Sparking a Media Revolution

Sparking a Media Revolution

Authors of The Death and Life of American Journalism propose the government grant subsidies to ensure that democracy and a thriving press survive.

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It’s no secret the news industry is in dire circumstances, with an
estimated “90,000 workers los[ing] their jobs last year in the
newspaper, magazine and book publishing industry.” The news signals a
severe crisis, yet Nation contributors Robert McChesney and John
Nichols
, authors of the recently released
The Death and Life of
American Journalism
, appear on Democracy Now discussing
solutions to the industry’s troubles that will spark a “media revolution.”

McChesney and Nichols propose government should intervene by providing
subsidies for media outlets. “The business model that has supported
journalism for the last 125 years in this country is disintegrating,”
says McChesney. “There will be some advertising, but much less. There
will be some circulation revenues, but much less. And if we’re going to
have journalism in this country, it’s going to require that there be
public subsidies to create an independent, uncensored, nonprofit,
non-commercial news media sector.”

Beyond public subsidies, McChesney and Nichols suggest creating a News
AmeriCorps for young journalists, or create supercharge funding–similar to European levels of public media. Throughout, they argue the need for journalism as a mode of democracy and civic engagement. Nichols says: “What we want to talk
about now is how we create a new media system that works and sustains
democracy.”

–Clarissa Leon

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