Overholser, Geneva. "On Behalf of Journalism: A Manifesto for Change." Philadelphia: The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. 2009.
Overholser's article follows a June 2005 gathering of journalists and scholars at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and many of her arguments stem from the discussions at that seminar. While maintaining a realistic and attainable vision of the future of journalism (and practical admission that "journalism as we know it is over"), Overholser argues that journalism is ideally a marshall of democracy and necessary to American freedom and must (and will) continue to exist, just in a new form. By discussing the responsibilities of journalists - as ethical, objective, professional, accountable sources - along with the responsibilities of the public and the government to support journalism in its ideal form, Overholser asserts that "what's needed is wide-open thinking about how consumers use information, and where they are getting it, and how old media companies can fulfill those needs while bringing the best of their traditions onto new platforms."
Overholser's article is comprehensive, realistic, and yet hopeful. Her refreshing outlook is that journalism has changed for good, but that that change is a welcome chance to re-evaluate, throw out the tired and unhealthy aspects of 'old world' media, and recommit to the "core values of the craft." She examines several options for the future of journalism – non-profit status, local ownership, media ownership rules, greater professionalization of 'citizen journalists' by means of agreed-upon standards – and all with the outlook that since the public will demand goof work, journalism will be here for the long haul. Overholser adeptly suggests that the problem with modern journalism isn't in the journalists, but in the public; and we must be encouraging better civics and news literacy education to help the public play their role better. It isn't journalism - the protector of democracy and leader in civic education - that is in danger of death, it is the media news conglomorates, and Overholser seems optimistic that their deaths may not injure democracy much.