Media innovation requires funding

The author says government funds should be directed not toward public media content but toward public media innovation. Explore with students and debate:

Flashlight: Search the Internet to find examples of each of the following categories in your local community: public media, nonprofit digital startups and university journalism programs covering the community. Are they adding to the news or duplicating what commercial newspapers and broadcasters are doing? How are these non-profit news organizations funded? Does the funding seem like it is sustainable?

Spotlight: If your community does not have any form of nonprofit media, consider these questions: Are commercial news outlets getting the job done? Explore public media in another town or city. Could it work where you are?

Searchlight: Both for-profit and nonprofit journalists are turning to crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter.Tour the site and find examples of commercial projects and public media, like this one for local education reporting or this on NPR’s Planet Money campaign. Is crowd-funding a better approach to content funding than government money? Or is the British approach, with heavy government funding of the BBC, better? Here are some other ideas for funding in the news industry.