The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The decline of local news

The+decline+of+local+news+is+contributing+to+many+problems+for+communities+and+individuals.
Andrea Beiza
The decline of local news is contributing to many problems for communities and individuals.

As local news is facing a tough decline in the United States, many communities find the struggle hitting too close to home.

According to Associated Press News, the rise of this problem is getting worse “to the point where the nation has lost one-third of its newspapers and two-thirds of its newspaper journalists since 2005.”

The recent decision by the L.A. Times to lay off 115 employees on Jan. 23, serves as an example of the challenges newspapers face nationwide. This move by a big news outlet not only reflects financial difficulties but also highlights the broader involvement of communities, as the familiar voices that once reported on local stories are silenced.

Now, why should we care? Well, local news does more than just deliver headlines. It’s the chief support of investigative reporting, diving deep into stories that matter to our communities. But with the fast-paced decline, the ability to dig into those important issues is under threat.

Sarah Bennett, a professional journalist and Santa Ana College professor, provides insights into the importance of local news from her perspective.

“When a county or a location does not have news covering it, civic engagement declines. Without it, voting is lower, people are less engaged in their community, they are less knowledgeable about what’s happening in their community, and there’s more corruption. Many studies can back that up,” Bennett said.

Bennett’s comment highlights the crucial reality. The lack of news coverage in a county or location has far-reaching consequences. As she rightly points out, the decline of civic engagement becomes apparent with lower voter turnout and reduced community participation.

The study by Stanley D. Taylor from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas titled “The Decline of Local News and its Effect on Polarization” proves this.

“Today there is a high level of polarization that does not seem to be going anywhere, and the decline of local news is a crucial factor in further polarization,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s research thoroughly explores the role of declining local news in widening the gap of polarization between the people and the community, especially when it involves politics.

Frida Morales, a 23-year-old university student at California State University Long Beach, is an avid local news consumer. Morales shares why she decides to follow on her local news.

“I look through local news myself because I want to know what’s happening around where I live, you know? I want to know any issues affecting my community and so on,” Morales said.

Morales’s decision to consume local news reflects a sense of duty and an effort to stay informed about the happenings in her community. This involvement not only demonstrates her commitment to being well-informed but also shows the connection between individual awareness and the overall health of the community.

Individuals should recognize the role they play in shaping the continuity of their communities by actively engaging with local news as Morales does. By staying informed and involved, individuals can not only contribute by addressing local issues but also foster a more cohesive and resilient community.

Sarah Bennett shares a way to support local news.

“I would say the way you can contribute to supporting local news is by doing it, by producing it. We need more people to learn the skills to be civically engaged, to uphold democracy,” Bennett said.

Bennett encourages active support for local news by suggesting individuals contribute through production and engagement. Acquiring civic skills is important to upholding democracy, furthering an informed and participatory citizenry essential for the vitality of local journalism and democratic principles.

“Journalism makes a difference,” Bennett said.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Andrea Beiza, Staff Writer
I like film, jazz, and nature.