2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate, Andrew Yang, proposes support for local newsrooms
Andrew Yang (b. 1975) is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, the founder of Venture for America (VFA), and a U.S. 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. He worked in startups and early-stage growth companies as a founder or executive from 2000 to 2009. After he founded VFA, the Obama administration selected him in 2012 as a “Champion of Change” and in 2015 as a “Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship”.In November 2017 Yang launched his campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.His signature issue is support for what he calls the “Freedom Dividend”, a form of Universal Basic Income (UBI) for every American adult over 18 years old. Yang believes UBI is a necessary response to the rapid development of automation that is leading to workforce challenges. According to CNN on May 23 Yang ranked tenth out of the top ten Democratic candidates. The first Democratic candidate debates begin on June 26. Yang is scheduled to participate on June 27.
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s initiative to support local newsrooms through American Journalism Fellows is a creative proposal worthy of consideration to bolster community-based news PEN America acknowledged in a statement today.
According to Yang’s campaign website, the American Journalism Fellows initiative would place 535 journalists in local newsrooms across the country. Changing technology and the shift of advertising revenue from news organizations to tech giants have undermined the traditional business model of journalism. Yang’s initiative aims to “provide resources to ensure a strong independent press, free up a critical mass of reporters to meet market-based demands, [and] affirm journalism as a profession.”
In a June 16 interview with CNN, Yang argued for government investment in local news by citing studies that connect increasing political polarization to the collapse of local reporting.
“If you believe in a vibrant democracy, or even a functional democracy,” Yang said, “then you have to believe in local journalism.”
The campaign website said reporters from each state would be “nominated by a body of industry professionals and selected by a nonpartisan commission. Selected reporters will receive a 4-year grant of $400,000 ($100,000 per year) and will be stationed at a local news organization with the condition that they report on issues relevant to the district during the period of their Fellowship.
“We commend Yang for his recognition of the valuable service that local news outlets provide to communities,” said PEN America’s Washington Director Thomas O. Melia. “Journalism, and local journalism in particular, is an asset to democracy. In the struggle to preserve and support this fundamental institution, we welcome new and innovative ideas that add to the discourse.
“Care would have to be taken to ensure that such a program did not lead to journalists promoting government views or perspectives, but instead enhanced independent and investigative journalism.
“Going forward, we hope other campaigns and political party leadership will follow Yang’s lead in formulating concrete policy proposals that seek to reinforce local journalism as a public good.”
This post is complied courtesy of PEN America, Wikipedia, CNN, and Yang’s campaign site.
DISCLAMER: This content is meant to be informative and is not to be construed as an endorsement of Yang. The Poet by Day does not endorse political candidates but does stand for freedom of expression and integrity in journalism and assumes that as writers, poets and artists, readers here share this interest and concern.
PEN America is active in supporting freedom of the press in local communities around the country. It’s Press Freedom Incentive Fund provides financial support for initiatives that mobilize communities to demand an independent and robust local press. By uniting supporters, readers, and writers from coast to coast in support of journalism, PEN America stands in solidarity with local newsrooms nationwide. PEN America is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization that does not endorse political candidates.
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
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