Michelle Ferrier contributes to FCC research on community information needs

Associate Professor Michelle Ferrier of the School of Communications contributed to the recent Federal Communications Commission inquiry into the media needs of the American public communities through a report and literature review to inform new policy development.

The collaboration of researchers, called the Communication Policy Research Network, is headed by the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The CPRN submitted a literature review and report to the FCC on July 16, 2012. The FCC is expected to release additional requests for research based on the report’s findings.

Ferrier became part of the team based on her research into media entrepreneurship and her media deserts project – a GIS-based visualization of the contractions in media industry reach. The media deserts research is designed to identify communities without access to fresh news and information and to direct attention and resources to these communities.

“The FCC has a critical role to play in the allocation of public resources and in ensuring a media infrastructure that serves all communities,” Ferrier said. “My hope is that through policy interventions at the federal level and entrepreneurship interventions at the local level, we can address the inequities in the media system.”