Media Moves

Local American journalism needs to be saved

November 13, 2019

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

With thousands of local newspapers ceasing publications, Americans have been left without a vital source of local news. Whereas, newspapers that are still operating are no good at all – most have laid off reporters, downsized, merged or pulled back on circulation.

The statistics further prove this point as over 65 million Americans live in countries with only one local newspaper or none at all.

As the audience for local print news continues to shrink, it is offset by a decline in advertising dollars. The traditional local newspaper business model is falling apart with very few Americans holding print subscriptions.

The world has now shifted to an era of digital. More and more people are now shifting towards online subscriptions. This may very well be one of the reasons why newspapers are experiencing an overall decline in their adverting revenues.

Tech giants like Google and Facebook are eating large chunks of the revenue pie.

With falling revenues and the dominance of tech giants, few newspapers today send journalists to statehouses or maintain Washington bureaus. The declining capacity of newsrooms to investigate potential stories not only renders newspapers less valuable to consumers but also results in a newspaper that is less valuable to its community.

The big question confronting the industry today is whether the challenges local newsrooms face reflects a process of creative destruction or demonstrates market failure.

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