Now that the reality of an Obama presidency is sinking in, I want to give you a sense of what it means for the future of the media. In a nutshell, if the new president lives up to his campaign promises, we are poised to see an unprecedented transformation of U.S. media.
Unlike George W. Bush, the president-elect is a strong supporter of Net Neutrality and universal, affordable Internet access. He is opposed to further consolidation of media ownership, and he is a friend to public broadcasting. Obama's election represents a sea change in leadership that allows us to go from playing defense to offense. These are exciting times.
Obama's election rekindles hope that media reform may finally claim its rightful place in American politics as a bona fide political issue -- one whose success is essential to progress on every other issue: from health care to the environment; from financial reform to war and peace.
Free Press has worked tirelessly since our founding five years ago to stop the Bush White House from allowing runaway consolidation of media ownership, from slashing funding for public broadcasting, and from handing over control of the Internet to the largest phone and cable companies. Thanks to your unwavering support and activism, we have succeeded to an extent that few thought possible.
Our job -- your job -- is to keep our momentum going and make sure President Obama makes good on his campaign pledges in the face of competing priorities and well-financed lobbyists from the phone, cable and broadcasting companies.
The future of our economy and our democracy requires that Congress and FCC pass policies that get fast, open, affordable Internet to every home and business in America, urban and rural, rich and poor.
We must foster hard-hitting journalism that holds the powerful accountable and covers the issues that affect you most.
Free Press has emerged as one of the most effective advocacy groups in the nation, with a top-caliber combination of grassroots activism, legal capacity, aggressive communications and legislative expertise. Our success is driven by you and the thousands of others who support Free Press and take action when you are most needed.
We are building a new and unstoppable coalition of every constituency, company and organization that uses the Internet -- young people, religious organizations, nonprofits and labor. Together, we can wage and win this looming battle for media that nourish -- rather than undermine -- our democracy.
We are pulling together the countless millions of Americans who treasure public and independent media to create the political will to dramatically increase funding and distribution of alternative media.
And we are going to fight efforts by the Bush administration to give more handouts to Big Media before they leave office on January 20. Free Press is already mobilizing to block eleventh-hour moves.
Over the next few months, we will have a rare moment of opportunity to turn President-Elect Obama's pledges for media reform into a reality in the next FCC and Congress. Together, we will determine whether critical, independent voices will reach living rooms in red states and blue states, East and West, rural and urban.
We have a lot of work to do, but Free Press is ready. I trust you are, too, because we'll need you next to us more than ever.