The Media Access Project Announces Shutdown

The longtime public-interest organization will close its doors after nearly 40 years; cites a "difficult funding environment."

The Media Access Project, a longtime public-interest organization, announced today that it will close its doors because of a “difficult funding environment.”

Founded in 1973, MAP had been engaged in advocacy involving the free flow of information. The organization had been engaged on a range of issues from FM radio to an open Internet. “MAP achieved victories and accomplishments in proceedings that affect almost every aspect of the Federal Communications Commission's activities,” the organization’s board of directors said in a statement.

“Through the years, MAP has provided an invaluable voice for the public interest on a range of issues, including the public responsibility of broadcasters, media ownership and, in more recent years, many of the most prominent policy disputes of the Internet age,” said Gigi B. Sohn, president and CEO of the D.C.-based advocacy group Public Knowledge, in a statement. Sohn added that she regards the group's president Andrew Schwartzman — who has been with MAP for 30 years now — as a mentor to herself and other activists in the media world. She expressed the hope that Schwartzman would continue as “an important advisor to the field he helped build.”

"We're going to have an orderly shutdown and throw a party," Schwartzman said. "Then, I'll look for a job."