As part of the ongoing work to promote the Knight Commission’s vision for healthy, informed communities, the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program has commissioned a series of policy papers to detail specific steps for implementing the Commission’s 15 recommendations. The research and writing of these papers is now underway, with publication slated for the fall.
We recently invited a small group of forward-thinking journalists, news entrepreneurs, analysts and community leaders to discuss and debate specific proposals for promoting healthy news and information flows at the local level. The half-day meeting centered around a “critique” of the first draft of a white paper on local journalism (recommendation 1) written by Mike Fancher, who for 20 years was executive editor of the Seattles Times.
Len Witt, who runs the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University and participated in our “critique” session, interviewed Mike about the work that he is doing to identify specific actions that can promote the growth of local journalism through marketplace incentives. Here’s a short excerpt of the interview.
Fancher: The themes that I’m working on are essentially experimentation, collaboration, and engagement. Experimentation – nobody knows what’s going to work. So let’s try lots of things. Collaboration – it’s in the DNA of journalists to be very competitive and independent. But in this day and age, with fewer and fewer resources and journalistic organizations, and more and more startups, we need to collaborate a lot more than we ever did in the past. And engagement is that journalism is for the public, and we need to bring the public into this conversation and let them help us create the journalism of the future.
To watch video of the full interview and read the transcript, click here.