Local & Rural News is More Important Than You Can Ever Imagine.
From Society for Professional Journalism
A recent report has documented the closure of 360 newspapers since 2019, resulting in the rise of news deserts in poor and rural communities. The report also outlined the closure of an additional 2,500 newspapers since 2004, averaging two closures a week. The loss of local journalism has magnified the spread of misinformation, as around 44% of Americans were exposed to disinformation through untrustworthy websites, impacting the public’s trust in the media.
As communities lose reliable sources for local news, voter participation declines, corruption in both government and business increases and local residents end up paying more in taxes. Despite the loss of print newspapers, digital alternatives have increased. In 2022, there are 545 digital-only state and local sites, with some employing fewer than six full-time reporters. In addition to the increase in digital media, the Local Journalism Sustainability Act of 2021 also offers hope. If passed, it would provide a tax credit to print, digital or broadcast news organizations that hire journalists.