A state journalism commission (in Massachusetts), created to study the effects of “news deserts” and how to support local news outlets, is expected to have its deadline extended a full year to accommodate for challenges presented by the pandemic.
The commission was signed into law in January as part of the economic development bond bill. It is supposed to have a panel of 23 members who will study the effects of news deserts — areas with little to no local news coverage — and look for ways to support them. The commission is also expected to examine the sustainability of local news business models. State Reps. Brendan Crighton, D-Lynn, and Lori Ehrlich, D-Marblehead, are the only two people who have been appointed to the commission so far.