Last Thursday, Washington got a visit -- not from the usual suspects of the telecommunications giants or the commercial broadcasting lobby – but from individuals and organizations working to improve the information and culture in their communities and striving for social justice.
The crisis in journalism has reached such proportions that any efforts to fix it seem impossible.A new report by the Radio-Television News Directors Association last week found that nationwide, local television news stations slashed 4.3 percent – or 1,200 – newsroom jobs last year.
It’s easy to get mired in hopelessness and despair as thousands of fired journalists close their reporters’ notebooks, shelve their AP Stylebooks, and leave their posts, their beats often left unfilled.
It’s easy to feel a sense of righteousness as newspapers across the country crumble under a greedy business model that puts profit before quality journalism and protecting the public’s interest. And it’s easy to simply hope that the Internet provides a new vehicle for a robust press.
Public, educational and governmental (PEG) access channels are under assault by cable giants like Comcast that are trying to bury community stations on their networks. You can help protect community television by filing a comment with the FCC. The filing deadline is midnight Wednesday, April 1.
Passing the Local Community Radio Act will be like opening your windows on that first day of spring after a really long winter. We've been listening to the same stale, recycled music since the mid-90s. Who's particularly thrilled about the bill's potential? Musicians.
Dying newspapers are not the result of a failure of journalism or a casualty of the Internet. The collapse of newspapers around the country is the direct outcome of the narrow vision of the big conglomerates and stock holders who own most of our nation’s print publications.
Companies like Comcast and AT&T have been discriminating against PEG channels, which are some of the only avenues available to everyday folks who want to try their hand at producing video programming. Now, the FCC is inviting the public to weigh in.
“Do you know what your paper published about Cesar Chavez’s birthday?” a Latino leader asked John Temple, the editor, publisher and president of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado.
“No,” Temple replied.“That parking was free downtown. That’s it.”It was one of many tough questions Temple would field from the Latino community during a 2003 town hall meeting the paper co-sponsored with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ).
Did the mainstream press cover 2008’s historic presidential election with an eye toward examining race relations in America in a fair, accurate and thoughtful manner? Survey says: “No.”
An astounding 92 percent of journalists of color polled for a new survey believe the mainstream media did not effectively cover race relations during the election. The survey was conducted and released this week by the African-American news Web site, The Loop 21, and UNITY: Journalists of Color Inc.