From Chris Faraone and Jason Pramas of Dig Boston/Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism:
There is a second hearing on the journalism commission bill this Wednesday, July 10 at 2pm at the State House in Hearing Room B1, and we encourage readers as well as media makers of all types to attend and/or testify themselves. You can also submit remotely (info below). The bill is An Act Establishing a Commission to Study Journalism in Underserved Communities (S.80/H.181, https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H181/). It proposes to establish a commission to study the many threats facing journalism in the Commonwealth and suggest remedies to stop municipalities from becoming news deserts in the years to come.
Whether you support the bill as written, or want to see changes made to its language before it’s allowed to continue through the state legislative process, we think it’s critical that working journalists and readers weigh in at the hearing… given that there’s been little testimony of any kind on the bill so far, and very little effort from the bill sponsors to ensure that journalists are given seats on the commission—or even contacted to testify on it at legislative hearings.
For background, here are links to three columns we’ve written on the commission and its discontents from our perspectives as a working journalists for DigBoston and the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism:
- Proposed State Journalism Commission Needs Broader Membership, 3/20/19 https://digboston.com/proposed-state-journalism-commission-needs-broader-membership/
- Second Hearing Called on MA Journalism Commission Bill, 6/19/19 https://digboston.com/second-hearing-called-on-ma-journalism-commission-bill/
- No Mass Commission To Study Journalism Without Reporter Input, 7/8/2019 https://digboston.com/no-mass-commission-to-study-journalism-without-reporter-input/
And here is Chris Faraone reading it on FB live: https://www.facebook.com/CHRISFARA1/videos/10157343786419805/
If you can’t make it, you can send written testimony to the joint committee in the form of a letter on Bill S.80/H.181, addressed to its chairs: Sen. Diana DiZoglio, Diana.DiZoglio@masenate.gov and Rep. Edward Coppinger, Edward.Coppinger@mahouse.gov.