December 12, 2007, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
CounterPulse, 1310 Mission Street x 9th Street
Newsrooms are hamstrung by the business practices of Wall Street and Big Media, even as newspaper circulation declines and TV news continues the race to the bottom.
Both the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News recently shed large portions of their newsroom staffs, and MediaNews Group’s purchase of former Knight Ridder properties has given it a near monopoly on Bay Area newspapers.
The company is now consolidating in an attempt to wipe out the Media Workers Guild and any other obstacle to cost-cutting.
The Internet, meanwhile, is vulnerable to the same marketplace compromises, as commercial publishers retrench their focus on scandal, celebrity and trivia; colonize every square inch of space and content with advertising; and desperately try to monetize the open-source citizen journalism movement instead of investing in their own reporting staff.
— With all the high finance and power plays, how do communities actually get news that matters?
— Amidst the layoffs and shrinking newsrooms, how can reporters and editors actually do their jobs and serve the public interest?
— What future awaits the legions of talented young journalists graduating from the Bay Area’s many outstanding journalism schools?
Join us for this investigation of alternative business models for publishing the news, and help ensure journalism remains a vital part of our civic lives.
* Rose Aguilar, (KALW-FM, Your Call radio), discussing how public radio has to fill the void left by the layoffs and consolidation, expand the presence of women in media, and give “real people a voice.”
* Carl Hall (Northern California Media Workers and SF Chronicle science reporter), on union organizing efforts in Dean Singleton’s expanded Bay Area News Group.
* Barry Parr (Coastsider.com, Mercury Center and News.com co-founder), speaking about the challenges of running a small, for-profit news Web site serving Coastal San Mateo County.
* Michael Stoll (Grade the News, SJSU, SF Public Press), on the prospects of creating an advertising-free daily newspaper in the Bay Area and beyond.
* Josh Wilson (Newsdesk.org), on the challenges and promises of commercial-free, public-service journalism on the Internet.