Can government play a role in helping to solve the local news crisis? Not directly, perhaps. But indirectly, government can shine a light on the issue, call attention to worthy projects that might inspire others, and offer some policy recommendations.
That’s the goal of House Bill 181/Senate Bill 80, which would create a special commission to study local journalism in underserved Massachusetts communities. Sponsored by Rep. Lori Ehrlich, D-Marblehead, and Sen. Brendan Crighton, D-Lynn, the bill was the subject of a public hearing Tuesday before the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses.