Bioneers 2024 Conference

The Struggle to Save and Revivify Local Media 

Since 2005 nearly a third of the newspapers in the U.S. have folded up for good, many at the hands of rapacious capital firms intent on squeezing every last drop of profit out of the “Third Estate.” Local news, so vital to the practice of democracy on the ground in communities, is seriously at risk. Half of the counties in the country now qualify as “news deserts,” but against this specter of corporate domination, a booming expansion of nonprofit newsrooms, along with a renewed public interest in local news, is pointing the way towards a truly innovative media future. In this session, some leading editors and journalists will share their visions about what a future of news built on collaboration, community engagement and a commitment to exceptional journalism could look like, if enough of us get involved. Hosted by Christa Scharfenberg, Director of the California Local News Fellowship program at UC Berkeley. With: Larry Ryckman, Editor and co-founder of The Colorado Sun, previously Senior Editor at The Denver Post; Jacob Simas, Community Journalism Director at Cityside Journalism Initiative; Madeleine Bair, founder of El Tímpano.

The Marsh Theater


March 28th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Madeleine Bair
El Tímpano
Larry Ryckman
Co-Founder and Editor
The Colorado Sun
Jacob Simas
Community Journalism Director
Cityside Journalism Initiative
Christa Scharfenberg
Director of the California Local News Fellowship Program
UC Berkeley