Newspapers and intrepid reporters are at the heart of hundreds of movies – think Citizen Kane, All The President’s Men
-and have always been a big part of American culture.
But in recent decades, the rise of digital news has led to the steady decline of print. And while big papers like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post still distribute print editions – small, local papers have been disappearing at an alarming rate.
Add to that the consolidation of news outlets by big companies like Gannett and Alden Global Capital. Both companies have been buying regional newspapers, only to reduce the reporting staff, or completely dismantle an operation, focusing on turning a profit.
Research has shown that when local newspapers are lost affected communities experience lower voter turnout, decreased civic engagement, and increased polarization.
Host Adrian Florido speaks with Joshua Benton of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University on the increasing number of news deserts.
And we hear from journalist Ashley White about the difficulties of providing a Louisiana community with news and information at a newspaper undergoing drastic reductions.