The world of local or community journalism is in bad shape these days. Since 2004 about 20 percent of daily newspapers in this country have stopped printing, leaving 200,000 newsroom employees without work and at least 900 communities without anyone covering local news. Having worked at small newspapers in New England, I have an clear understanding of the service community journalism provides all cities and towns. All the residents cannot attend every meeting (or even one) of the powers that be; the boards and panels deciding what to do with your tax dollars and govern your town. That is the job of the local community reporter, who if he or she is doing their job right, is not telling you what you want to hear, but what you ought to know. Tim Karr (above) Senior Director of Strategy and Communications for Free Press, a web-based advocate for open networks and journalism, has co-authored a set of proposals that would extract a small tax from outfits such as Facebook and Google to create an endowment that would fund news and information projects. Tim will be joining Steve and Lew to give us some details on how this endowment would work.
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