Why America Needs to Find New Ways to Support Local Journalism

Peter M. Shane, Ohio State University

Big media did not uncover the New Jersey scandal of politically induced traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge. That was done by dogged reporters at a family-owned newspaper. But local journalism is economically threatened, and Americans need to find new ways to support vital community watchdogs.

Diagnosing threats to local journalism and outlining recommendations to support its vital civic functions in new ways, Shane's Key Findings brief draws from the Final Report of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, published by the Aspen Institute in 2009.

An expert in constitutional and administrative law, Peter Shane teaches at the Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University. He has published widely on both constitutional controversies and legal and regulatory issues involving the media, including new online forms of communication. He writes, teaches, and speaks about issues of informed citizenship, government communications with citizens, and the operations of the media in a fast-changing economic and technological environment. He contributes regularly to the public media and speaks to a range of community and professional audiences.

February 2014