Marly Falcon, Knight Foundation contributing blogger: Peter M. Shane, Executive Director of the Knight Commission, gave a talk on the Knight Commission and its work on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, which was organized to recommend policy reforms and other public initiatives to help American communities better meet their information needs.
Here is a sample of what he had to say:
'Journalistic institutions do not need saving so much as they need creating. The 2007 Newspaper Association of America of daily newspapers in the United States was 1,422. At the same time, there are 3,248 counties, encompassing over 19,000 incorporated places and over 30,000 'minor civil divisions' having legal status, such as towns and villages. It follows that hundreds, if not thousands of American communities receive only scant journalistic attention on a daily basis, and many have none. Even accounting for community weeklies'a 2004 survey identified 6,704 such papers nationwide'it is likely that many American communities get no attention from print journalism at all.'
'The key thought here is that we need not just to preserve journalism where it exists; we need to create it where it does not.' This is all the more important because, without some remedial action, there is going to be less and less local news in the years ahead as newspapers cut staff, which seems inevitable as things are going.'
You can read the rest here.