Sunday, November 15, 2009

Public Radio: Do local news or die

I just joined up to attend an online seminar on The Future of News.

I couldn't agree more with the general manager of Milwaukee Public Radio who says, "The whole area of upgrading local reporting at public radio stations is absolutely vital to our survival. If local stations are simply going to be downloads of national programs from NPR, PRI or any other source, we will find ourselves disposable in the future.”

More about the conference here in the publication for public broadcasting.

Much of the focus will be on a newly released Columbia J-School report, The Reconstruction of American Journalism.

The authors write: "“The failure of much of the public broadcasting system to provide significant local news reporting reflects longstanding neglect of this responsibility by the majority of public radio and television stations, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Congress."

They conclude: "Local news coverage remains underfunded, understaffed and a low priority at most public radio and television stations, whose leaders have been unable to make or uninterested in making the case for investment in local news to donors and Congress."

My only problem is, while they're holding the conference, I'll be up to my neck doing local news!