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A local Channel 4 news van in Detroit, Michigan. Photo credit: kristy

A local Channel 4 news van in Detroit, Michigan. Photo credit: kristy

Political Division and the Decline of Local News

September 12, 2023

Political Division and the Decline of Local News

Ask students: What role have local papers had in uniting communities, according to this story? Why are many local news outlets failing?

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Judy Woodruff recently examined how the loss of thousands of local newspapers across the country is depriving communities of some of the glue that holds them together and whether or not that change is fueling division.

Woodruff now looks at how some news outlets are managing to hang on and whether what they’re doing is sustainable. It’s part of the series, America at a Crossroads.

For a transcript of this story, click here.

Remote video URL

Discussion Questions

  • Who is Anne Adams, and what is her background?
  • Where is Adams' paper based?
  • What role have local papers had in uniting communities, according to this story?
  • Why are many local news outlets failing?
  • How has Mississippi Today managed to grow?
     

Focus Questions

When local newspapers fail, what do you think could take their place in helping to keep communities tied together and informed by similar information? Do you think it's an apt replacement? Why/why not?

Media literacy: Why do you think Judy Woodruff told this story by focusing on a few local news sources?

Extension Activity

Do you know what local media covers your community? As a class, research what outlets cover your neighborhood, city or county. Then discuss — how is the outlet(s) funded? Who owns them, and how do they generate income? How do you think ownership influences coverage?

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom
PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories. The site combines the best of NewsHour's reliable, trustworthy news program with lesson plans developed specifically for... See More
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