Report from Wyncote Foundation examines public media's role in addressing gaps in local journalism

Interviewees often described local journalism delivered digitally to an increasingly diverse population as the important public media opportunity of this era


In 2022, Wyncote Foundation published a report on the “hidden strengths” of public media, citing public media’s robust business model, large audience reach, and expanding newsrooms — features that appeared to be underappreciated within the national movement to rebuild local news.

Two years later, concern about the disintegration of local news has reached a level that recalls the dismay in the 1960s about the “vast wasteland” of commercial television that led to the formation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Hundreds of digital news start-ups have been launched to fill news gaps in local communities. A few state governments have responded to calls to fund journalism. Foundations and philanthropists have launched the Press Forward initiative to invest in local news and stimulate community support.

However, to many leaders of the movement to reinvigorate local journalism, public media’s role remains unclear. And despite its potential, public media’s response, as a whole, has not been commensurate with the crisis in local news, or shaped to reach today’s diverse, digitally savvy news consumers.

Click here to read the full report.


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