Published April 24, 2023

Over two days in April 2023, leaders in journalism, academia, public policy, business, and the humanities offered diverse perspectives on how to sustain robust local journalism.

This summit marks the official launch of an ongoing partnership between Virginia Humanities and the University of Virginia’s Karsh Institute of Democracy to highlight challenges facing local media and support solutions to connect Americans with informative, independent journalism.


Opening Conversation

Giles Morris, an independent media consultant based in Charlottesville, Virginia and the former Executive Director of Charlottesville Tomorrow, talks with Melody C. Barnes, executive director of Karsh Institute of Democracy at the University of Virginia, during the opening session of the Virginia Local News Summit on April 20, 2023.

Keynote: Democracy, Journalism, and the Engaged Citizen

A strong, vibrant media landscape is critical for democratic health. Veteran political journalist Margaret Talev, the newly announced director of Syracuse University’s Democracy, Journalism, and Citizenship Institute, discusses the vital role that journalism plays in fostering an engaged, informed citizenry and explores the current problems—and signs of hope—facing both journalism and democracy in America. This discussion will be moderated by Rishi Jaitly, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Humanities Fellow, Virginia Tech.

Keynote: The Future of Local Journalism

Media pioneer Evan Smith, co-founder of the award-winning Texas Tribune, discusses the challenges facing local media today and solutions that can connect Americans with informative, independent journalism. This discussion will be moderated by Jayme Swain, president & CEO of Virginia Public Media.

Vanessa Adkins, right, is apprenticing under her cousin Jessica Canaday Stewart learning the finer points of traditional Chickahominy dancing. Photos taken at the Fall Festival and Pow Wow in Charles City on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

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