A series of reports commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation explores whether a public media system is still needed and how it might be dismantled, disrupted, or reimagined to inform community in the digital age.
Commissioned to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act, which created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the reports explore the evolving role of public media and how it could or should be reimagined to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century. Written by journalists, consultants, and experts at think tanks and in academia, the reports explore opportunities for the public media system to embrace new technologies and engage audiences in new ways.
The reports offer insights in six broad areas: A New Role for Public Media: Local Government Watchdogs (Tim Carney, visiting fellow, American Enterprise Institute); Public Broadcasting: Its Past and Its Future (Sue Gardner, consultant); Is There Any Justification for Continuing to Ask Taxpayers to Fund NPR and PBS? (Mike Gonzalez, senior fellow, Heritage Foundation); F is for Future: How to Think About Public Media's Next 50 Years (Melody Kramer, Wikimedia Foundation and Betsy O'Donovan, Daily Tar Heel); Public Media at 50: What's Next for the Information Commons? (Blair Levin, Brookings Institution); and Topple the Towers: Why Public Radio and Television Stations Should Radically Reorient Toward Digital-First Local News, and How They Could Do It (Adam Ragusea, Mercer University).
"At a time when trust in news is at an all-time low, it is more important than ever that we learn from and build on public media's longtime commitment to journalism excellence and efforts to serve local communities," said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. "This body of work provides fresh perspectives at a time of rapid disruption and change in the media and information space."