February 21, 2010

Media Matters live at the Siebel Center 

Some 200 people turned out this afternoon at the Siebel Center for the first-ever live broadcast of Media Matters on WILL. Host Bob McChesney and gust John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation, talked about their new book The Death and Life of American Journalism (Nation Books) and took questions from the studio audience.

With reporters being but by the thousands across the United States, newspapers folding, and broadcast news mostly focused on entertainment, the future of journalism is in serious jeopardy. Who will report local news and how will they be paid, ask McChesney and Nichols? They propose a number of ways federal subsidies could support local news, much as America's Founders supported newspapers by subsidizing postage and printing.

At WILL we're working on several projects to put skills and tools in the hands of citizens who know their communities and can tell their own stories. The ability to produce and distribute media is no longer dominated by large entities, and anyone with a digital camera and a laptop can produce great journalism if they have the desire, skills, and ethics. A question for us is how can WILL stimulate, foster, and support community-based citizen journalists? We hope to discover answers in the coming months. Meanwhile, it helps to have an open dialogue on the status of journalism and media in America, and bring more voices to an honest discussion of the role of news in democracy. The Death and Life of American Journalism should help that process.

View more photos of this event on Flickr.

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