The Federal Communications Commission recently appointed Senior Fellow Cinny Kennard as a Special Consultant to work on the team researching and preparing a report on the Future of Media & Information Needs of Communities in a Digital Age. According to the FCC, “the goal of the project is to help ensure that all Americans have access to vibrant, diverse sources of news and information that will enable them to enrich their families, communities and democracy.” As traditional forms of news struggle to survive and new forms of media flourish, the research team will acquire extensive knowledge of the media world and then recommend potential governmental policy changes to create the best balance of the First Amendment and government influence on the media. On a team led by Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Steve Waldman, Kennard’s main contribution to the report will be on the state of television news on commercial broadcast.
Cater Lee Swartzlander, a recent Annenberg School graduate student of the Masters in Specialized Journalism program, and Rebecca Shapiro, CCLP junior fellow, will assist Kennard in researching this topic. Specifically, Kennard will investigate the evolution of local television news by looking at trends and changes over the past decade and beyond. She will look into trends of the work force in local television newsrooms, the adjustment to the forces of advancing technology, and business viability of the news. Recent studies have suggested more hours of local newscasts in many local television markets and the team will examine this impact.
Through studying a variety of markets and extensive interviewing, Kennard and the Annenberg team will report on changes in local news. This information will also be incorporated into the team’s research on the future of the media.