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Media Roundtable: Why local journalism matters for a healthy democracy

On this edition of Your Call’s Media Roundtable, we're discussing the state of journalism in the US and initiatives to save local news. Communities across the country have been increasingly losing access to local news sources. Between January 2005 and December 2020, a quarter of US local print newspapers ceased publishing, according to the Washington Post. Over 200 counties in the US have no newspaper. Why does local news matter and how we can save it?


Robert McChesney, professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, co-founder of the media reform organization Free Press, and author of several books, including Strategies for Media Reform: Communication Research in Action

John Nichols, national-affairs correspondent for The Nation and author of several books, including The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace's Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist Politics

Dr. Nikki Usher, associate professor at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, senior fellow at the Open Markets Institute’s Center for Journalism and Liberty and author of several books, including News for the Rich, White, and Blue: How Place and Power Distort American Journalism

Web Resources:

The Columbia Journalism Review: The Local Journalism Initiative: a proposal to protect and extend democracy

NiemanLab: Higher ed and public radio are enmeshed. So what happens when the culture wars come?

The Washington Post: The Washington Post Magazine spotlights the diminished state of local news