Photo via The Conversation

The local news crisis has led to no end of policy proposals, funding initiatives and angry denunciations of the harm done to journalism by the likes of Craigslist, Google and Facebook.

Ideas for responding to the crisis range from paying recent journalism school graduates with state tax revenues to cover underserved communities, as in California; mandating that state agencies direct half of their spending on advertising to community media, as has been proposed in Illinois; and creating tax credits that would benefit subscribers, advertisers and publishers, the subject of several federal and state initiatives.

And those are just a few.

Though all of these have some merit, they share a fundamental flaw: They are top-down solutions to problems that differ from one community to another.

There is an old saying that goes back a dozen years to the earliest days of hyperlocal digital news: Local doesn’t scale. In fact, I’d argue, the real solution to the local news crisis needs to come from the bottom up – from folks at the community level who decide to take their news and information needs into their own hands.

Read the rest at The Conversation.

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