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News Deserts to Media Startups: Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy on America’s News Landscape Today

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Season 15

Story in the Public Square is a weekly, 30-minute series that brings audiences to the intersection of storytelling and public affairs. Hosted by Jim L 
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Thomas Jefferson famously said he’d prefer newspapers without government over government without newspapers. In large parts of the United States today, government exists without independent news sources—undermining accountability and diminishing civic participation. Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy tell us that despite these troubling trends, there’s much to celebrate in the work of community news outlets around the country. 

Clegg spent over three decades at The Boston Globe and retired in 2018 after four years of running the opinion pages. In between stints at the Globe, she was deputy director of communications at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She is a member of the steering committee for the Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship at the International Women’s Media Foundation and the co-founder and co-chair of Brookline.News, a nonprofit startup news organization. Kennedy is a Northeastern University professor in the School of Journalism and a nationally known media commentator. He was a panelist on the GBH News television program “Beat the Press” and a weekly columnist for the network. He was also a columnist for The Guardian and produces Media Nation, an online publication that serves as a media watchdog. Kennedy is a recipient of the Yankee Quill Award from the New England Academy of Journalists and the James W. Carey Journalism Award from the Media Ecology Association. 

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