“… The architecture of public media has to be reimagined immediately or the millennials will build their own parallel universe separate from the public broadcasting universe their Boomer grandparents live in….”
As a reporter for the multistation “local journalism center” Fronteras: The Changing America Desk, I am surrounded by borders. I live in Texas, work in New Mexico and regularly report in Mexico. In a 15-minute drive, I can be in a different state or a different country. It’s a tricky but fascinating work environment that’s further complicated by the drug war next door. The toughest but most compelling stories that we cover come from Mexico.
The author is president of Western Reserve Public Media (WNEO/ WEAO), which serves Akron, Youngstown and Kent in northeast Ohio. Right after I finished reading Barbara Cochran’s paper for the Knight Commission, “Rethinking Public Media: More Local, More Inclusive, More Interactive,” the phone rang. The 1990s called, and they want their White Paper back. Public television has been local, inclusive and interactive since its inception. No doubt there is always room to be “more,” but getting there by building up staff and tinkering with governance structure is a repeat of the past and will lead to more reliance on taxpayer support from state and federal sources that cannot or will not provide it.
It’s time to privatize Congress. The federal subsidy of this playground for the rich is bleeding American taxpayers and adding to the deficit. Not only does Congress cost more than $60 million annually in direct salaries, but its staff, perks and infrastructure add hundreds of millions more. Why should all of us pay for an institution benefiting only the few? Each congressional candidate should seek sponsorship from a corporation or association willing to pay his campaign costs and, if elected, his salary and office expenses.