Adam Clayton Powell III is director of the Integrated Media Systems Center, the National Science Foundation�s Engineering Research Center for multimedia research, at the University of Southern California�s Viterbi School of Engineering, and a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg School for Communication.
Prior to joining the USC faculty, he was general manager of WHUT-TV in Washington, D.C., the nation�s first African American-owned public television station, adding several hours per week of local prime time programming. He also was the founding general manager of KMTP-TV in San Francisco, the nation�s second African American-owned public television station, which he helped put on the air in 1991 featuring local news and public affairs.
Powell has served as executive producer at Quincy Jones Entertainment, where he produced Jesse Jackson�s weekly television series and developed nonfiction television projects; vice president for news and information programming at National Public Radio; manager of network radio and television news for CBS News, and news director of all-news WINS in New York. He supervised the Internet and computer media technology programs at the Freedom Forum, with educational programs on five continents.
Are you an avid consumer of local news?
Yeah. Because, you know, we've all got to see the storm report.
-Michael Powell, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
The FCC Chairman is a typical viewer: By a large margin, weather holds the most interest for local news viewers and listeners. Over 60 percent of both men and women named the weather as the subject in which they were �very interested,� far more than any other subject area, according to a survey for the Radio-Television News Directors Association.
But news must be more than weather: The second most important subject, again by a wide margin, was local news. More than national news, politics, sports, entertainment or traffic, Americans want local news.
But how well do local broadcasters and Web sites address this need?
How well do they address the fundamental local issues that enable an informed citizenry to make choices on election day?
That is the subject of this report.