A Call to Action: Local Media's Role in Shaping Public Policy - Mitch Pugh
From Jeffrey Sudduth on June 2nd, 2017
Engaged local news media can play important role in driving public debate and, ultimately, public policy. But as newsrooms across America shrink, especially in local markets, the expensive and time-consuming art of investigative, watchdog and public service journalism has clearly diminished. The result has been fewer eyes watching the halls of power and government officials who are increasingly hostile to the public's responsibility, through the press, to hold them accountable. The challenges to local news organizations are both established (the economics of the local media ecosystem) and emerging (the rise of social media and mobile news habits). Yet, there is hope as privately held, locally owned news organizations have begun reversing the trend and investing in investigative journalism. Drawing upon examples from The Post and Courier's Pulitzer Prize-winning series about domestic violence, "Till Death Do Us Part," Pugh will argue about the importance of local media in social change.
Mitch Pugh is the executive editor of The Post and Courier, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. In his time as editor in Charleston, S.C., the paper has won several prestigious journalism awards including the George Polk Award, Silver Gavel Award, the 2015 John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim Award and the American Society of News Editors' Local Accountability Award. A native of Riverton, Illinois, he has been the editor of newspapers in Colorado, Iowa, and Missouri. He graduated from the University of Illinois-Springfield with a degree in English. He lives in Mount Pleasant, S.C., with his wife and son.