The Demise of Local Newspapers and American Democracy

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Manage episode 306360344 series 2705913
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This episode of Beyond Your News Feed explores the fate of local news. Professors Andrea McDonnell and Matt Guardino of the Providence College Political Science Department join host William Hudson for a conversation about the dire straits of local newspapers and the impact on American democracy.

Over the past couple of decades, local newspapers across the country have begun to disappear. Battered by huge revenue losses from declining advertising and circulation, newspaper owners have sought to reduce costs in a variety of ways, including selling newspaper buildings, outsourcing printing and other tasks, but mostly by firing reporters – depriving the paper of the very journalism that makes the paper valuable. This strategy, obviously, has meant newspapers that are thinner, with less news for their readers, and less able to monitor what is happening in the local community. The obvious result is even more declines in circulation and revenues. This decline in local news has affected every city in America and some of its most venerable, prize-winning papers such as the Chicago Tribune, the Philadelphia Enquirer, the Baltimore Sun, and the Providence Journal. Professors McDonnell and Guardino explain why local newspapers are in trouble, what effect this has on democracy and local citizens, and what might be done to restore vibrant local newspapers.

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