A year ago, we were still building SaveTheNews.org, writing our first major report and holding early meetings with journalism leaders about the future of news and public policy. Our DC meeting included folks from the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, who gave us a brief snapshot of their 2009 State of the Media report. It was an optimistic presentation, emphasizing the dramatic growth in news readership and the exciting new online news ventures developing all over the country.
This year’s State of the Media report, released yesterday, paints a much different picture. The brief summary is that newsroom cuts and dwindling budgets are still wracking the news industry, and new business models and nonprofit journalism projects are not developing fast enough to fill in the gaps. While the report does not address public policy directly, there are a number of important findings that highlight how bad policies have undermined journalism, and suggest ways new policies could help meet the information needs of communities.
Below is a summary of a few of the key points that I am still mulling over. Continue reading