The State of Local Journalism

Addi Tarr
2 min readSep 3, 2020

In the New York Times article A Future Without the Front Page, the authors bring light to the issue of the decrease in local journalism.

They examine what a without local journalism would look like, and suggest solutions to the problem.

According to the article, issues such as less government accountability, more pollution and greater polarization would be more prevalent without local newspapers.

Good points are raised such as, who will report on the local happenings? Occasionally local news reaches a national level, which would be impossible without local journalists stationed in small towns to report.

A 2010 Census reported that there are approximately 308 million people living in the United States. Twenty-one percent of these were reported to reside in rural or small town America.

If 21% of Americans live in small towns, having no local coverage would mean that they would receive a majority of their information from either social media, national or international news sources.

In 2017, a study by the Pew Research Center reported that 68% of American adults say that they occasionally get news on social media. Fifty seven percent of these same adults said that they expect the news they see on social media to be largely inaccurate.

By examining these statistics alone, the problem becomes more clear. The extinction of local news would force more Americans to rely on social media to stay updated on current events. This would lead to more distrust in the media.

So what is the solution? In 2018, New Jersey officials decided to dedicate $5 million to local media across the state. Though it is a small amount in the big picture of local news, it may encourage other states to act in a similar fashion and realize the need for local news.

So is taxpayer funded media the future of journalism?