Why is Local News Important?

Now more than ever, News comes with a POV that aligns with whatever agenda news organizations have. Our daily news has become so politically skewed. Many are aimed to persuade viewers to believe a certain way. Fake News is also very prevalent in the world today. Social media makes it easier than ever to create and distribute fake or misleading news. How is it possible to combat this narrative about journalism? By supporting local journalists, that’s how!

This video discusses the general ethical expectations that a journalist would adhere to in ideal situations. However, it also discusses the realities of most major news sources today. It speaks of an idea where many journalists that work for for-profit news organizations are forced into situations that influence them to report in a way that may be unethical. To end this trend of unethical reporting, journalists need to focus on transparency and earning their viewers' trust.

Local journalism is something that will play a large role in reviving the news. Local journalists lie in the middle of every community. By supporting locally, we stay involved in what matters the most. A local journalist serves a specific area. They provide celebration, criticism, and information about the things that are happening directly around us. While large news organizations are spreading different agendas, most local journalists report specifically on the communities they serve.

Above is commentary from a reporter on the struggle of local journalists. Lizzie Johnson received this message from someone who had seen her field reporting and was pleasantly surprised by her work ethic as well as her transparency. Opinions on journalists have become swayed by the large amounts of fake news.

While local journalism is important, it is also important to have many journalists from diverse backgrounds. Diversity is fuel for productivity and innovation. This is exactly what our news really needs—more women, BIPOC, and AAPI representation in the news. Local and major organizations can all benefit from diversifying their journalist staff. Many communities receive news from people that do not reflect the diversity of the community around them.

Our own Cronkite news lab shares this article that discusses the importance of racial and ethnic diversity in the news and how this alone can attract more readers.

This page here has many organizations that pride themselves on investing in local news. I found reading about these organizations and what they are doing to help reassure the future of the news. The Knight foundation itself has a $300 million a year five-year plan for strengthening the world of journalism. While most of us cannot afford to donate any amount of money to local news, we can do our part by reading. Educating ourselves on the importance of it, as well as reading stories from local organizations. Viewership and reach is an important aspect in our digital age. The Knight organization said it itself “to make a local impact, you must read locally.”

By supporting your local journalists, you are providing them with the power of viewership. By investing back into the communities we live in, we can grow stronger. The press is an important and powerful source of information, and we should not let the bad rap it has gotten in recent years destroy that. By resisting fake or biased news sources, we play a small part in ending the fake news culture that is so present today.

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