At the beginning of October, the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy made headlines with its report "Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in a Digital Age." Today, the FCC announced it would act on that report by hiring journalist and entrepreneur Steven Waldman to "lead an agency-wide initiative to assess the state of media in these challenging economic times and make recommendations designed to ensure a vibrant media landscape."
Earlier this month, the bipartisan Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy called for 'new thinking' to 'ensure the information opportunities of America's people and the information vitality of our democracy' and proposed FCC action. The Pew' Project for Excellence in Journalism has highlighted the dire circumstances for newspapers, and' both the Knight report and a recent study from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism called' for a full reassessment of the media marketplace both inside and outside of government,' including at the FCC. [...]
'A strong consensus has developed that we're at a pivotal moment in the history of the media and communications, because of game-changing new technologies as well as the economic downturn,' said [FCC Chairman Julius] Genachowski. 'Highly respected entities have called on the FCC to assess these issues. At such a moment, it is important to ensure that our polities promote a vibrant media landscape that furthers long-standing goals of serving the information needs of communities."
In response to the announcement,'Knight Foundation CEO and President Alberto Ibarügen said, "Now comes the hard work of building a national, digital grid and ensuring that every American has digital broadband access. We have formed an outstanding partnership with Aspen Institute on this and expect our ongoing work together to continue to yield results."