April 4th, 2012

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Media Access Project Closes Its Doors

My former employer, Media Access Project, announced yesterday it will suspend operations May 1 due to lack of funding (in fact, they will need help raising money to retire what the email calls MAP's "small debt").

I have written a longer appreciation for MAP and its long-time President and CEO, Andrew Jay Schwartzman, on TotSF.

If there is a bright side to this, it is that there are now other organizations that can shoulder the burden. There are close to a dozen MAP alumni such as myself scattered in the public interest sector or in public service. When I started at MAP in 1999, there weren't that many people in the entire "media reform" field.

I will briefly repeat one part of my post. Rich Liberals and Progressives need to stop bitching about how awful it is the rich conservative people like the Kochs and the Coors family and start funding organizations like MAP that actually compete for policy mind share. For every progressive-minded rich person like Soros who starts a foundation (and the conservative efforts to turn Soros into a boogeyman highly exaggerates the extent that Soros money goes to U.S.-based policy advocacy), there are a dozen refusing to give to anything that looks vaguely like lobbying or direct policy advocacy because they are too pure to fight that way.

Cede the policy field to the folks with a vision who are willing to fight to win, and you will find that policy reflects their vision. As they say of the lottery, if you don't play you can't win.