See below for an excellent thread by former local journalist and now-Virginia Del. Danica Roem, writing about local journalism, on Twitter. I 100% agree with Del. Roem on the value and need for strong local journalism, at a time when “the collapse of the industry is of unimaginable proportions, especially at the local level.” One of the results of collapsing local journalism? As Del. Roem writes, “There’s a giant void for vetted facts across the country that’s being filled by people without a sense of journalistic mission.” The bottom line is that “we need to invest in journalism…to support the people who work in it and the work they do because when their communities care, they can afford thorough reporting.”
I strongly agree with all of that. The only thing I’d add is that local newspapers do themselves a huge disservice, and make it a lot harder for many of us to support them, when their editorial pages go far-right, anti-environment, misogynistic, racist, etc…like this type of garbage. I’d strongly encourage local newspapers to focus on their core mission, which is local journalism, and ditch the value-subtracted, editorial-page screeds.