Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Internet is killing local news, U.S. regulator says

Thanks to digital technologies, there are more media sources than ever from which to get news, but when it comes to covering town halls, school boards, courts, and other local news, the information is missing.
That's the takeaway message in a behemoth of a report released last week by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Cnet reports.
The 460-plus page report, titled "The Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape in a Broadband Age," is two years in the making and was led by Beliefnet co-founder and former U.S. News and World Report National Editor Steve Waldman.
If forced to sum up the entire report in a single tweet,Cnet says, it would probably be "The Internet has revolutionized how we gather and consume information, but meanwhile local news has been damn near suffocated." Or, as Waldman and company put it on page 262:
There were about 13,400 fewer newspaper newsroom jobs in 2010 than there were in 2006, dropping from 55,000 positions to about 41,600. Over the years, newsmagazines, local commercial radio, and local TV have reduced their newsgathering staffs, as well. At the same time, Internet sites, cable news, and public radio have created new journalism jobs.

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