WASHINGTON (CNN) – A prominent Democrat is joining the fray as many of the nation's newspapers slash staffs, file for bankruptcy, end their print editions, or cease publishing altogether.
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts announced Monday that he will chair a subcommittee hearing on the future of journalism.
"An independent news media is vital to our democracy," Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, said in a statement Monday evening. "The history of our Republic is inextricably linked to the narrative of our free and independent press, yet today, America's newspapers are struggling just to stay afloat. I called this hearing to directly address a problem that for too long has had us turning the other way. Whatever the model for the future, we must do all we can to ensure a diverse and independent news media endures."
The hearing is set for May 6. It is the subcommittee's first hearing since Kerry became the chair. It "will address the economic recession's impact on media," the statement said.