NY State Bar hosts panel with expert on decline of local news

The Task Force on Free Expression in the Digital Age started in June to combat the loss of local media. Photo by  Steve Buissinne via Pixabay .

The Task Force on Free Expression in the Digital Age started in June to combat the loss of local media. Photo by Steve Buissinne via Pixabay.

By Victoria Merlino

The New York State Bar Association will host a panel featuring an expert on the decline of local journalism as it seeks to support local news outlets as they continue to shrink in the digital age. 

Penny Abernathy, the Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina, will speak at NYSBA’s Task Force on Free Expression in the Digital Age on Sept. 16.

Abernathy, a former executive of The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, has a wealth of experience as an editor, reporter and a media executive, which gives her insight into both the editorial and economic sides of the news business. 

The panel will be livestreamed starting at 9 a.m.

NYSBA President Hank Greenberg convened the task force in June to attempt to help local news outlets in the new digital age, and make recommendations on how the state’s legal and business sectors can assist in keeping these outlets alive. 

 “The rapid and ever-growing rise of social media as a source of news has triggered a substantial decline in local journalism,” Greenberg said in a statement at the time. 

 “Now more than ever, our local news outlets need the support to hold truth to power,” he continued. “The future of local journalism is in jeopardy, but there has been no major effort to find ways to provide support. NYSBA is taking the critical first step in trying to address this problem.”