Last night, I had the great fortune to attend a session hosted by KBDI and my church concerning the Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again. Robert McChesney (University of Illinois, Department of Communication, Illinois Media Matters, and Free Press.) and John Nichols (Washington Correspondent for The Nation) were the main speakers. The Death and Life of American Journalism is also the title of their recent book. (Democracy Now has a good video of them. Much of the content of the video covers what was discussed last night.)
They began the session by saying that they were not really talking about journalism, or news, or the media -- the session is about the fact that the wheels of democracy are changing. Since access to high quality information is critical to an informed citizenry, and that commercial support of news is no longer all that viable, they argue that the federal government needs to support journalism at a much higher level. The Federal Government currently spends about $400 Million/year to support public radio, television (and other media), but the Fed should support the free press at a much higher level. Relative to past Federal support of the media, and compared to other countries, The Federal Government should support the free press to the tune of $30,000 Million ($30 Billion).
I also tweeted many of the tidbits, and they are archived at Friendfeed.
More info? They mentioned a Pew Report which can be found here (http://www.journalism.org/analysis_report/how_news_happens I think). I also learned about The ACME Coalition, and Colorado Public News.
They will also be speaking tonight, 7:00pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Boulder.