Jason Piscia, PAR director
Publish Date

I was honored to be invited to speak earlier this month at UIS' Lunch & Learn Series presented by the UIS Alumni SAGE Society and the Illinois State Historical Society. And I was especially glad that we were able to hold the event in person, at Illini Country Club. It was the first time UIS did a live L&L since before the pandemic started.

The topic for the April 6 event was "The Future of Journalism." My talk focused on the critical role of local journalism and how cutbacks in local newsrooms over the years have affected media outlets' abilities to adequately cover their communities, providing residents with the information they need to make informed decisions.

My report wasn't all gloom, however. I talked about the efforts nonprofit journalism organizations are making to help fill in the coverage holes left behind by cuts in the for-profit side of the industry. In addition, I talk about some of the ways we've altered our educational approach for Public Affairs Reporting students to prepare them to enter this new media landscape.

Below you can find clips of my talk. (Part 1 covers newsroom cutbacks and their effects on society. Part 2 covers nonprofit journalism and PAR program changes.) You also can watch the entire hour-long event, which included a talk from Illinois Times publisher Fletcher Farrar.

Jason Piscia is an assistant professor and director of the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois Springfield. He came to UIS following a 21-year career at The State Journal-Register. He can be reached at or @jasonpiscia.