ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement on news that the Media Access Project (MAP) is planning to conclude operations on May 1.
"The Media Access Project's withdrawal from the public policy arena is sad news for everyone who admires this fine organization. Over nearly four decades, the public has greatly benefited from the group's very effective advocacy, particularly with respect to its representation of resource-constrained clients who otherwise would not have a voice. The rulings in which MAP participated were often better because of its tireless efforts," Polka said.
MAP's announcement came on April 3, with Senior Vice President and Policy Director Andrew Jay Schwartzman saying the Washington, D.C.-based public interest law firm could not raise enough funds to maintain operations. Formed in 1973 with Schwartzman joining five years later, MAP had a high-profile role in advocating for consumers on issues such as media diversity, media ownership and open Internet policies.
"MAP has long been committed to providing opportunities for independent media to emerge and thrive, and ACA has always greatly appreciated the chance to work together with MAP to seek balanced and carefully crafted policies that take into account the needs of small voice, video and broadband Internet entrepreneurs," Polka noted.
"As an organization that represents 850 small cable operators who individually would not have the resources to represent their own interests, ACA always felt there was a base upon which our organizations could work together. ACA will miss MAP's voice in the important policy issues ahead. We thank all who have served there now and in the past, particularly Andy Schwartzman, and we wish them our very best," Polka said.