Lost Local News: Stories in Danger, as Told by Local Journalists
The state of local journalism is widely, and correctly, understood to be grim. About 2,200 local print newspapers have closed since 2005, and the number of newspaper journalists fell by more than half between 2008 and 2020. In many places where papers still exist, a lack of resources prevents them from reporting thoroughly on issues vital to the community — issues like public safety, education and local politics.
Plenty of local and national outlets are working mightily to fill in the gaps created by the diminished state of local news: nonprofit regional newsrooms, local radio and TV stations, digital news sites and national organizations with branches dedicated to supporting community journalism. In the years to come, many more efforts along these lines will be needed — at the national level, the grass-roots level and everywhere in between. Because when we lose local journalism, we lose a fabric that holds together communities; we lose crucial information that allows democracy to function; and at the most basic level, we lose stories that need to be told.
Many environmental stories, especially on the effects of climate change, are among the overlooked stories.