“In many communities, we now face a shortage of local, professional, accountability reporting,” says the 478-page report, written primarily by veteran Washington journalist Steven Waldman. It recommends "making actual in-the-field reporting a part of the curriculum at journalism schools, steering more government advertising money toward local instead of national media, and changing the tax code to encourage donations to nonprofit media organizations," The New York Times reports.
The major philanthropic funder of journalism, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, endorsed the recommendations and pointed to recommendations its own Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities. For the Knight press release, click here.
The findings of the FCC report "painted a dim portrait of local media," Times reporters Jeremy Peters and Brian Stelter write, choosing this as the study conclusion to highlight: "Coverage of state governments and municipalities has receded at such an alarming pace that it has left government with more power than ever to set the agenda and have assertions unchallenged." (Read more)
Americans have "more news choices than ever," but "non-profit websites and other media ventures . . . are still not filling the journalism gap left by the contraction of newspapers, said Waldman, co-founder of the religion website Beliefnet.com," Associated Press technology writer Joelle Tessler reports.