The Media Access Project, a nonprofit public interest law firm and communications policy advocacy organization, is suspending operations May 1 after nearly 40 years, reports Deadline New York. Andrew Jay Schwartzman, its longtime leader, told the site that MAP “ran out of money.” In an announcement, the MAP Board said it reached the decision “after evaluating the difficult funding environment facing MAP and other progressive public interest groups.” The organization “achieved victories and accomplishments in proceedings that affect almost every aspect of the Federal Communications Commission’s activities,” the announcement said.
Media reform advocates were quick to react. Craig Aaron, president of Free Press, praised MAP’s “trailblazing work,” and noted: “MAP earned some of the greatest victories for the movement with its key role in protecting media ownership rules and in securing space on the dial for Low Power FM radio. We are truly saddened to see a close ally like MAP close its doors.” And Gigi Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, said: “Through the years, MAP has provided an invaluable voice for the public interest on a range of issues, including the public responsibility of broadcasters, to media ownership and, in more recent years, many of the most prominent policy disputes of the Internet age.” Sohn worked at MAP for a decade.
MAP will host a gathering in early May to celebrate its accomplishments “and to help retire its small debt,” the announcement said.