FCC adviser to tackle journalism woes

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Steve Waldman, incoming special adviser to FCC Chair Julius Genachowski, said confronting the myriad troubles in the news industry will be a priority in his work. He told TV News Check (registration required) that he will study “the very worrisome and deep contraction of journalism,” adding, “You have this real threat, especially to fulltime professional local journalism. … The chairman is interested in making sure we’re thinking creatively and in a coordinated way.” AOL’s Daily Finance Blog dubbed him “The point man for fixing the news business.” There he laid what he’ll be looking at: “My first assignment is really to figure out what the problem is, and to try to be as precise and kind of data-driven as possible. We certainly all have anecdotal senses of some of the big cosmic shifts going on, but what’s the upshot? When you kind of net all these things out, what are the key gaps? What are the key areas that the market’s not going to take care of?” Meanwhile, another agency, the Federal Trade Commission, is convening a two-day seminar, “How Will Journalism Survive the Digital Age?” on Dec. 1 and 2 in Washington. See the latest Current for a look at pubcasting’s role in the future of news, and how that’s playing out in one market.

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