Without a "serious national effort," the American news industry will go down the drain, Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps said on Thursday.
In remarks to the National Newspaper Association, Copps said while journalists have the lead role in fixing their industry, there is wide support for reform.
"Glitzy infotainment substitutes for real news and 'if it bleeds, it leads' determines newsworthiness," he said. "Maybe all that bleeding has something to do with why America isn't leading the way we used to. I have had a front-row seat to watch this devastation for 10 years on the FCC."
Copps also decried an ongoing "orgy" of media consolidation, as well as the FCC's "unforgivable lack of action on the diversity front."
As solutions, Copps advocated for a wider range of business models for news outlets; more diversity in newsrooms; and K-12 news media literacy education.
"I have come to realize that, without a serious national effort and some significant changes, our media environment will only get worse," he said. "I believe we can--and I believe we must--find ways to redeem the promise of journalism because good journalism is so vital to redeeming the promise of America."