A Silent Fire
The honest truth is, putting our own biases aside, it’s clear that the decline of local reporting is a silent fire burning in the background causing more damage at the community level than anyone has realized. Below is a collection of articles from numerous, diverse, reputable sources that collectively come to one conclusion:
We should all care about the health of local news and journalism.
So what’s the story here? How did we get to the point that local news has died? How did we come to realize that something needs to shift around the way local news is reported? What can we as a community do to fix this? This story is not unique to the community of Yountville and the Napa Valley but our solution to it might be.
Doom and Gloom
It’s hard to spot a problem until things go wrong. Local news reporting is no different. From the muddling of local elections to actual statistics the loss of local respected news sources has created a vacuum in reporting. This vacuum has allowed for biased and frankly wrong information to be shared as “news” in many small and large communities. These “news sources” spread false information that has real and damaging effects on communities. The articles below highlight the damage that has been done because of loss of trusted local news sources.
- Local California Mayor Loses an Election Due to the Decline of Local News
- A Quarter of all U.S. Newspapers Have Died in 15 Years (and Other Statistics)
- How the Death of Local News has Made Political Divisions Far Worse
It’s Time for Change
When you become aware of a problem it is up to you to try and fix it. That is what we are going to do with the Yountvillian. True journalism is inclusive and values a diverse set of voices. News should be unbiased and represent the truth of what is happening in a community. The collection of articles below focuses on the opinions of leaders in the reporting community that are providing their opinions on why local news is declining and what we can do about it.
- Author Margaret Sullivan speaks on the Death of Local News
- Bail Out Journalists. Let Newspaper Chains Die.
- The Future of Local News: A collection of opinions
Lucky for us there are places to look to for HOPE. While small newspapers and local reporting may be dying around the country there are success stories we can look to. What can we as a community learn from these other newspapers? The success of local reporting can be linked to the success of local political initiatives from school reform to bringing in new industry and creating healthier communities. Shouldn’t we want to emulate that? Don’t we want Yountville to be considered a place of innovation and truth? The articles below both teach us lessons and inspire us to carry on.
- How a Small Maine Newspaper Survives
- Wyoming Small Newspapers Successful Despite Digital Upheaval
- 7 Of The Most Charming Local Newspapers In America
A Bright Future
We come full circle to one simple truth: Yountville needs to do better. In the ways where the past system for local reporting has fallen short comes an opportunity to make it better. This is why we care and that’s why we’re here. We are here to be a place for everyone to have a voice, for local news to be reported accurately and timely. Our goal is to make sure that Yountville is a connected community because that is what makes a strong community.