Free Speech Foundation
Free Speech Media Foundation’s plans for the future are about bringing resources to journalists—digital, publishing, editing, production, promotion and outreach, as well as financially supporting their work. In the modern era, educating the public on the leading social issues—economic, environmental, social, health, technology and so many others—is essential for ongoing public engagement, as well as advancing public trust in the media.
The mission guiding the Free Speech Media Foundation and justification for it as a public good are described by the following quotations from research institution reports on media, education and the public trust.
From the Pew Research Center in 2021: “In just five years, the percentage of Republicans with at least some trust in national news organizations has been cut in half—dropping from 70% in 2016 to 35% this year. This decline is fueling the continued widening of the partisan gap in trust of the media… Overall, about six-in-ten U.S. adults (58%) say they have at least some trust in the information that comes from national news organizations. While still a majority, this is the smallest share over the past five years this question was asked. When it was last asked in late 2019, 65% expressed at least some trust. And far fewer (12%) express that they have ‘a lot’ of trust in the information that comes from national news organizations.”
From Gallup in 2021: “Americans’ trust in the media to report the news fully, accurately and fairly has edged down four percentage points since last year to 36%, making this year's reading the second lowest in Gallup's trend… Confidence in the media among Republicans over the past five years is at unprecedented lows.”
From Poynter in 2021: “The U.S ranks last among 46 countries in trust in media, according to a recent Reuters Institute report. Just 29% of people surveyed in the U.S. said they trust the news, compared to 45% in Canada and 54% in Brazil. This study, like many others, found extremely high levels of distrust—75% of those who identify as being on the right thought coverage of their views is unfair.”
From AP News in 2020: “A poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and USAFacts confirms this emerging skepticism. The main findings: almost half of all Americans say they have a hard time discerning if information is true—regardless of their political leanings. Nearly two-thirds say they often come across biased information, and 6 in 10 report they see conflicting stories about the same set of facts from different sources.”