A Chance to Strengthen Local Communities

We must find new ways to support local journalism, deliver quality information to our communities and amplify diverse voices.

We need to rethink how communities get the information they need, take bold action to transform local journalism — and change how we fund it.

And right now we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support the kinds of useful information and innovative local journalism communities need.

Here’s what’s happening: The Federal Communications Commission is holding an auction to buy back some of the airwaves TV stations use and sell the spectrum to wireless companies.

The result? Stations willing to go off the air or move their channels could make hundreds of millions of dollars. These license holders include public broadcasting stations, which have a special obligation to serve their communities.

We believe a significant portion of the auction revenue could be used to support community-driven projects, responsive local journalism, serious investigative reporting, civic technology and essential public media outlets.

Imagine what would happen if we invested some of this money in a public trust fund to support such projects. What if we used the revenues to set up cutting-edge investigative newsrooms in cities across the country or built new tools to help you sort through data and public records? What else might you dream up to meet your community’s information needs?

Our goal: to convince these license holders — which include state governments, local school boards and universities — to set aside some of that money to fund innovative community-driven information projects and strong local journalism.

Right now we’re lobbying state officials in New Jersey to create a public trust fund dedicated to meeting community-information needs.

And we’re looking to expand this campaign to other parts of the country.

To do all of this, we’re teaming up with people like you to build a network of advocates. We need a broad popular constituency, one that’s motivated to demand changes from policymakers that will strengthen newsrooms and communities.

Will you join us?

We don’t have all the answers, and that’s why we need your input. If you had millions of dollars to change the media in your community, what would you do with it?

Tell us what you think on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #NewsVoices.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good