Local Beats, National Consequences: The Link Between Local News and American Democratic Health

Source: Niskanen Center
by Robert Saldin, B Kal Munis, & Richard J Burke

“Shifts in the media landscape in recent decades have left an increasing number of Americans living in ‘news deserts,’ or counties without a local paper. Since 2004, approximately 2,100 newspapers — nearly one in four – have gone out of print, leaving well over 1,300 communities without local news outlets. Hundreds more have reduced their coverage to the point that they’ve become what researchers characterize as ‘ghost newspapers’ — papers that cling to life but are too financially hobbled to serve any worthwhile democratic function. Nearly all of the others have scaled back as well, just not as far. … Finding a way to revitalize local media could be a big part of the solution to revitalizing our politics.” [summary — full paper available as PDF download] (10/12/21)