Originally published: June 28, 2012
Last updated: June 28, 2012 - 4:17pm
[Commentary] I’ve been a journalist my entire adult life, but until I went halfway across the world, it didn’t really sink in that information is a basic right—as vital as food, water, and a roof. I’ve explored this concept in war zones, natural disaster areas, and impoverished nations, and what I have found is quite simple: People in hard situations need information to survive. Americans are no different.
The US government needs to create a new fund for community media outlets that supports them and trains them to serve as a kind of humanitarian newswire, focusing on getting neighborhoods vital information. The larger media landscape will continue on the business path it has always followed, but communities in need can’t wait for that behemoth to turn its attention their way. We don’t have to go to war-torn countries like Sri Lanka to explore the idea of information as a human right. We can do it right here, in the United States, on Indian reservations, in immigrant communities, in struggling cities. Let’s stop lamenting the fall of big media entities and start supporting the survival of the small but vital community media outlets that are reaching people who need basic, targeted information to get through the day.
[Hardman is a reporter, journalism teacher, and international media development specialist.]
- Tribune Mergers Miami TV, Paper Operations
- Newspapers...and After?
- Steiger: Embrace Internet, But Protect Journalism
- Foundations have role in keeping local journalism vibrant
- How Can TV Survive the Recession? Local Public Service
- Music-Merger Bid Plays Out
- Information Wants to Be Expensive
- FTC Panel On Future Of Journalism: Murdoch Advocates Paid Content
- A different type of porn
- Ethnic press stung by recession, advertising drop
- Good Night and Good Luck
- Murdoch says papers should charge on Web
- Cisco: Is the Internet as important as food, water, air, shelter?
- Why the Print Industry Should Subsidize the Kindle
- Promises To Keep