MAP Shuttering After Almost 40 Years

Schwartzman said group ran out of money
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Media Access Project, the public interest law
firm that helped stay media ownership rule changes sought by broadcasters,
and raised objections to a number of high-profile media mergers, but also stood
beside broadcasters in helping challenge the FCC's indecency enforcement rules,
is closing its doors May 1.

Andy
Schwartzman, who has been its chief lawyer and guiding spirit, said the group
simply ran out of money. "Lots of public interest groups have had a hard time
raising money," he said, "and we felt we could not maintain operations at the
level of professionalism we aspire to."

The
shut-down affects three full-time staffers and one part-timer. MAP was started in 1973 to help
clients "seeking
to promote the free flow of information and a diversity of voices in the
electronic mass and emerging media."

"We
are sad to read the announcement of the Media Access Project suspending its
operations," said Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn. "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.  

"MAP staffers are, and were, valued colleagues.
 The organization has provided opportunities for a wealth of talented and
dedicated advocates, PK Legal Director Harold Feld and PK COO Brooke Rae-Hunter
among them."

The
group plans to throw a going-away party for itself, and the communities it has
touched, in May.

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