The recent study of L.A. television news by the Norman Lear Center at USC Annenberg, which documents the tiny amount of TV news time allotted to local government coverage, is bringing local groups together to stand up for the public interest.
In response to the study, Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause, said, “Our city is on the brink of bankruptcy, social services are being watered down, but we receive so little coverage from local TV stations.”
It took me years of searching, but I think I finally found the aggressive, audacious, uncompromising media our democracy needs.
While channel-surfing the other day, I came across a fresh-faced, young reporter for a cable network aggressively following an important person around an airport and refusing to let up with his questions. The unwilling interviewee grew angry, suddenly snapping and shouting at the reporter to leave him alone.
“Do you think you’re immune to questions?” the reporter shouted back repeatedly.
I was speechless. “Do you think you’re immune to questions?” It was perfect—such a simple and powerful question.
As a high school kid, I fell in love with the Internet. It was a place where I could go home after school and chat with five friends on IM, share hip hop songs from the local Philly scene, and even learn about love and relationships.
As I grew up, the Internet helped me develop my political voice.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn made a direct appeal to the civil rights community to support Net Neutrality rules during an appearance at a forum hosted by the Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies in Washington earlier this month.
A year ago, we were still building SaveTheNews.org, writing our first major report and holding early meetings with journalism leaders about the future of news and public policy. Our DC meeting included folks from the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, who gave us a brief snapshot of their 2009 State of the Media report. It was an optimistic presentation, emphasizing the dramatic growth in news readership and the exciting new online news ventures developing all over the country.
This year’s State of the Media report, released yesterday, paints a much different picture. The brief summary is that newsroom cuts and dwindling budgets are still wracking the news industry, and new business models and nonprofit journalism projects are not developing fast enough to fill in the gaps. While the report does not address public policy directly, there are a number of important findings that highlight how bad policies have undermined journalism, and suggest ways new policies could help meet the information needs of communities.
As we approach the release of the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan next week, the agency has mounted a major PR offensive, trickling out nuggets of information, hoping each one generates a favorable story.