But the Federal Communications Commission, in a report aimed at warning Americans that the proverbial horse has left the metaphorical barn -- but only after it's halfway to the next county -- says Americans are suffering a serious lack of local in-depth reporting.
I'd alert the media . . . if any were around anymore. In a sign that what the FCC says is true, this Associated Press article neglects to inquire why it is the feds took so long to "reveal" something so obvious, while later on regurgitating some boilerplate BS from the American Society of News Editors.
ANYWAY, here's some of the AP story, for what it's worth:
There is a shortage of in-depth local journalism needed to hold government agencies, schools and businesses accountable, the federal agency that regulates television broadcasters concludes in a new report.
The dearth of reporting comes despite an abundance of news outlets in today's multimedia landscape, the report says.
The report being released Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission is the product of an 18-month effort to explore the turmoil sweeping the traditional media business in the U.S. - particularly daily newspapers.
Newspapers have seen a sharp drop in revenue because of the weakening economy and a shift by advertisers to free or cheaper alternatives on the Internet. That has forced newspapers to cut staff and shrink their publications. The report says staffing levels at daily newspapers have fallen by more than 25 percent since 2001.
"A shortage of reporting manifests itself in invisible ways: stories not written, scandals not exposed, government waste not discovered, health dangers not identified in time, local elections involving candidates about whom we know little," the report says.
The report's recommendations include creating public affairs cable channels similar to C-SPAN at the state level, easing tax rules for non-profit news organizations and directing more federal advertising spending to local news media.
WHAT THE FCC report fails to mention is how its deregulation of broadcasting -- and Congress' removal of virtually all corporate ownership limits -- has contributed greatly to American radio's swift decline into ruin and irrelevance.
And virtually no news, in depth or otherwise, on the vast majority of stations.
Once again . . . heck of a job.