Can non-profits help the local news void?

By Steve Safran 

We’re starting to see some non-profit entities pitch in to help traditional media outlets. It’s an interesting notion and it’s something to keep an eye on for 2010. At Nieman Reports, Jim Barnett asks whether non-profits can help fill “the void” that affiliates are facing, thanks to lower ad revenue and the networks going around them.

…it seems to me that there is a natural opportunity for nonprofits to help fill the void in broadcast as well by shouldering some of the cost of producing local TV news. At the same time, local stations would do well to seek out and nurture these relationships.

I agree that locals should reach out to those who are doing interesting work in the non-profit sector. But it won’t be enough. “The void” goes far deeper, and will not be filled back to the top again. Instead, locals need to refocus every minute of their time, create original content on their own and be a positive force that leads the change in their community rather than simply reacts to it.

Update:
MediaShift: How to avoid ethical snags in non-profit journalism. (via @mediatwit)

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