In USA TODAY, Don Campbell writes that media executives'are'the ones responsible for the future of news.'"Publishers and news executives face perilous challenges, but they don't need, nor should they accept, help from government at any level," he says. " They have to save themselves."
Campbell wants'to squash a controversial idea by former Washington Post Editor Len Downie that government give local news grants to private news organizations. And sure, that's'a debateable idea.
But it is really true that news executives'do not need any help from government at any level?
Consider'the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy. It'says'we'need plenty of'intelligent help from government.'We need government to provide good schools to teach news literacy. We need government to'be serious about freedom of information. We need government'to provide'great public libraries. We need'government to push'public broadcasting into local innovation. We need government's help with our biggest need of all --' to build'a society with'universal digital access.
Downie,'Knight Commission and others who have thought about this, including'Geneva Overholser in her "manifesto,"'agree on much. We should focus on those'points of agreement. Because the big picture'is that free societies'get the news'that they deserve. All of us'(not just media executives) are responsible for the future of our media ecosystem.