Press Release

June 25, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838

Free Press Action Releases ‘Right to Connect,’ a Media-Policy Roadmap for Presidential Candidates

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, Free Press Action released “Right to Connect,” a platform of recommended media-and-tech policies for all presidential candidates.

The Right to Connect platform is organized along 10 core themes, including policies that promote equal voices online, affordable internet access, sustainable local news, dependable communications networks, diverse media ownership, prison-phone justice and media accountability. The platform also features policies to end unwarranted surveillance, protect digital privacy and defend press freedom.

The full platform is available online at RightToConnect2020.com.

The policy recommendations outlined in the Right to Connect platform reflect years of Free Press Action research and analysis while also centering the lived experiences of people representing an array of races, genders, ethnicities, religions, economic backgrounds and places of origin.

Over the summer, Free Press Action will send the platform to each of the presidential candidates. Free Press Action will also generate a scorecard rating each candidate’s positions relative to Right to Connect’s recommendations.

Free Press Action Vice President of Strategy and Senior Counsel Jessica J. González made the following statement:

“The rights to connect and communicate are fundamental to our individual and collective health.

“Every day we read new headlines about communications companies and others in power abusing these rights. The spread of hatred and propaganda on online platforms, the ongoing threats to the open internet, the loss of local news and the official attacks on press freedom are driving divisive politics and extremism. The next president of the United States must defend and expand people’s communication rights by confronting gatekeepers and promoting networks that are open, accessible and affordable for all.

“Technology platforms and tools must be safe for everyone, promoting trustworthy information and civic engagement rather than misinformation and harm. And regulators must foster diverse media ownership, participation and access while rethinking ways to support local, noncommercial and independent journalism.”

Free Press Action Policy Manager Dana Floberg made the following statement:

“During Donald Trump’s time in office, the White House and its accomplices in Congress have launched devastating attacks on democratic values, especially targeting people of color, poor people, immigrants, refugees, women and the LGBTQ+ community. The Trump administration has damaged and dismantled key parts of our communications infrastructure and demeaned our press corps. The communities Trump has alternately targeted and neglected are the same ones that are exploited by corporate giants in the cable, wireless, internet, tech and media industries.

“The next president must not only reverse these relentless assaults on communications rights and affordability, but also put forth a bold vision for a just and equitable future — and concrete steps toward achieving it. The platform that we’re releasing today offers a roadmap to the media we all deserve.

“This platform represents millions of voters who believe in fighting for a brighter future. We urge all 2020 candidates to embrace, uplift and embody these policies.”

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Free Press Action is a nonpartisan organization fighting for people’s rights to connect and communicate. Free Press Action does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.