US Why Has Local News Collapsed? Blame Readers.
Giant Crane Collapses After Ship Collides With It in Harbor Video
A stack of shipping containers tumbled to the ground and one man was injured after the collapse in Taiwan.One man was injured and two more were trapped in the wreckage after the dramatic incident on Thursday, which was captured in videos shared on social media.
Local news is good for us, we’re told daily, most recently this week in apiece and seconded by the newsletter. Local news makes representative government , scholars claim. and extolling the virtues of local reporting on everything from public health to economic vitality abound. When local reporting goes south, researchers tell us, , , lower , reduced and even follow. Even I have gone on the record for local news!
So, why is local news collapsing, a trend spotted over the past two years by everybody from theto the to the ? The blame is often placed on rapacious publishers like or online advertising giants like Facebook and Google. Yes, they’ve contributed to local news’ declining fortunes, but the best explanation might be that publishers and editors have ignored the underlying cause. Despite all the impassioned calls from academics and journalists to salvage it, local news’ most vital constituency—readers—have withheld their affections.
FBI subpoenas info on readers of news story on slain agents
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI issued a subpoena demanding U.S. newspaper giant Gannett provide agents with information to track down readers of a USA Today story about a suspect in a child pornography case who fatally shot two FBI agents in February. The subpoena, served on the company in April, came to light this week after the media company filed documents in federal court asking a judge to quash the subpoena. The Justice Department’s actions were immediately condemned by press freedom advocates.
In 2009, just as the apocalypse befell the newspaper industry but while local news was still in relative abundance, many readers gave it an apathetic shrug. A Pew Research Centerfrom that year found that an astonishing 42 percent said they would miss their paper “not much” or “not at all” if it vanished. They said this even though 74 percent conceded that civic life would suffer “a lot” or “some” if their local newspaper died. Their apathy ultimately expressed itself in financial terms. Weekday newspaper circulation has dropped from about to about 28.6 million in the past two decades. More than have vanished since 2004 (most of them weeklies), creating what some call “ .” And revenues have just about in the past decade, as has newsroom size, making it harder to report local news. Readers keep shrugging, too. A more recent Pew (2018) found that only 14 percent of respondents had paid for local news in the previous year.
Justice Department withdraws FBI subpoena for USA TODAY records ID'ing readers
The subpoena was issued as part of a criminal investigation seeking to identify a child sex offender.The subpoena, issued as part of a criminal investigation seeking to identify a child sex offender, was withdrawn after investigators found the person through other means, according to a notice the Justice Department sent to USA TODAY's attorneys Saturday.
For all the praise directed at local news and the importance of preserving it, the dirty secret of today’s newspapers is that there’s not all that much local news coverage to save anymore. A 2018 Duke Universityof 16,000 local news outlets (including broadcasters) in 100 communities deemed only about 17 percent of articles as truly local (i.e., they took place in or were about the local municipality), and just over half were hard news. Another 2018 finding by revealed that only 16 percent of Americans get their news “often” from a newspaper, further lowering the status of the press. Another marker of how scarce local news has become: Last year, when Facebook went for local news to include in a new section called “Today In,” it found that one in three of its users lived in places where there wasn’t enough local news published to sustain the section. “New Jersey was the worst place for finding local news on Facebook, with 58 percent of users unable to do so on any day in the last month,” reported. Maybe what the Pew respondents were really saying is you can’t miss what’s already gone.
Fact check: No, straightaways weren't required as airstrips in Eisenhower interstate system
A decades-old claim that the Eisenhower Interstate system has straightaway requirements to double as airstrips resurfaced on Facebook. It is false.Nobody was injured in what the Minnesota State Patrol called a “suspected emergency landing.” Footage of the landing shows the pilot touched down on a straightaway, just before the interstate bends left.
Where did all the local news go? A couple of decades ago, publishers collected so much revenue that they invented new sections, including local news, to spend the loot. Many metro newspapers ran weekly sections about computers and tech, weekly TV program guides, free-standing business sections filled with page after page of stock prices, Sunday magazines, pull-out book review sections and weekly tabloids about suburban counties. The Washington Post once ran a weekly section called “Sunday Source,” designed to hook young readers, and column after column of police blotter in its “District Weekly” section. Newspapers were cash machines, even in regional markets like Buffalo, N.Y. In her book, Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan writes that her old paper, the Buffalo News, was once so flush that, for many years, “the News would send a million dollars a week” to its owner, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. But after the Internet destroyed the advertising moat that had protected newspaper revenues for more than a century, editors and publishers stripped down the old newspaper, including local sections, to a more basic package to cut costs.
South Korea building collapse kills nine
At least nine people were killed when a five-storey building being demolished in South Korea suddenly collapsed, crushing a bus, officials said. © - South Korean rescue workers search for survivors in the debris of a collapsed building in Gwangju Dramatic television footage showed the bus being buried in debris and smothered by a huge cloud of dust as the structure gave way. The bus, which had stopped in front of the site, was carrying 17 people when the accident occurred Wednesday in the city of Gwangju, southwest of Seoul.
The decline of local news has paralleled the decline of the newspaper audience. In 1940, when the population was less than half of today’s, American newspaperwas greater. Newspapers lost audience not just to the Internet but to cable, TV and radio, as well as to the non-news functions found on smartphones. The advertising dollars that once helped to support local news fled for the Web, where ads could be better paired to content—sometimes at a lower cost—to sell an advertiser’s wares. As Google economist put it in 2013, pure news had “very high social value to interested readers” but “low commercial value due to the difficulty of showing contextual relevant ads.”
There’sthat low-cost, quality national news online from the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NBC and other outlets has siphoned off readers who might otherwise partake of local news. Newspapers also appear to have priced themselves out of the reach of many readers, jacking up the cost of subscriptions to cover the dive in advertising revenue. In 1980, for example, the Washington Post charged $92 a year for weekday and Sunday home delivery ($315 in today’s money). Today, the Post charges $1,160 annually for a lesser product. The Post isn’t alone, of course. Iris Chyi of the University of Texas notes that many regional newspapers have passed the mark for subscriptions. That’s a lot of money in most family budgets—more than annual subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and HBO Max all together would cost you.
South Korea building collapses onto bus during demolition, killing 9
At least nine people were killed when a five-story building undergoing demolition collapsed onto a bus in South Korea on Wednesday, according to the country's Ministry of the Interior and Safety. © Chung Hoi-sung/Yonhap/AP Firefighters search for survivors from a collapsed building in Gwangju, South Korea, on June 9. The bus, which was stationary at the time on a busy road, was buried under the rubble in Gwangju, some 270 kilometers (168 miles) southwest of the capital, Seoul. A further 25 people were injured, including eight seriously, the ministry added.
The great masses of readers and advertisers might spurn local news, but that doesn’t make its production a futile gesture. Scores of nonprofit local news start-ups exist in such places as, , , and , and, together with local public radio stations that have expanded their news footprints, these outlets do yeoman’s work. Axios has set up small local news operations in a half-dozen cities and promises to expand to others, although one of its founders the Wall Street Journal last year that its localized newsletters would focus on business, technology and education, not politics. One of the best local news sites in the country can be found in Memphis, where the of the Gannett-owned Commercial Appeal newsroom inspired the founding of the , a nonprofit, local-centric news site, in 2018. Bootstrapped by $8.2 million in donations—“philanthropic venture capital,” as some call it—the site now has a newsroom comparable in size to the Commercial Appeal’s and almost 14,000 subscribers paying an average of $9.25 a month. Its operators are the Daily Memphian can reach 25,000 paying subscribers to become sustainable in a couple of years. But for a metro area of about , 25,000 subscribers is still a relatively thin demographic slice. As recently as 2000, the Commercial Appeal moved Sunday print copies and upwards of 184,000 daily. Today, its stands at about 52,000 Sunday and 29,000 daily, which can be read as the community’s repudiation of the paper or their disinterest in local news—or both.
Subway Collapse That Killed 26 Blamed on Defects From Company of Mexico's Richest Man
Mexico City's deadly subway collapse that killed 26 people in early May was largely caused by defects in the elevated line, part of which was manufactured by the company of Mexico's richest man.The Mexico City government contracted the Norwegian certification firm DNV to investigate the incident. The company released a preliminary report Wednesday asserting there were poor welds in studs that connected steel support beams and a concrete support for the track bed.
Local news advocates such as Steve Waldman, co-founder of, would like to see local news to be declared a public good—an essential service that nobody can make money providing—and unleash governments to finance it with subsidies, refundable tax credits (akin to the federal campaign finance credit on your 1040), tax incentives, government advertising and other interventions.
You should read Waldman’s pitch in the, but even if we build such a subsidy and tax-credited operation, can masses of readers be enticed to come? Are journalists designing local news initiatives that gratify them and their academics colleagues, but that lack appeal to readers? As my friend , former editor and publisher of Technology Review, noted last month, “media types sentimentalize local news because it presents local news journalists as a heroic caste ‘holding the powerful to account’ and binding communities together.” But this “fetishization” of local news ignores the unwillingness of the public to pay for the product. Local news just isn’t producing a product that people need.”
All the studies, monographs and public good arguments in the world aren’t likely to win readers over. It’s telling that two of America’s best and most successful newspapers, the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and the New York Times, have deprioritized local news in recent decades. Maybe they know something the local news touts don’t. The groups most enthusiastic about saving and expanding local news are journalists, whose self-interest is self-evident; good-government types who savor the watchdog function of the press; tech giants likeand , which have donated millions to local news to disarm critics who claim they destroyed newspapering (they didn’t, but that’s another column); like Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell, who regard the news as “infrastructure”; and academics and foundations that say local coverage is integral to a functional society.
The local news movement won’t make much progress until its proponents realize that its primary obstacle is a demand-side one, not a supply-side one. It’s not that nobody wants to read local news; it’s just that not enough people do to make it a viable business. Maybe the surfeit of local news of yesteryear was the product of an economic accident, a moment that cannot be reclaimed. But even if you were to underwrite local news with taxes and philanthropy, and distribute it to citizens via subsidies, you’d still have to find a way to get people to read it. Until some editorial genius cracks that puzzle, the local news quest will remain a charitable, niche project advanced by journalistic, academic and political elites.
Nextdoor isn’t news, so don’t bother me with an email tociting it. My would like to get a job publicizing local news. My thinks of itself as an international site. The only local copy my feed wants to read is the police blotter.
Summer Books: Danny Trejo Memoir, Sally Rooney, James Patterson Teams With Bill Clinton and More .
With pandemic lockdown restrictions lifted amid the first day of summer, this year’s sunshine season marks a celebratory period. Those looking to escape the summer heat may find comfort in a book and be seeking the perfect beach read, literary vacation getaway or an entertaining story to have on hand while lounging by the swimming […]This summer, Danny Trejo, Cecily Strong and Hayley Mills share their stories in their debut memoirs; Sally Rooney returns with a new coming-of-age story; Taylor Jenkins Reid takes readers on a trip to 1980s Malibu; Behind the scenes anecdotes of iconic films Raging Bull and Midnight Cowboy and historical Broadway production Shuffle Along are revealed; Sleepless in Seattle‘s scree