New York Times | “The Information Needs of Communities” | Poynter.org
The Federal Communications Commission study says “the independent watchdog function that the Founding Fathers envisioned for journalism — going so far as to call it crucial to a healthy democracy — is in some cases at risk at the local level.” Written by former Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report journalist Steven Waldman, the report 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. || Al Tompkins: National radio is covering news quite well, says the report, but the story on the local level is grim.
From the Associated Press story on the FCC study:
Responding to the findings, Ken Paulson, president of the American Society of News Editors, said that “while there are probably fewer reporters sitting in city council and municipal board meetings … America’s newspapers have not abandoned investigative journalism.”
He said newspapers can do unprecedented investigative work using sophisticated high-tech tools. He cited database analysis and sophisticated online mapping programs, which can provide readers with detailed information about their individual neighborhoods.