Media consolidation is collapsing our local news environment. On September 27th, the Lillie Newspaper, the North Metro weekly, published its last articles on its website, and printed its last paper. Over 2,000 newspapers have been closed nationwide over the past 15 years due to a decline of readership and advertising. The local community is losing more than just a weekly paper. As media continues to consolidate, here is a list of what we are losing:
City Council members run on a variety of political platforms. The local newspapers and news outlets interview the candidates and provide information about the candidate’s platform. The information is viewed in with other political candidates so voters can be informed on the best candidate choice.
Cities are required to post legal announcements and notice of public hearings in a public newspaper. Knowing when and where public meetings happen, inform the public if they want to attend and speak to the Council, Board or Commission Members.
The local bulletin board and activities break out farmer’s markets, pancake breakfasts, or charity car washes going on in the community. If you’re looking for something to do in the next week, this is a great place to check.
The community police blotters gave a weekly snapshot of the crimes happening in the community. Information about crimes in the area helped citizens prepare and protect themselves and their property.
The editorial pieces were a proverbial soapbox for concerned citizens to relay their opinion to the public. Often the content is about a local issue or politics. Hearing multiple points of view on a subject helped inform citizens. The more local a paper or news source is, the more localized the editorial content would be.
High School Sports
Many students play sports. A handful may have the honor to have a news article covered about their performance on the football or soccer team. Some may have scrapbooks with clippings about the “big game”. All of this is lost with media consolidation.
The news in local papers or news outlets is local by nature. When we read or watch a piece about our neighbor or friend, we pause and take the information it, we share the content, we talk about it with our community. As we lose the neighborly news aspect of this, we will also lose the common thread that holds the fabric of our community together.
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