Require stations to pay reporters more than newscasters
Newscasters get the glory of fame already, and we'll never be short of people who can do their job. Reporters do the actual work and the system is suffering under a great lack of them right now, or at least funding for them. Most stations these days rely on very few sources for their information, and that is causing a great void of variety in views on essential issues, and a lack of information on a global level.
Also, get unattractive people to report and anchor again, those gleaming white teeth remind me too much of high school popular kids.
Try owning or being a part of a (family that owns) small business before you decide that large companies such as broadcast media outlets must be overseen by the almighty US government. We've lost more freedoms than we can count, and we are still the country to which foreigners flock.
Please, see how the other countries who don't have freedom treat their general population and how they try to and often do run all the businesses and resources of their nations. Research the matter and see if you don't come back with a new outlook on what we hope to have here in America: free enterprise.
The idea is nice but I can't see how a government agency can set the salaries of private businesses. Except for CEO's whose salaries seem to have no relationship to the what the person does, salaries are determined by supply and demand. When newspapers were the primary way people got news, star reporters who could "scoop" the competition would result in more papers sold. Today's news media seem not to value scoops. Instead of being first with news they seem more interested in issuing teasers to get the audience to watch a later news program. The ratings on which their ad revenue is based is determined by audience share of scheduled programs, not on being first with the news. Unfortunately, newscasts that are entertaining seem to get bigger audiences than ones that just give the straight news. So reporters have become not as important.
Michael Buffaloe commented
As devil's advocate, let me point out: if you require stations to pay reporters more, they'll simply fire all but their best reporters to save money. A beginning reporter's salary is low because there are a plethora of people with journalism degrees - the labor market is flooded with them - so, regardless of which outlet you work for, you'll be making chump change as a journalist until you prove you're better than the rest. If this were implemented, it'd likely just result in less openings and more unemployed - not really an optimal outcome.
Aside from hoping that less people enter journalism's labor market and thus raise the starting price, I honestly don't know what the answer is. The economy is a fickle thing - regulate too much and you do damage, don't regulate enough and it takes advantage of the consumer - so a quick solution probably doesn't exist.
Beauregard Bahnam commented
A beginning journalist at a news station could expect to be paid $20,000-$25,000. That is ridiculously low for a high-stress, fast-paced job that almost certainly requires a college education.