Foundation looking into local loss


And just what is being lost? According to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the growing use of the internet as a news source may be hurting the news operations at both newspapers and at local broadcast television, depriving citizens of adequate information from their own local community. Along with the Aspen Institute, the Knight Foundation is undertaking a study of the topic. The foundation’s Alberto Ibarguen cited "…the thinning down of newspapers and local television in America," saying it is making "less local, civic information available." The study will be conducted by a commission appointed by KF and AI. According to the Associated Press, people with a journalism background will be targeted to serve.

RBR/TVBR observation: One problem with local news which perhaps needs study is the unwillingness of many citizens to pay any attention, period — and that goes for national and international news as well. If you are reading this, you are by definition an active consumer of news and information, and you are more than likely dialed in to the daily news coverage in general. If you’re like us, however, you are probably stunned by the general lack of knowledge of any kind exhibited by many of our friends and neighbors.

So it’s one thing to get on the case of the media trying to present the news. At least with that part of the problem, we’re dealing with a segment of American society that is at least making an honest effort to do the right thing.

How do we go about reviving the interest of the average citizen in comprehensive coverage of important news involving local, national and global issues? If anybody can figure out how to solve THAT problem, the media problem will take care of itself — every medium will be tripping over one another to get the largest share of the news-consuming public. So maybe we should skip studying the media for once and figure out what’s wrong with the ostriches among us who just don’t want to know anything.