Local Journalism in Crisis: Why America Must Revive Its Local Newsrooms

Thousands of local newspapers have closed in recent years. Their disappearance has left millions of Americans without a vital source of local news and deprived communities of an institution essential for exposing wrongdoing and encouraging civic engagement. Of those still surviving, many have laid off reporters, reduced coverage, and pulled back circulation.

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One thought on “Local Journalism in Crisis: Why America Must Revive Its Local Newsrooms

  • November 15, 2019 at 6:40 pm
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    Nice report but it ignored a couple of critical issues. The first is that local communities were never disposed to spend on print journalism. Until recently, subscriptions cost little and were heavily promoted, often with extensive content devoted to sports, fashion and entertainment, none of which constituted real journalism but all of it popular with readers. Second, the current “farming” business model adopted by publishers is specifically devoted to the destruction of the print product, with massively increased subscription price, sharply reduced content, and little or no effort expended in promoting print advertising, in favor of a digital news model which has, despite decades of effort, never shown any sign of sustainability.
    All the while, the cost of producing a newspaper has actually sharply declined from the “glory days” of the 1920s-1950s, approaching levels not seen since the 1860s. Additionally, the pool of potential local merchant advertisers continues to grow, only to be ignored by the local newspaper industry.
    All this points to the simple fact that, contrary to the perspective that newspapers are victims of changing times, the only thing killing newspapers is the belief that they should die.

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