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April 26, 2010

Miller Center report on the media and democratic governance; Update on Daily Progress partnership

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MillerCenter-smThe Miller Center of Public Affairs recently published the results of a year-long study of the state of media and democratic governance. The project was initiated by former Governor Gerald Baliles after he gave a speech at the 2009 Virginia Press Association upon his acceptance of the 2009 VPA Virginian of the Year Award. His speech was entitled: "The Fourth Estate and the Governance of the Country."

In February 2010, I had the privilege to brief the Miller Center team in Washington, D.C., along with McGregor McCance, Managing Editor of The Daily Progress, as they were interested in a progress report on the unique partnership between our organizations.

Governor Baliles released the Miller Center's report at the 2010 VPA meeting [download remarks].

Report Introduction

"I began talking with friends and colleagues about the possible dangers lurking for citizens in a democracy with fewer journalists, fewer major sources of traditional news, and an explosion of untested formats such as blogs, bloggers, and social media....For the past year, the Miller Center has reached out across the nation to key media leaders, stakeholders, policy makers and academic experts and created a meeting space to systematically address the future prospects for the infrastructure of news journalism and the effects of new trends in newspapers and media on the governance of the country."

Gerald L. Baliles
Director, Miller Center of Public Affairs
University of Virginia
Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia (1986–1990)

Looking over the results from the fist six-months of the partnership between The Daily Progress and Charlottesville Tomorrow, I think we have some very positive data to share.

  • About 50% of Charlottesville Tomorrow's stories are now published in The Daily Progress
  • 20100426-DP-metrics With the addition of Charlottesville Tomorrow's reporting, the newspaper's coverage of growth and development issues has increased by about 20% as compared to the twelve months before the partnership (see chart at right or download this summary with trends before/after)
  • We have established very collaborative operational procedures between our editorial and reporting teams
  • We partnered to produce the 2009 voter guide for local elections
  • The public is getting access to a lot more information about growth and development issues in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County

As always, we would appreciate any feedback about this ongoing collaboration.  You can leave a comment on this post or contact me directly at bwheeler@cvilletomorrow.org or via phone at 434.260.1533.

Brian Wheeler
Executive Director
Charlottesville Tomorrow

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