Loss of Newspapers Detrimental to Democracy

. Monday, March 23

The closing of the Rocky Mountain News and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer quickly shows the major gap in local news coverage residents in the area now suffer.

First point to note is that people now without a newspaper are less likely to participate in voting or even run for local office. Incumbents were most likely to be reelected. Civic participation all but stops. Local coverage is what newspapers provide, and without it, participation sinks.

No problem, watch TV news? Not quite. TV newsrooms typically have a much smaller news-gathering staff and rely on local newspapers and their web sites to determine what to cover. Still, TV news covers a much broader area than local newspapers, so what might have been noted in a paper gets shoved aside when TV news editors pick and choose to fill a limited amount of air time.

And though this is 2009, not everyone owns a computer and has Internet access. It is much more difficult to read material on a computer monitor, and writers are forced to pare down stories when written for online delivery.

The ramifications of the loss of newspapers in this ragged economy is detrimental to each individual. Newspapers keep the people informed and the government honest. Think about it, then go buy a newspaper. It is your choice and voice at stake.

3 comments:

orient-lodge.com said...

I've been writing a lot about this in the media section of my blog:

http://www.orient-lodge.com/media

Beyond going out and buying a newspaper, I would encourage people to start covering news themselves. Go to a local board of education meeting. Write about it on your blog. Get others to write about it.

Support investigative reporting through organizations like spot.us and the investigative reporters and editors.

Spread the word

The Hawg! said...

Theresa, you know I agree with you on this one. Just imagine this -- let's say the only sources for "news" were official ones. Yes, the government would tells us what was what and corporations would issue press release to keep us all informed.

Sound like a nice, cozy planet to you? Me either!

Theresa Komor said...

Orient, I will check out the ideas you have going.

Hawg, you and I think alike. Freedom is something that shouldn't be thrown away so thoughtlessly.