PUBLICLY FUNDED NEWS?

It’s time to add another local news experiment to test-tube Colorado where some folks in Longmont are proposing some sort of local news operation that taxpayers would support. 

It would be through a city library district likely with a mill levy on those who live there.

In Colorado, local libraries can be funded by creating specific taxing districts approved by voters who live within their boundaries.

This week, Longmont’s City Council engaged in a nearly hour-long debate about the idea of a publicly funded news outlet linked to a library district.

The Colorado Independent reports, Longmont’s seven council members didn’t outright dismiss the idea, but instead debated about whether local news should be publicly financed.

NPR gets some public support, one noted. “We live in a post-truth world today,” said another, Tim Waters, who nonetheless added, “Clearly if there’s one place to go to find balance in information it’s in a library,” and “We owe it to generations coming up to be able make the distinctions between propaganda and fake news and the truth.”

Lately, Denver has been ground zero as a testing lab for the local news business model. You have your hedge-fund owner, your billionaire owner, your nonprofitsfor-profitsNPR-model, and even your crypto-currency and blockchain-backed public-benefit corporation.

It’s a mix of media business models that’s being researched, examined, and chronicled by industry watchers to see what works.

It was only a matter of time until someone tried a publicly-funded local news outlet.

Stay tuned.

More News from Thursday, May 16, 2019