Public Policy Advocacy

Public Policy Advocacy

This page describes how the Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation participates in public policy and debate through direct and indirect advocacy.

The Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation engages in policy discussions, initiatives and strategic litigation where the issues intersect with our public benefit mission, our members, and our business.

We firewall our advocacy efforts from our news and editorial operations, and carefully manage our public policy engagement and coordinate these efforts to ensure ethical separation. Strategic decisions about advocacy are made at the highest levelsm, public policy expenditures are reported to the Board of Directors and reviewed annually by the appropriate committee(s).

Photo Credit: Matt H. Wade

Direct Advocacy

We may engage with government officials and policy makers — at all levels — on legislation, regulations, and policies that affect us. In addition to advocacy by Fourth Estate executives and employees, we may utilize or retain outside consultants to support our engagement with government officials and policy makers.

Lobbying regulations may require entities and individuals who engage in public policy advocacy to register and disclose relevant activities and expenditures. Some procurement lobbying efforts also require registration and disclosure. We will comply with all such regulations.

Indirect Advocacy

In addition to direct engagement with government officials and policy makers, we belong to trade, industry and professional associations and organizations that are focused on issues that affect and matter to us.

These organizations serve to advance the common goals and interests of their member companies and their respective stakeholders. For example, the Fourth Estate belongs to organizations that work to foster media literacy education and promote strong press freedoms.

We regularly engage with trade associations and organizations and reevaluate our association memberships annually to make sure that the groups we belong to represent the Fourth Estate’s core mission and best interests. The company’s membership and participation in these organizations is also reported to, and reviewed annually by, the Board of Directors.

Some of these organizations engage in advocacy activities for their members and must comply with applicable registration and disclosure laws. U.S. trade associations are generally required under federal law to report to their members the portion of payments used for lobbying, as defined by section 162(e) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. We report all such expenditures in our federal disclosure reports.

The Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation does not allow its member dues to be used for political contributions to individual candidates or parties or any political action committee (PAC).

Political Contributions

The Fourth Estate does not make political contributions to individual candidates or parties, and we do not currently have a political action committee (PAC).

We may occasionally make contributions for specific and targeted ballot measures and/or initiatives of importance.

Strategic Litigation

The Fourth Estate works through the courts, using multiple strategies to make judges, attorneys and policymakers aware of important issues that relate to our public benefit mission, our members and our business.

Through targeted litigation, filing of amicus (friend of the court) briefs, consulting with supporting attorneys, and collaborating with other organizations, we seek to move policy, and the law forward for all of our stakeholders.