Community Identity and Cohesiveness: Media
Ardith Keck, Moderator
Dr. Jon Hawes, Resource Delegate
Keli Smith Ball, Christopher Bame, Joyce Basile, Louis Berroteran, Pamela Foster, William
Glaeser, Jeff Heintz, Joe ONeill and Bob Zajac
The Workgroup examined various media in Akron as they look today and
asked the question: What will the media look like in 2025? We invited representatives from
the City of Akron administration, from local print media and from television
communications. The group felt that it is important for Akron to keep and maintain its own
local identity. "Akron should be a hub of information and not a spoke."
The media provide a watchdog function, which is important in any
community. It is difficult to ascertain what media will exist in 2025, but we decided that
print media will most likely still be in paper form, but, with accessibility to the
internet for news, newspapers will concentrate more on local than national or
Readers in 2025 will be very literate in using the Internet to access
information. They will want formats they are comfortable with. We will probably get our TV
news via computers, which will serve multiple functions. The appearance of the television
set will change dramatically and probably have all forms and shapes, including handheld
broadband devices, which project an image onto any flat surface. There is almost no
likelihood of another commercial Akron television station. It is just too expensive. By
2025 lines of communication will blur and cross-ownership rules will be relaxed. Rapid
changes in technology and in lifestyle will be a factor in how the media is used and what
forms the media will take.
The GOALS of Akron for the year 2025 in order to retain the confidence
of its citizens should be:
To have an informed community.
To have comprehensive, responsible coverage of the local community by
and for the local community.
The STRATEGIES to achieve the above goals are:
The City of Akron needs to provide information in some form.
- Continue wiring the city with fiber optic cable to allow for expansion.
- Explore ways to broadcast City government (City Council, Press Conferences, hearings)
and other City events.
- Perhaps a City-owned community access channel.
- Explore financial incentives to local media to enable diversity in programming.
Create an environment which supports local media and media choices.
- Internet will provide more voices, but they may be less professional.
- The City needs to "get in on the act."
- Bring together groups to do an analysis of all resources for facilitating the coverage
of the local community.
Create opportunities to voice Akron opinions.
- Continue communication among people via town meetings, debates, etc.
- Provide information about issues across all media (print, broadcast, internet, plus new
technologies which may develop).
- Explore the ways the City can act as a facilitator and provide resources to the
community to expand media coverage.
- Explore purchasing and operating a local cable access channel station such as WCTV in
- Allow the opportunity for real debate on issues.