8 ISJLP 481 (2012-2013)
The Stories Not Told: A Case Study of the Information Needs of Siler City, North Carolina

handle is hein.journals/isjlpsoc8 and id is 488 raw text is: IS: AJOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY FOR THE INFORMATION SOCIETY
The Stories Not Told:
A Case Study of the Information Needs of Siler
City, North Carolina
FIONA MORGAN*
I. INTRODUCTION
Both the lamentations and the optimism about the Internet's
impact on journalism tend to focus on national media. Yet it is local
communities and local democracy that most suffer from the dwindling
press. Information may be more ubiquitous than ever, but local news
reporting is getting harder to find. In fact, many local communities
were never well served by the institutions of media, and those
institutions that do serve local community information needs may not
be well positioned to adapt to changes in technology. The result is a
shortage of reliable, factual information necessary for meaningful
public debate. The consequence is that local communities risk
becoming ever more divided and ill-equipped to solve community
problems.
The policy tools available to government to intervene on media
issues are limited but evolving. They include better provision of public
information through open government, regulations of broadcasting
and cable television, funding for public media, direct or indirect
government subsidies (such as postal subsidies, public notice
advertising, and tax exemption for nonprofit news organizations), and
telecommunications policies promoting Internet access. The Knight
Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a
Democracy provides a set of fifteen broad recommendations that do
not target specific policy-making bodies so much as frame solutions to
* Research Fellow, Media Policy Initiative, New American Foundation. Associate in
Research, DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy, Duke University.

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