A National Fund for Local News?


Former Washington Post Executive Editor, Len Downie, Jr., has authored a report for the Columbia School of Journalism entitled “The Reconstruction of American Journalism”.  In the report, Downie defends the endangered practice of accountability journalism. Promoting a ground-up strategy that could strengthen local journalism, he calls upon the FCC to create a national fund for local news.  Supporting robust local journalism, especially in public radio and television, is commendable, but establishing a discrete public fund may prove a long, uphill battle that would not remedy PBS’ larger funding and programming problems.  Restructuring PBS at the national level and giving it the means to expand its coverage of local, national, and international news seems a more holistic approach.  The BBC’s extensive local news sets the standard and proves the point.  Still, Downie’s report underscores the necessity of public journalism in our national life and the report should be required reading for the FCC, Congress, and the Obama administration, especially in the greater context of PBS reform.  To watch Jeffrey Brown’s Newshour interview of both Len Downie, Jr. and Nicholas Lehman, Dean of the Columbia School of Journalism (aired 10/20/09), click here.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s