We started 2019 with Gannett layoffs at local newspapers, we’re ending 2019 with Gannett layoffs at local newspapers, and Ken Doctor’s look at continued newspaper consolidation in 2020 is devastating.
It’s quite the end to quite a decade.
News deserts, or places without news, have spread in the last 10 years, and they’ve most seriously hurt places that have poor and underserved populations, said the University of North Carolina’s Penny Muse Abernathy, who has tracked news deserts. Less local news has also led to lower voter turnout and increased political polarization.
The business of local news is in trouble, Clara Henderickson wrote in a recent report for The Brookings Institution.
“This is a serious public problem; those who read, listen, and watch the news are not just consumers, but citizens that rely on news publishers to meet the demands of living in a democracy.”
The headlines this year have been in agreement – local news is dying.
But those headlines are wrong.