Local News is Dying and Being Reborn

The Medill School of Journalism put out their annual “State of Local News Project” this week. Yes, local news is dying. Here’s a quote from Medill:

“Since 2005, the U.S. has lost nearly 2,900 newspapers. The nation is on pace to lose one-third of all its newspapers by the end of next year.”

What does that mean for ordinary people? Here’s Medill again:

“More than half of all U.S. counties now have limited access to reliable local news and information.”

Click here to see the overview of Medill’s report.

At the same time, new projects are emerging. Back in September, I covered Press Forward’s plans to invest $500 million. This article is also very helpful background.

Press Forward went live this week with the launch of chapters in Alaska, Chicago, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Springfield IL, and Wichita. The first named recipient of the money is the Wichita Beacon (hosted with Newspack).

Local news is definitely dying. And it’s great to see some organizations trying to lead a revival. The new version of local news will be online and will use platforms like WordPress. Here’s a final quote from Medill:

“There are about 550 digital-only local news sites, many of which launched in the past decade, but they are mostly clustered in metro areas. In the past five years, the number of local digital startups has roughly equaled the number that shuttered.”

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