Annals of Media Diversity: A Way to Help Save Local Journalism?

By Jack Limpert

Headline in the New York Times: The Daily News Layoffs and Digital Shift May Signal the Tabloid Era’s End

Headline in the Washington Post: How the coming MGM resort casino could help energize Radio One

From the story in the Times: “When it was over and the feature page was gone, dozens of reporters had been fired and the morning assignment editor was shown the door only minutes after handing out the morning’s first assignments, The Daily News—or what was left of it—was in a state of shock. For weeks the staff had known that layoffs might be coming, and when they did come, on Sept. 16, it was with the swiftness of a Soviet-era purge.”

From the story in the Post: “Close watchers of Radio One, the national network of radio and television stations aimed at black and urban consumers, knows the company has had a rocky stretch in recent years….But help may be on the way, in the form of the $1.3 billion MGM casino resort under construction at National Harbor….In order to win a license for the National Harbor casino, MGM Resorts was required to bring on minority-owned businesses as ownership partners. Radio One’s deal means it will get 1 percent of MGM’s gaming revenue, which could mean $7 million annually….”

Radio One could get that financial lifeline because Washington wants to help strengthen minority-owned broadcast stations and create more media diversity.

But if newspaper after newspaper goes out of business, could Washington, in the interests of a free press and media diversity, come up with incentives that would encourage casinos and other businesses that need government approval to include newspapers as minority partners?

If Radio One can get a lifeline from an MGM casino, wouldn’t helping local newspapers continue to do good journalism also be good public policy?

Speak Your Mind