This is Michael V Marcotte's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Michael V Marcotte's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Michael V Marcotte
Albuquerque, NM
Veteran public media news executive now teaching and consulting
Interests: Reading, networking and swimming. Discovering great journalism on all platforms. Enjoying music, theater and outdoor stuff like biking and hiking. A fan of yoga. I'm the proud owner of one of the first all-electric Mustangs in New Mexico and for some reason I'm certified in transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Recent Activity
This piece makes the case for what we've been attempting to do at UNM with our student-driven news service, New Mexico News Port. The full article is here: ************ How college students can help save local news Local news outlets across the U.S. are struggling to bring in advertising and subscription revenue, which pays for the reporting, editing and production of their articles. It’s not a new problem, but with fewer and fewer journalism jobs as a result, a growing number of local newsrooms have found a potential solution: college journalism students. The pandemic, set on a backdrop of political and economic tumult, further injured a local news industry weakened by decades of revenue decline, ownership consolidation and cuts to production and delivery. In rural and urban communities across the country, residents have little or no access to credible or comprehensive local news and information – they live in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2022 at Mike Marcotte
Our local-news situation is even worse than we think - Columbia Journalism Review. This is the first of a two-part series; for part two, click here. IN MEASURING THE COLLAPSE OF LOCAL NEWS, there is arguably no more important metric than the number of local reporters. Though precise numbers are hard to come by, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an astounding 57 percent decline in newspaper newsroom employees—from 71,640 to 30,820—since 2004. Depressingly, academic studies show that the local news collapse has likely led to lower voter turnout and bond ratings, and more corruption, waste, air pollution, and corporate crime. It is a truly bleak picture. And yet focusing exclusively on that employment statistic understates the problem, as becomes clear when we look at the decline in the context of four other factors: spending by state and local governments, population growth, the trajectory of other professions, and the rise... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2022 at Mike Marcotte
Report for America (like Teach for America, but for journalists) has put together a report touting the benefits of setting up local news funds via local community foundations. See their report here (pdf). The video cuts to the chase. Report for America spotlights important new trend – creation of ‘Community News Funds’ from GroundTruth on Vimeo. Notable quote: We strongly recommend that all community foundations consider the creation of a Community News Fund to catalyze local news support. Foundations and their leaders are beacons in communities who are relied upon to identify the community’s most important needs and strategies to address them. To be successful, Community News Funds should: • Encompass multiple funders of varied giving levels • Pursue multi-year contributions with a fund goal of 6- and 7-figures depending on the community size • Demonstrate and articulate that the community (not merely the newsroom) is the beneficiary of improved... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2022 at Mike Marcotte
In 2016, I was hired by the good people at The Democracy Fund to do some ground level research on the state of the local news ecosystem in my adopted state. New Mexico was one of only five locations being examined at the time and this certainly looked to be a precious opportunity to explore unique challenges in our large, rural and rather impoverished state. One of the best moves I made was to subcontract with Sarah Gustavus (along with Gwyneth Doland, Megan Kamerick and Carolyn Flynn) to fan out and canvass local newsrooms and help deliver a a detailed (and troubling) report, "The Precarious Local News Ecosystem of New Mexico." It was great to see one thing lead to another and Sarah's eventual establishment of the New Mexico Local News Fund. It was jump started by the Democracy Fund with added backing from the Thornburg Foundation. And now, sadly... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2021 at Mike Marcotte
(Sharing this press release from my friends and benefactors at the NM Local News Fund. This marks another advance in our local news ecosystem survival strategy, of which I'm part. If you care about local news, especially in a state like New Mexico, please consider acting on this opportunity! -- MM) RELEASE DATE: Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 CONTACT: Rashad Mahmood, New Mexico Local News Fund co-director: (443-486-2406) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The first-ever statewide giving initiative to encourage support for local journalism in New Mexico will launch Nov. 30 -- this year's Giving Tuesday. Spearheaded by the New Mexico Local News Fund (a fiscally sponsored project of the Santa Fe Community Foundation), the Local News Matching Campaign will support local news organizations around the state by boosting support from the communities they serve. How does it work? The Local News Fund will match every dollar raised (up to $3,000 per... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2021 at Mike Marcotte
"If there is one American institution perfectly poised to help fill the local news vacuum in ways that support democracy, it is public media. With a vast network of local licensees spread across urban and small-town America, public media stations should serve local audiences and provide a window on issues and conflicts in democratic governance that are bubbling up across the country. Indeed, to an increasing extent the many successful news-format public radio stations across the country — from Dallas to Boston, Los Angeles to New York — have become the new American newsrooms. As good as they are, none of these newsrooms operate on the same scale as local newspapers once did. Public media can do more to connect the dots between what’s happening locally and what that means for the nation as a whole. Enterprising local reports from newsrooms across the country are simply not reflected enough in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2021 at Mike Marcotte
I want to thank the faculty and staff at the Center for Strategic and International Studies for inviting my students and me into their international reporting bootcamp this year. Normally, this would be an in-person experience at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., but the intensive training had to be held virtually over Zoom and Slack instead. The result was this excellent multimedia report on the devastation wrought by hurricanes Eta and Iota in the Northern Triangle of Central America. The powerful double-whammy last November, largely missed by those of us consumed by the fraught 2020 election, was a major driver of migration from the region into the United States. Of course, there are other factors causing people to flee, corruption and violence being the most insidious. The training project is very well designed and expertly led by the Ideas Team at CSIS, drawing upon the vast expertise of their faculty... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2021 at Mike Marcotte
Can public media help fix market failures in local news? That was our question 18 months ago when we launched the Public Media Mergers Project. Supported by a partnership between the Public Media Venture Group and the Google News Initiative, and housed at the Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics and Public Policy, the initiative explored a rising trend in mergers between traditional public broadcasters and local digital newsrooms across the country. Our answer: Public media can absolutely help fix market failures in local news, but it will take a simultaneous process of building on its traditional values and dismantling the legacy structures of the current system to create a new local journalism service worthy of “the public” in public media. Read this story on Medium: Also recommended, a review of this piece on Nieman Lab: Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2021 at Mike Marcotte
This new investigative unit will work with the regional newsrooms and topic teams to support local journalism Cheryl W. Thompson will lead the Station Investigations Team. Wanyu Zhang/NPR There are over 1000 NPR Member Station signals broadcasting across the United States NPR Washington D.C., Feb 3., 2021 -- NPR announced today the creation of the Station Investigations Team. The team, led by Cheryl W. Thompson, an award-winning investigative reporter and 22-year veteran of The Washington Post who joined NPR in 2019, will work with stations to report ambitious investigative projects. The team, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, will include a producer and a data editor who will advise reporters who'd like technical help with skills such as data collection and analysis and freedom of information requests. The team will also help facilitate stations' opportunities to localize NPR investigations through webinars and open-source data. "On any given day there... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2021 at Mike Marcotte
I've been on this kick for a long time... but it is heartening to see some serious advances in the direction of local journalism. It's just unfortunate it has taken an economic crisis in journalism to accelerate the shift we're seeing. Here are two important readings on the topic. Jan Schaffer, writing as the Ombudsman for CPB, observing two initiatives on behalf of local news could test public media's preparedness. Are We Poised for Another 1967 Moment? And this think piece from former CPB board member Howard Husock who makes a strong case of taxpayer support of public media -- provided it steps up to deliver local journalism in a committed way. The 'Local That Works' and What's Still Needed. Both pieces would have CPB adjust its vision for public service journalism in America -- and that could mean additional reforms to how it operates. Considering we're over 50 years... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
Nick Quah has been rocking the podcast news (news about podcasts) space for some time and has news now of another interesting experiment by NPR and member stations: packaging an afternoon news pod bundling national and regional coverage. It's another step in the on-demand world of what was once known as radio! Excerpt below or read the full post here:The Bundle – Hot Pod News. Nick QuahTHE BUNDLELast week, NPR announced that it will start bundling local news content with Consider This, its relatively new afternoon daily news podcast. This sounds like a small and wonky thing, but it’s really a huge step forward towards whatever public radio is supposed to become as the position of traditional broadcast radio continues to be chipped away from digital and on-demand. This effort is starting off in a limited fashion. In this introductory phase, a pilot group of twelve public radio stations across... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
Merging into the Future Aug 14, 2020 By: Jan Schaffer Coming very soon: A long-awaited playbook for those public media stations interested in acquiring or merging with a local digital news site in their region. For interested pubcasters, these pairings can jumpstart not only their local news chops but also their digital know-how and spark a new product mindset. For local news sites bootstrapping journalism in geographic news deserts, linking up with a public broadcaster can give their digital content a much-needed megaphone and put them on a firmer footpath to sustainability ­– not to mention giving them a secure repository for their archives. “This is a promising model,” said Elizabeth Hansen, lead researcher for the Public Media Mergers Project, noting that under the right conditions (to be outlined in her report) public broadcasters “will thrive.” Already, nine public media stations have acquired or merged with a local digital news... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
I've been an editor for years and can, retroactively, more clearly see the white-blindness in myself and my workplaces. This piece is eloquent, nuanced and truthful. It will be required reading in my journalism classes. Thank you @WesleyLowery -- MM It was a brief interaction, during the first weeks of my career. There had been a stabbing, and I’d been dispatched to a block in Roxbury, a predominantly black section of Boston, to snag quotes from anyone who might know anything about what had happened. “Who are you with?” inquired the first person I had approached, a black man in his 50s. “The Globe?” he exclaimed after hearing my response. “The Globe doesn’t have black reporters. What are you doing over here? You lost? Y’all don’t write about this part of town.” His complaints and his skepticism were familiar, voiced for decades by black people both outside newsrooms and within... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
BY TERESA GORMAN / 2020 APRIL 15TH This post was co-authored by Christine Schmidt. Over the past month, 30 states have made journalism an essential service in their disaster declarations, putting local news outlets on par with hospitals and grocery stores. It makes sense: local news is how we find out about stay at home orders and whether our nearby hospital has tests available. It lets us know which grocery stores are holding senior hours, which schools are delivering hot lunches, and how to get help with rent and mortgage payments. And it powers the work of infectious disease detectives, who refer to local reporting as “the bedrock” of their work tracking the spread of illnesses across the country. Nearly eight in ten Americans are following coronavirus news closely. And they’re getting more than just news: Chalkbeat built maps of all the places New Jersey families can get free meals... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
Never before has there been such a collective cry for the federal government to fund journalism ­­­­– especially local newsgathering – an idea that reporters and editors once considered toxic. These calls have come over the last two weeks from respected industry leaders seeking to staunch the current carnage in commercial and nonprofit newsrooms. Ideas that once were regarded as controversial are now treated as possibilities to be pondered – and actively pitched. Indeed, just Wednesday, more than 50 journalism organizations and journalism schools sent Congress a letter pleading for $5 billion in relief in the next emergency legislation, saying the pandemic has “accelerated the decline of local news and information.” If these pleas gain traction, public broadcasters will have newfound competition for taxpayer dollars, even as digital news providers are already homing in on pubcasters’ donors, members and funders. Some of the proposals call for markedly redefining public media... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
By Jan Schaffer As malls hollow out or go belly up across the country, two public broadcasters are staking a claim to helping repurpose shuttered retail behemoths in their communities. In the process, they are expanding public media’s mission in novel ways. For KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, a move to the former Highland Mall, purchased by Austin Community College, will fortify its partnerships in local workforce development initiatives, create a center for teaching digital storytelling, inaugurate new studios and event space, and create a meeting hub for local nonprofits. For WUMR 91.7 FM, the jazz station licensed to the University of Memphis, its move to the once-blighted, massive Sears distribution center will involve a spin into a new nonprofit. Later this year, it will embark on a different life in what has become Crosstown Concourse, an arts and mixed-use complex where it will program a revised music line-up and start hosting... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
Pilot grant addresses urgent needs in local news (ALBUQUERQUE, NM) -- The University of New Mexico Department of Communication and Journalism has received a $100,000 grant from the New Mexico Local News Fund for a fellowship program to place three recent graduates in local newsrooms for eight months of professional training. This pilot project seeks to demonstrate the viability of a field-based fellowship model designed to address several critical needs in New Mexico’s local news ecosystem: The need for an effective in-state school-to-career pathway for young journalists; The need to reinforce journalistic capacity in New Mexico newsrooms; The need for innovation in local newsrooms to cope with significant change. “The New Mexico Local News Fund is excited to partner with UNM on this important project,” said NMLNF program coordinator Sarah Gustavus. “Local journalism is crucial for our democracy and the Local News Fund hopes this program will effectively serve both... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
(Required reading for any journalists in a campus environment, including university-licensed public media...) Seeking leads from sources whose stories haven’t yet become public is a routine reporting practice. That’s why reporters — as part of an unsettling package of news stories about how the University of Illinois allowed professors found culpable for sexual harassment to resign quietly without creating a record of wrongdoing — invited readers to submit their own confidential news tips about other cases of sexual misconduct at the Champaign-Urbana campus. The university’s response was anything but routine. Because one of the lead reporters, Rachel Otwell of NPR Illinois, works out of the University of Illinois campus in Springfield, the university insisted that any information about sexual misconduct involving UI employees or students would have to be disclosed to the campus Title IX office — even if the sources requested anonymity. By designating NPR Illinois journalists as “responsible... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2020 at Mike Marcotte
Interesting update to PMC's October post. Seems you need to slice the public TV data more carefully to see the more recent trends. Still, public radio is going strong! Are Public Radio & TV Station Revenue Trends Really That Different? - Public Media Company. Are Public Radio & TV Station Revenue Trends Really That Different? - Public Media Company Our October blog post explored how public radio revenue is now higher than public television revenue thanks to significant radio growth over the past decade. The post also highlighted great disparities between radio stations of different sizes – big growth for large stations and revenue declines for small stations. The variation by station size is also very evident in public television. Small TV stations (those with annual revenue below $5M) declined by 32% between 2008 and 2018 but large TV stations (those with revenue above $10M) declined by a much lower... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
Check out this startling report from Public Media Company showing how the public support (the dollars raised by individual stations, not from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) for radio is overtaking that of public TV. I've always maintained that when public radio concentrates on its public service journalism mission, it will grow audience... and that's what's been happening over the years. Partly this graph shows the challenge of public TV in this highly competitive environment for video attention, but it also shows radio's exceptional staying power. Public Radio Overtakes Public TV – Public Media Company. While both public radio and television revenue have grown in recent years, radio’s higher growth rate has led to public radio revenue overtaking public TV’s revenue for the first time ever (based on Non-federal Financial Support (NFFS) data from CPB). It is easy to see why when you compare the revenue growth rates of public... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
7 lessons from revenue teams at exemplary Civic News Organizations. During the American Journalism Project’s first few months, one focus of ours has been to understand what’s known and what’s not known about Civic News Organization revenue operations. We’re learning a lot about the Civic News Organizations, or CNOs, doing crucial public-service journalism throughout the country, in order to be prepared in our own work to boost the sustainability efforts and the revenue-generating capacity of the CNO ecosystem. We know, for example, that people matter. The success of revenue teams depends on the talent and effort of people who believe in local news and spend all day, every day figuring out how to pay for it . As such, one of the first projects we undertook was to study existing revenue roles and teams within exemplary CNOs, in partnership with the News Revenue Hub and the Impact Architects. Today we’re... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
(I'm glad to see Pew rolling out its 2019 State of the News Media, piece by piece. Yours truly pays close attention to the public broadcasting industry, so it makes sense to highlight that section here on the blog. Good to see stability and financial growth in NPR/PBS land, but troubling to see audience growth is flat.Click through for the full dive! -- MM) Hundreds of local and regional radio and television stations comprise the U.S. public media system. On the radio side, organizations such as NPR, American Public Media (APM) and Public Radio International (PRI), which merged with PRX in 2018, produce and distribute programming, reaching audiences through local stations as well as digital channels. Individual stations, such as New York’s WNYC and Chicago’s WBEZ, produce nationally syndicated original journalism as well. On the television side, PBS NewsHour produces an evening newscast that airs on local PBS stations around... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
(It's been happening gradually for many years. Public radio has invested in news coverage. Commercial radio has gambled on talk, talk, talk. So here we are... the cross fade in audience loyalty is happening. Having spent my career in building local public media news, I'm feeling satisfaction today. -- MM) What do heritage commercial News and Talk stations WBAP, KIRO-FM, KOGO and WBT have common? Not so long ago, each was the leading radio news source in their market. According to Nielsen Audio May 2019 PPM ratings, they were replaced in the top spot by a local NPR News/Talk station. Spark News readers know about the amazing progress NPR News/Talk stations have made in growing their listening and number of listeners in recent years. However, commercial radio operators are just beginning to hear the news... Read Ken Mills' full article: SPARK NEWS: IN 32% OF NIELSEN PPM MARKETS, NPR NEWS... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
SEATING IS LIMITED. REGISTRATION DEADLINE: MAY 1st! Sixth Annual PRNDI News Manager Training & Certification When: June 12-13, 2019 (prior to the start of the PRNDI Conference) Where: NPR Headquarters, Washington, DC Who: Public media news directors, managers or aspiring news managers from any size shop, any experience level. Seating limited to the first 20 applicants. What: Two-day training on essentials of modern public media newsroom management, resulting in a custom action-plan and a PRNDI certificate of completion. "Presenters were well-prepared, organized and very helpful." -- Aaron Schachter, WGBH Why PRNDI provides this important training Today's newsroom leaders face BIG challenges: they set editorial strategy and ethical standards for their organizations; they plan short-term and long-range coverage; they assign and edit stories to serve changing audience needs; they manage people and budgets; and, they're helping navigate a digital future for public media journalism. This dynamic, interactive two-day workshop will focus... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2019 at Mike Marcotte
American Journalism Project Launches Major Effort to Reinvigorate Local News with $42 Million in Founding Commitments - American Journalism Project. American Journalism Project Launches Major Effort to Reinvigorate Local News with $42 Million in Founding Commitments - American Journalism ProjectNew venture philanthropy organization will work collaboratively to catalyze a new generation of civic news organizationsFeb. 26, 2019. Miami, Fla. — The American Journalism Project, a new initiative to reinvigorate mission-driven local news through the power of venture philanthropy, today announced its official launch with $42 million in lead funding commitments, a Board of Directors, and its first three hires.Founded by Elizabeth Green and John Thornton (founders of Chalkbeat and The Texas Tribune, respectively), the American Journalism Project is the first venture philanthropy organization dedicated to strengthening an ecosystem of civic news organizations that believe local journalism a public good.The organization will support existing and emerging news organizations with grants and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2019 at Mike Marcotte