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Local journalism in crisis: Why America must revive its local newsroom

Brookings: “Thousands of local newspapers have closed in recent years. Their disappearance has left millions of Americans without a vital source of local news and deprived communities of an institution essential for exposing wrongdoing and encouraging civic engagement. Of those still surviving, many have laid off reporters, reduced coverage, and pulled back circulation. Over 65 million Americans live in counties with only one local newspaper—or none at all. The traditional business model that once supported local newspapers–relying on print subscribers and advertising to generate revenue–has become difficult to sustain as the audience for local news continues to shrink and advertising dollars disappear. Few Americans today hold print subscriptions, and newspapers have struggled to amass digital subscribers. Meanwhile, news consumers have become less inclined to follow local sources of news, instead preferring to read, listen, and watch content from outlets focused on national news coverage. And, as the digital age has facilitated the emergence of a greater number of national news sources and highly specialized outlets, the reach of local news has diminished. At the same time, newspapers have seen a longtime source of financial stability and success–advertising dollars–dry up. Between 2008 and 2018, the newspaper industry experienced a 68% drop advertising revenue…”

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