CSULB chosen for site of SoCal news council

Cal State Long Beach has been named the temporary home base for the Southern California News Council with Journalism Department Chairman William Babcock named the council’s first executive director.

The news council, which will cover media outlets from Santa Barbara to the southern U.S. border, will investigate issues of accuracy, integrity and fairness in the media.

“It’s the indication that people in journalism are more used to examining and criticizing others, but [they] are not comfortable with examining and criticizing themselves,” Babcock said. “[This is a] constant issue which helps drive the credibility of the industry.”

CSULB and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst were chosen in a national competition to create two local news councils.

Both the SCNC and the New England News Council, based at UMass, received $75,000 start-up grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Babcock said he plans to use the grant to put the news council together, hold forums, cover travel expenses and bring people to CSULB in order to promote the council.

Babcock said he is currently putting together a founding board of directors for the SCNC. The board will include a variety of people from media, local businesses and major figures in the area.

“I am trying to get as wide of a group as possible together,” Babcock said.

The SCNC and the New England News Council are the fourth and fifth news councils in the country, joining those in Hawaii, Minnesota and Washington state.

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