How can we save New Jersey’s local news from the wrecking ball?
A demolition team rolled in to 9 Broadcast Plaza in early June, tearing down Northern New Jersey’s only broadcast television studio. The physical destruction of the studio, which had served the region for more than 30 years, is a painful reminder of the devastating impact that runaway media consolidation has had on local news in NJ. The studio was long the home of WWOR-TV, a local television station that the Federal Communications Commission licensed to Secaucus, until owner Fox Television sold the property and moved the station to its existing studio in Manhattan. Responsive local news is under increasing threat from corporate broadcasters that skirt their public-interest obligations to pump up profit margins — and now the FCC has given them free rein to abandon communities. Policymakers at the FCC and beyond must pull a lesson from the rubble of 9 Broadcast Plaza and build a media system that actually serves local communities — before it all comes crashing down.
[Dana Floberg is the policy manager for Free Press]
How can we save New Jersey’s local news from the wrecking ball? media advocate asks