Public Media to Boost Local Journalism Under New Initiative

BY Jason M. Breslow  March 25, 2010 at 11:25 AM EDT

There’s been a lot written in recent months about how locally-based journalism is suffering. The problems are well known: Newspapers are closing, viewership habits are changing and media outlets are facing tough times.

With the industry in flux, news organizations across the nation are seeking ways to fill the void in local reporting through a number of means.

On Thursday, PBS and NPR jumped to the top of that list with a new initiative: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting announced it would begin funding seven Local Journalism Centers around the country that will focus on a particular issue relevant to communities in their region.

“The Local Journalism Centers will enhance public media’s ability to meet the information needs of local communities at a time when access to high quality, original reporting is declining,” Patricia Harrison, the CEO and President of CPB said in a statement. “The need for that coverage is even greater today, and we have a responsibility to ensure that journalism can continue to thrive and serve the needs of our democracy.”

The announcement was made at an event at Washington’s Newseum, and included a panel discussion among media and technology experts moderated by our own Hari Sreenivasan.

Find tweets from the event here and video from the event will be archived here.