(MIAMI) – The U.S. Congress can help ensure that communities’ local information needs are met as the media undergo a bumpy transition to a digital-dominated field, Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, told a Senate committee today during a hearing on the future of journalism.
Video from Senate Hearing
Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen in a video from U.S. Senate:
Ibargüen, one of six media thought leaders to testify, offered four ways in which federal lawmakers could act to keep residents informed and engaged around the issues that matter most in their community:
Encourage media experimentation that will eventually lead to the best new technologies for meeting the information needs in a democracy;
Reinvigorate public media so that they are more inclusive and engaging;
Examine changes in national media policy, including possible new laws and regulations that would make it easier to create nonprofit local news organizations;
Ensure universal digital access: “If the future of democracy’s news and information is online – then we must ensure everyone is online. Otherwise, we disenfranchise millions of our fellow citizens,” Ibargüen said in his testimony before a Senate subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet.
Also testifying were Marissa Mayer, vice president, search products & user experience, Google, Inc., David Simon, author, journalist and TV producer, Steve Coll, former managing editor of The Washington Post, James Moroney, president and CEO of the Dallas Morning News and Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post.
Under Ibargüen’s leadership, Knight Foundation has invested more than $100 million in a wide-ranging media innovation initiative that aims to ensure the future of journalism is infused with the field’s longstanding values. The effort addresses media innovation on various levels, including technology innovation, the evolution of the World Wide Web, and national media policy – which is the focus of a high-level Knight Commission. After receiving testimony from across the country, the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy will issue a report with national recommendations later this year. Ibargüen offered to provide senators with the research gathered.
“I hope this is the beginning of great and serious action by Congress to encourage experimentation, to enable markets to find their way, to promote the evolution of public media 2.0 and, most urgent of all, to provide digital access to every American,” Ibargüen said.
Ibargüen’s full testimony is available at www.kflinks.com/testimony
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation invests in journalism excellence worldwide and in the vitality of U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950, the foundation has granted more than $400 million to advance quality journalism and freedom of expression. Knight Foundation focuses on projects with the potential to create transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.