century: if it adds value, it's fair; if it substitutes, it's not, Copyright's Authorship Policy: how to make an art-neutral copyright, Searchable index of Judge Posner's decisions – law for the people, Why JK Rowling will lose her suit against The Harry Potter Lexicon, Which laws don't we enforce and why?, Unlocking an iPhone is legal, Opening up the American lawbooks, A simple prescription for keeping Google's records out of government hand, Network neutrality – why it matters, and how do we fix it?, Google Print — great debate on Farber's list and Understanding broadband regulation


(Thanks Tim!)