The Federal Communications Commission has issued a mammoth research report into the state of local news reporting titled “The Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape in a Broadband Age.” The findings are grim.
As newspapers in recent years scaled back their workforces in the face of increasingly popular digital sources of information, coverage faltered. The result was predictable and is well summed up in the report itself:
Yet, in part because of the digital revolution, serious problems have arisen, as well. Most significant among them: in many communities, we now face a shortage of local, professional, accountability reporting. This is likely to lead to the kinds of problems that are, not surprisingly, associated with a lack of accountability—more government waste, more local corruption, less effective schools, and other serious community problems. The independent watchdog function that the Founding Fathers envisioned for journalism—going so far as to call it crucial to a healthy democracy—is in some cases at risk at the local level.
The full report is below, or you can go straight to the pdf. The whole thing is 478 page.
How about it, RT readers, has the quality of local and state news coverage declined?