By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Academics, publishers and advocates push for a Mass. commission on local news

Photo (cc) 2008 by Roger H. Goun

As I noted previously, the Massachusetts legislature is taking another crack at forming a local news commission after its first attempt disappeared into the ether several years ago. On Wednesday, I was one of 10 academics, publishers and advocates who testified in favor of such a commission before the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses. If you want to catch up on what happened, two reporters were there as well.

Chris Lisinsky of State House News Service writes:

Tax credits for local publishers, grant funding for news organizations, and state-covered wages for recently graduated reporters who cover underserved communities are all on the table as Massachusetts lawmakers consider how best to support the ailing local journalism industry.

And here’s how Aidan Ryan of The Boston Globe begins his story:

The crisis facing local news is ravaging civic life everywhere — even in Massachusetts — a parade of journalists told legislators on Wednesday, as they called on state government to take steps, including considering tax breaks, to support struggling local newsrooms.

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1 Comment

  1. I was unable to attend but made a written submission.

    In it, I said that, unlike the State, small operators have small budgets and deal in thousands of dollars.

    Any help offered should go directly to the news organizations themselves and not via middlemen and women.

    I also urged them to keep nonprofits in mind since there seems to be an assumption that newspapers are all for profit.

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