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This is is my personal webspace. I enjoy web based publishing and good journalism. I support quality investigative reporting which unfortunately seems to be in decline with corporate media outlets closing newsrooms and slashing budgets for news and original reporting. As a citizen I expect media outlets to fulfill their civic duty of properly reporting on news and providing us with sufficient local and international coverage. Unfortunately as I noted earlier corporate media outlets have in recent years been slashing their budgets for investigative journalism and quality reporting, closing foreign news bureaus and merging with other outlets leaving us with fewer local and independent outlets. This is a serious problem. Journalism is a public good and it is essential for our news media to produce and distribute good quality journalism for all citizens. It’s not just the commercial newspapers in decline but journalism overall. If you turn on the national cable TV networks producing and airing news shows whether its CNN, MSNBC or FOX News you get sensationalism, celebrity gossip and partisan spin instead of the hard hitting investigative journalism we need. More and more we are getting commentary by news anchors like Bill O Reilly on FOX News, and both Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC where they let their personal biases slip in and affect their reporting. What we have today is too much opinionated and biased coverage whether its biased favorably or against liberals or conservatives. Trying to enter the field of journalism at such a pivotal time is certainly difficult. Few news rooms are hiring new workers and are laying off journalists at a time when we need them more than ever. So this is a real problem. What can be done? Invest more in noncommercial public media that polls better than commercial media, discourage further media consolidation and adapt journalism to the digital age utilizing new innovative business models. I do not think the newspaper industry or commercial news media outlets need taxpayer bailouts but the government can play a role in resolving the crisis by increasing funding for noncommercial public media like I mentioned earlier, and ensuring rates for postal subsidies that benefit print publications are affordable for independent publishers. Also as more media outlets adapt to the digital age commercial and noncommercial news outlets can engage with users online, solicit feedback over Twitter and Facebook. Clearly, the rise of citizen journalism to report the stories ignored by our media gatekeepers is great news for the public and democracy. Finally  news outlets can encourage and empower individuals to utilize the power of the Internet to become citizen journalists.

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