It’s a common lament: In a world that’s never been more connected, with boundless information at hand for any subject, our citizenry has never been less informed.
A fresh-from-the-headlines example is the national survey of nearly 3,000 adults asked to cite a prominent Asian-American. Even with breakthrough Vice President Kamala Harris among the options, 42 percent of respondents were unable to name one. The disturbingly few who could chose actor Jackie Chan, who is not a U.S. citizen, and martial-arts hero Bruce Lee, who died in 1973.
How did we get here? More importantly, is there a way out?
Few experts are better equipped to address those questions than The Communicators Club’s Tuesday, June 1 virtual guest speaker: Northeastern University journalism professor, WGBH-TV “Beat the Press” fixture, and highly respected media commentator Dan Kennedy.
His presentation is titled, “Breaking Point: Local News Is in Crisis. What Can We Do to Fix It?” The special Zoom-based event will run from noon to 1:15 p.m., with a $10 fee. Dan will take questions following his discussion.
Famed House Speaker and Reagan foil “Tip” O’Neill immortalized the observation that “All politics is local.” The same can be said for news.
“More than 2,100 newspapers have shut down over the past 15 years, and many of those that remain are failing to meet the information needs of their communities,” Dan notes in a preview of his TCC talk. “At the same time, a new generation of hyperlocal news organizations, mostly digital, is rising to fill the gap. What will the future of local news look like?”
Are ad-based local news sources still a viable model? Can emerging newsletter entities like Substack lead a renaissance in profitable community news-gathering? Will benevolent stewards step forward to replace the private-equity overlords who’ve eviscerated so many community publications?
Dan—a 2019 recipient of the prestigious Yankee Quill Award, among other honors—has dipped his own toes into uncertain waters: His influential blog, Media Nation, offers a paid-membership tier that delivers exclusive content.
We’re honored to have a speaker of Dan’s knowledge and stature share his views on an issue integral to our nation’s future. Please plan to attend, and spread the word to those who value the vital role communicators play in a functioning democracy.
To learn more about Dan Kennedy, visit the About page at Media Nation.