Categories: Open Web Fellows

Spotlight on Free Press: A Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow Host Organization

{This is the final in a series of posts highlighting the Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows program host organizations. Free Press has been at the forefront of informing tech policy and mobilizing millions to take action to protect the Internet. This year, Free Press has been an instrumental catalyst in the fight to protect net neutrality. We are thrilled to have Free Press as a host organization, and eager to see the impact from their Fellow.}

Spotlight on Free Press: A Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow Host Organization
By Amy Kroin, editor, Free Press

In the next few months, the Federal Communications Commission will decide whether to surrender the Internet to a handful of corporations — or protect it as a space that’s shared and shaped by millions of users.

At Free Press, we believe that protecting everyone’s rights to connect and communicate is fundamental to advancing social change. We believe that people should have the opportunities to tell their own stories, hold leaders accountable and participate in policy making. And we know that the freedom to access and share information is essential to this.


But these freedoms are under constant attack.

Take Net Neutrality. In May, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released rules that would have allowed discrimination online and destroyed the Internet as we know it. Since then, Free Press has helped lead the movement to push Wheeler to ditch his rules — and safeguard Net Neutrality over the long term. Our nationwide mobilization efforts and our advocacy within the Beltway have prompted the president, leaders in Congress and millions of people to speak out for strong open Internet protections. Wheeler’s had to go back to the drawing board — and plans to release new rules in 2015.

Though we’ve built amazing momentum in our campaign, our opposition — AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and their hundreds of lobbyists — is not backing down. Neither are we. With the help of people like you, we can ensure the FCC enacts strong open Internet protections. And if the agency goes this route, we will do everything we can to defend those rules and fight any legal challenges.

But preserving Net Neutrality is only part of the puzzle. In addition to maintaining open networks for Internet users, we also need to curb government surveillance and protect press freedom.

In the aftermath of the Edward Snowden revelations, we helped launch the StopWatching.Us coalition, which organized the Rally Against Mass Surveillance and is pushing Congress to pass meaningful reforms. In 2015, we’re ramping up our advocacy and will cultivate more champions in Congress.

The widespread spying has had a particular impact on journalists, especially those who cover national security issues. Surveillance, crackdowns on whistleblowers and pressure to reveal confidential sources have made it difficult for many of these reporters to do their jobs.

Free Press has worked with leading press freedom groups to push the government to protect the rights of journalists. We will step up that work in the coming months with the hiring of a new journalism and press freedom program director.

This is just a snapshot of the kind of work we do every day at Free Press. We’re seeking a Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow with proven digital skills who can hit the ground running. Applicants should be up to speed on the latest trends in online organizing and should have experience using social media tools to advance policy goals. Candidates should also be accustomed to working within a collaborative workplace.

To join our team of Internet freedom fighters, apply to become a Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow at Free Press. We value excellence and diversity in our team. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Be a Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow. Application deadline is December 31, 2014. Apply at