Today David Scharfenberg opines in the Boston Globe:
Congress, intent on jump-starting the economy, should set aside $100 million - well under 1 percent of the stimulus approved by the House of Representatives and pending in the Senate - for a national journalism fund.
The cash would seed low-cost, Internet-based news operations in cities large and small - combining vigorous, professional reporting with blogging, video posts, citizen journalism, and aggregation of stories from other sources.
He notes that, clearly, there is a healthy precedent for "a public investment in words."
The Depression-era Federal Writers Project paid the underemployed to compile oral histories, sketch out ethnographies, and write comprehensive guides to the states. And for more than 40 years, Washington has contributed to National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System.