ON THE MEDIA | Loss of local news hinders ability to watchdog government

March 12, 2019

Newspapers are closing or being consolidated at an astounding rate, often leaving behind what researchers label as news deserts — towns and even entire counties that have no consistent local media coverage.

According to an Associated Press analysis of data compiled by the University of North Carolina, more than 1,400 towns and cities in the U.S. have lost a newspaper over the past 15 years. Many of those are in rural and lower-income areas, often with an aging population.

The loss of a reliable local news source has many consequences for the community. One of them is the inability to watchdog the actions of government agencies and elected officials.

Newspapers typically have played the lead role in their communities in holding local officials accountable. That includes filing requests to get public records that shine a light on government action — or inaction — or even filing lawsuits to promote transparency.

Source: Loss of local news hinders ability to watchdog government

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Keynote address at FCTV 30th Anniversary

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Michael called on FCTV to join him in working to educate the public about the importance of who selects and reports our news. Once the public starts hearing from more local voices we will begin to understand what the issues are that need to be addressed. We haven’t yet begun a dialogue based on good information.

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