The longtime Washington public interest group is shutting its doors on May 1, citing a “difficult funding environment.”
The board of directors of the Media Access Project (MAP) announced today that MAP will suspend operations, effective May 1. The board said it reached its decision “after evaluating the difficult funding environment facing MAP and other progressive public interest groups.”
The announcement also follows the recently announced departure of Andy Schwartzman, the group’s president and the face of the organization for 30 years.
In today’s announcement, MAP “expressed its deep appreciation and gratitude to all current and former foundation and Forum funders, individual donors, and staff for their support and dedication to the cause of MAP.”
Founded in 1973, MAP has been a major public interest law firm representing clients seeking to promote the free flow of information and a diversity of voices in the electronic mass and emerging media.
Over the years, MAP won cases protecting diversity of ownership in the media. It initiated and led complex proceedings that created additional outlets such as a low-power FM radio service to allow new voices to be heard. It also played a key role in fights to ensure an open Internet, to afford access to new sources of information and content and to provide opportunities for independent media to emerge and thrive.
MAP achieved victories and accomplishments in proceedings that affect almost every aspect of the FCC’s activities and was also actively involved in related proceedings in the courts and other departments of government, including the executive branch, Congress and independent agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission.
In early May, MAP will host a gathering of all the communities it has touched to celebrate MAP’s accomplishments and to help retire its small debt.