The local news business model is failing to meet our information needs.
The failures of the local news business model have caused our communication and information channels to whither. This has depressed civic engagement and led to a decline in the health of our local economies and democracies. Cultivating local communication and information channels will lead to better informed, more engaged, and healthier communities.
Local news and information is a public good. Lets fund it like one.
Communities can design and publicly fund their ideal local news and information projects by establishing community information districts. Info districts are a type of special service district, a way for local communities to fund public goods like fire departments or water utilities. They are supported by fees assessed to residents and businesses and managed by locally-accountable nonprofit boards.
Use journalism to a improve the health of our communities.
An info district can launch or revive a local news organization, fund the creation of public wifi networks, or maintain SMS alert systems. By their nature there is one thing they must do: convene community. They are established and exist because they bring people together to understand how to serve them. Stimulating civic engagement in this way will lead to healthier local economies and democracies.