It turns out you and I are not the only people who want to see public media stay strong.
Not by a long shot. Thanks to my friend and colleague, Cali Brooks, Executive Director of the Adirondack Community Trust, I was invited to attend an intensive one day/one evening conference sponsored by Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media in Philadelphia. Cali and I drove down on Wednesday morning and drove back Thursday night–a whirlwind excursion well worth the effort.
The title of the gathering was The Role of Public Media in Our Democracy. The presenters, panelists and attendees were all heavy-hitters in the field, ranging from Terry Gross, host of Fresh Air and David Fanning, executive producer of Frontline, to represesntatives from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, NPR, and the MacArthur Foundation.
I could go on and on about all the wonky stuff regarding technology and funding but what I really want to share with you are some amazing links.
First, check out the documentary archive at Frontline. This is a national treasure.
Second, if you care about even-handed and thorough journalism, you should be a subscriber to the recent Pulitzer Prize-winning organization ProPublica.
The takeaway for me is this: there is very important investigative journalism being done…and it costs money. Across a variety of constituencies–including public media professionals, foundations that fund public media, citizens who care deeply about broad public access to rigorous journalism–there is concern about how to find the resources to maintain and expand a fourth estate that serves the mission and principles of our democracy.
Your thoughts on how to pay for the journalism our society needs?