Louis Freedberg, founder and director of the California Media Collaborative, commented on the consequences of and discussions surrounding the decline of professional reporting in California in a Sacramento Bee article last Monday. His organization has proposed ideas for combating the decline of formal news sources across the state. He writes,
“One promising idea that has emerged is to establish CalExpress, a multimedia ‘content provider’ that would provide material to both the existing media, which is where most Californians still get their news and information, and new online outlets. One feature would be to constitute teams of reporters into ‘journalism strike forces’ to do intensive reporting on a single subject, in multi-media platforms with a quick turnaround time. Another is to form a California Journalism Corps made up of the brightest recent journalism graduates, and team them up with some of the throngs of experienced journalists who have left traditional newsrooms.”
As professional, independent, and local news sources wane, it is crucial that community members and leaders, and professional journalists collaborate to figure out new ways for building communication fora. Without question, the internet will be at the helm of new media news sources, with promises of grassroots and non-traditional voices represented in new ways. One emergent possibility is that communities of color and working class communities will commandeer media attention and audiences in ways that were not possible before. Another possibility is that we go swimming around in the chaos and proliferation of web writing whose credibility and identification are dubious. News sources and online discussion should reflect real face-to-face communities, and promote political empowerment within them. Building coalitions using new media technology is the tricky bit, and remains a complex problem as we move from the Mercury News and Washington Post to the Huffington Post and LA Observed for our source of information.
Contact Louis Freedberg at: