AUTHOR: Spencer Graves
MIGHT YOU HELP TRYING TO IMPROVE LOCAL NEWS?
Friends of Community Media is working to develop a local consensus
for improving the quality of local news. In this effort, we are
following the example that Freepress.net used to convince the New Jersey
legislature to create the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium
(NJCIC). This is a 501(c)(3), which recently approved 14 projects
funded at $35,000 each to do different things in different parts of New
Jersey in conjunction with a professor at one of five leading public
universities in New Jersey. We do NOT expect to do exactly that.
Instead, we want to ask leaders in government, business, nonprofits,
etc., if they are concerned about the quality of local news, and if yes,
what might they support to improve this.
Below please find an email similar to what Spencer Graves sent to 22
different politicians at city, county, state and federal levels. In
following up by phone on those mails, he spoke with 7 humans and left
voice messages for the rest. And he had two follow-up meetings with a
legislative assistant for a city councilperson. His next task is to do
something similar with local news outlets like the KansasReflector.com
Spencer would love to hear what you might like to do in this regard.
He would happily help you got contact information for anyone you might
like to ask about this and draft questions, if you would like that. If
we get enough people discussing this with others, we can get substantive
action to improve the quality of local information available to people.
That, in turn, will encourage more people to vote and vote
intelligently, leading to better public policies, according to research
Spencer has seen and is cited in his email.