Outgoing Newhouse School dean David Rubin on local media:
“In Syracuse we have one provider of information about the city, the Syracuse Post Standard newspaper. Local TV got out of the serious news business a long time ago and citizens can’t hope to get serious information about how the city is governing itself from TV or radio.” [Rubin points to Hearst Argyle as an exception.] “Looking at Syracuse, he explains, the NBC affiliate is owned by an investment private equity firm and before that was owned by the Alabama State Pension Fund. The CBS affiliate is owned by Granite, a minority owned public company that’s under capitalized with too much debt. The ABC affiliate has been owned by Clear Channel. Nobody is local — nobody knows the market; they all are in it for the money. They are stations where not much money is being invested and a lot is being taken out. It’s no different in other cities around the country.”
On “citizen journalism” (er, I guess that would be “bloggers,” although this particular one doesn’t pretend to be a journalist – more like a high-tech letter-to-the-editor scribbler):
“Citizen journalism is an interesting addition to the mix, but I don’t trust them, I don’t know who they are. I trust trained reporters more than a group of citizen journalists.”
I understand Rubin’s point. However, although he may not know who I am, his Newhouse School knows who I am, since I keep getting the odd alumni newsletter from them. So, if he is looking for trained reporters (I did take COM 107 and newswriting, at least!) who stay in the local area (as opposed to decamping for Manhattan) and whose outlets are owned independently and locally, and who are not in it for the money… um… reporting for duty, sir?